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Her mother's voice, calling, “Mat, Mat, it's getting late,” put an end to the conversation, and she ran off to her excellent parent, leaving old Dick muttering, "I be no scholard.”
X. Y. Z.
"They desire a better Country.” HAT has been the great and what is now one of the
strongest and most influential powers or motives in the human heart ? A desire to find some
better place, some lovelier spot, than we now have. For what does the tradesman toil ? for what does the physician practise ? for what does man hope at the decline and the close of life? Some sheltered nook, some quiet spot, where, if he cannot have a rest that will never be moved, he may have, at least, a foretaste and foreshadow of it. What was it that carried Columbus across the western wave, amid insubordination within his ship, and unexpectedly wild waves that roared and curled around and without? What sustained him on the unsounded sea, amid the untraversed waste of waters? The hope of a better country. What was it that sustained the hearts of the Pilgrim Fathers when, driven forth from this land by stern ecclesiastical persecution, they went to the far distance, and across the western wave, and feared not the iron-bound coast or the rugged and unknown territory on which they set foot? It was the hope and prospect of a better, even a free and peaceful country.
Gone Before !
'Tis fifty long years now and more,
Outside the low-thatched cottage door.
I loved you at first sight, my wifey,
You stole my poor heart on that day When you gave me a dew-sprinkled rose-bud,
To wear in my coat on the way.
That rose-bud is in my desk, wifey ;
It lies with our baby's first toy, The rattle, strung through with blue ribbon,
You bought for our bonnie wee boy.
Ah ! those were bright, happy days, wifey,
When we planned out a future for Jack ; We did not think then God, who sent him,
Would ask us so soon for him back.
But He left me my own darling wifey,
To be my companion and friend ;
But the oak remains firm to the end.
Sometimes as I sit alone, wifey,
When you are away from my side, I look at the flowered chintz curtain,
Behind which our boy used to hide.
And I see it move now and then, wifey,
As though little hands were behind, And I hear the sweet baby-voice saying,
“Come, father, you've Johnnie to find !"
And just as that chintz curtain, wifey,
Once hid for the moment our boy, And as after a feigned search I found him,
And he rushed out to meet me with joy
So will it soon be above, wifey,
When God draws the dark curtain back, Then father and mother will find him,
Their lost little angel-boy Jack.
'Twas his Sunday-school hymn at first, wifey,
Made us think of the bright home above; And taught us God spoke not in anger
When He asked for the child of our love.
We gave him unwillingly, wifey,
And oh ! how our poor sad hearts bled When the little blue silver-nailed coffin
Was brought, and our darling lay dead.
How lonely our house seemed then, wifey,
How sorely we ged for him back ; But our God, who alone knows the future,
Saw what would be best for our Jack.
The sheep were far from the fold, wifey,
The Good Shepherd pleaded in vain, Till He took up our lamb in His bosom,
Then we turned to the right path again.
Jesus took to Himself our babe, wifey,
To keep for us, knowing that we Were ot fit to be trusted to lead him
To that haven where we would be !
If God should call me home first, wisey,
You'll lay my old bones near the stile, And set up a small stone above me
With these three words—"A little while."
'Twill be but " a little while,” wifey,
And then on yon bright, happy shore, You and I, and our bonnie wee baby,
Will meet where all partings are o'er,
To live with that dear Saviour, wifey,
Who gave His life's blood for us here, That we in our trials and troubles
Might turn to Him, knowing He's near !
Knowing !—'Tis a precious thought, wifey
Our sins are all cleansed and forgiven, And I long sorely now in my weakness,
For the “ Rest that remaineth " in heaven.
E. S. P.
work for VII. OME, rouse up, rouse up,” cried Farmer Arnold,
knocking lustily upon the wide, open staircase that led to the sleeping apartments of the old
farm-house of Trycourt." Rouse up, all of you,” he repeated, as he left the house and took his way towards the hay-field, where the men were already at work.
It was quite early in the morning, and the fresh, sweet air was filled with the sound of singing birds, and laden with the profusion of many flowers; but the farmer, not seeming to notice the beauty of the scene, looked anxiously at a streak of tiny clouds that appeared in the southern sky. “There will be rain before the day is out," he muttered, as he walked along; we must get the three acres' carried to-day.”
Very soon the farmer was among his men, and ere long the boys and women, whose work it was to turn the grass that had been previously cut and was almost ready to carry, came into the field.
Come, you lads and lasses,” cried Mr. Arnold; "the work waits, and there is rain coming. There is work for you all to-day."
“ True for you, master,” said one of the younger women, and then added in an undertone to the companion who walked by her side; "there is work for us all to-day : ‘Work while it is called to-day, for the night cometh when no man can work.'»
“There you go again, Polly," responded the other ; " you are always lugging in the Bible; why can't you let it alone now and then? You are none the better for always having a text at your tongue's end.”
Perhaps not, Hetty ; but I love to think of the words our Saviour has spoken ; and you know He has said we are to work while it is called to-day."
“Yes, I know that; but He didn't mean this sort of work; He was speaking of something more serious than that.”
“And I was thinking of something serious. Shall I tell you what it was?" asked the other, with a smile.
“If you like; only make haste, for here we are in the field.” Hetty spoke a little impatiently, as though she would rather her companion kept her thoughts to herself ; nevertheless she waited to hear the answer.
“Well, I was just thinking of what Christ said about