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A single cloud on a sunny day,
While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear

When skies are blue, and earth is gay!

THE RUINED COTTAGE.

NONE will dwell in that cottage, for they say
Oppression reft it from an honest man,
And that a curse clings to it: hence the vine
Trails its green weight of leaves upon the ground;
Hence weeds are in that garden; hence the hedge,
Once sweet with honeysuckle, is half dead;
And hence the grey moss on the apple tree.

One once dwelt there, who had been in his youth
A soldier; and when many years had pass’d,
He sought his native village, and sat down
To end his days in peace. He had one child—
A little laughing thing, whose large dark eyes,
He said, were like the mother's she had left
Buried in stranger lands: and time went on
In comfort and content-and that fair girl
Had
grown

far taller than the red rose-tree
Her father planted her first English birth-day.
And he had train'd it up against an ash
Till it became his pride;—it was so rich
In blossom and in beauty, it was call’d
The tree of Isabel. 'Twas an appeal
To all the better feelings of the heart,
To mark their quiet happiness, their home-
In truth a home of love; and more than all,
To see them on the Sabbath, when they came
Among the first to church, and Isabel,
With her bright colour and her clear glad eyes,

Bow'd down so meekly in the house of prayer;
And in the hymn her sweet voice audible:
Her father look'd so fond of her, and then
From her look'd up so thankfully to Heaven!
And their small cottage was so very neat;
Their garden filld with fruits, and herbs, and flowers;
And in the winter there was no fireside
So cheerful as their own. But other days
And other fortunes came—an evil power.
They bore against it cheerfully, and hoped
For better times, but ruin came at last;
And the old soldier left his own dear home,
And left it for a prison: 'twas in June,
One of June's brightest days—the bee, the bird,
The butterfly, were on their lightest wings;
The fruits had their first tinge of summer light;
The sunny sky, the very leaves seem'd glad,
And the old man look'd back upon his cottage
And wept aloud:-they hurried him away,
And the dear child that would not leave his side.
They led him from the sight of the blue heaven
And the green trees, into a low, dark cell,
The windows shutting out the blessed sun
With iron grating; and for the first time
He threw him on his bed, and could not hear
His Isabel's good night! But the next morn
She was the earliest at the prison gate,
The last on which it closed, and her sweet voice
And sweeter smile made him forget to pine.
She brought him every morning fresh wild flowers,
But every morning could he see her cheek
Grow paler and more pale, and her low tones
Get fainter and more faint, and a cold dew
Was on the hand he held. One day, he saw
The sunshine through the grating of his cell,

Yet Isabel came not: at every sound
His heart-beat took away his breath, yet still
She came not near him. For but one sad day
He mark'd the dull street through the iron bars
That shut him from the world; at length he saw
A coffin carried carelessly along,
And he was desperate—he forced the bars;
And he stood on the street free and alone!
He had no aim, no wish for liberty-
He only felt one want, to see the corpse
That had no mourners: when they set it down,
Or ere 'twas lower'd into the new-dug grave,
A rush of passion came upon his soul,
And he tore off the lid, and saw the face
Of Isabel, and knew he had no child!

He lay down by the coffin quietly—
His heart was broken!

DESTRUCTION OF THE KENT EAST-INDIAMAN.

There is a something in the misfortunes which happen at sea, that awakens in our bosoms a more than ordinary sympathy with the sufferers. The loneliness of the ocean, is, even in idea, fearful to the mind, and the complete separation of those who are on its paths, from the rest of mankind, makes us follow them in our sympathies, as if they had once been sharers of our home. This feeling is, of course, deepened when

any of the objects of our pity have been actually known to us, or have once lived in our own neighbourhood. How many a village tale of war or shipwreck has been handed down from generation to generation, because some one whose name is in the parish register happened to be present! How often has the circle round the winter hearth, in the most inland county of the kingdom, listened tremblingly to the howling blast, because the son or the husband of some one in the town was passing over the deep!

It happened that the writer of this article was residing, in the beginning of 1825, in a small and rural village, of which he was the curate. Among the simple inhabitants of a country parish there will now and then be found a family, whose long residence in the place, and established character for sobriety, have given them a certain rank among their neighbours, of which few know the importance but those skilled in village politics. Such, however, was the family of the parish-clerk, who was himself a fine specimen of the English peasant, when his head has become hoary with honest and successful industry.

The old age of this happy-hearted man, was green with the blossoms of a second spring. He had saved out of his small gains enough to keep him from the fear of want, and he used to boast, that, through a long life and with a large family to bring up, he had never once been chargeable to his wealthier neighbours. He had three sons and a daughter living. Of the former, two were at home and the third in the army.

It was after this absent child that the old man's heart was continually yearning. He would have resigned all his little wealth to bring him home, and yet he had that sort of pride which would have prevented his expressing a wish for his discharge, had it been offered. From all, indeed, that the writer could learn of this

young man, he was highly deserving of his father's love. By a little scholarship and a good deal of attention to discipline, he had in a short time been made a serjeant; and there was a prospect, if he should be sent on foreign service, of his acquiring farther promotion. This at length occurred; and his regiment was one of those whose detachments were on board the Kent, when the catastrophe took place which exposed so many to destruction.

It happened that tidings of the burning of the Kent, arrived on a Sunday: the old man listened to them with a firm brow and a swelling heart; and the only alteration in

his appearance during the service, was a slight bowing of his head, as if he bore a burden for which his strength was unequal. It was a considerable time before it was known who had perished, and who had been saved; and week after week did the robust frame of the anxious parent become more and more feeble, and his grey hairs almost visibly heavier with sorrow. There was not a soul in the little parish that did not respect the old clerk, or, rude as were their expressions, did not commiserate his misfortune.

It was on a bright evening, when the disconsolate father, seated in his arm-chair and endeavouring to enjoy the setting sun, was conversing with some old men of the village who were gathered round him, that the writer met, not far from the cottage, a group of villagers running and shouting as if, in truth, mad with joy. They were all too breathless to answer his inquiries: and as he looked across the fields, several other persons were seen hurrying on in the same joyous manner. His curiosity was soon satisfied, by finding that the son of the old clerk was the object which had roused the village, and that he was now hastening on to the embrace of his parents.

It was not many days after this, that every particular respecting the burning of the Kent, was known through the country for ten miles round; and such was the delight with which the clerk's son was listened to, that the daughter of an opulent farmer had much to do to secure him for herself, though her father offered him his discharge and a snug farm next his own. At last, however, she succeeded; and should any one wish to hear again the awful story of the Kent and her crew, let him go to the clerk's son, and he will tell him, how on the wildest tract of the wild ocean the fire-spirit overtook them; how, in the helplessness of despair, they heard the signal of their distress reverberating among the mountainous waves; how, as the waters were let in, the vessel grew steady amid the up-rushing flames; and how,

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