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THE LAST MINSTREL.
THE way was long, the wind was cold,
A wandering harper, scorned and poor,
And an uncertain warbling made;
In varying cadence, soft and strong,
THE RAISING OF JAIRUS'S DAUGHTER.
Present Bishop of New Jersey.
THEY have watched her last and quivering breath,
And the maiden's soul has flown;
They have wrapt her in the robes of death,
And laid her dark and alone.
But the mother casts a look behind,
Nay, start not,-'twas the gathering wind;
And tremble not at that cheek of snow,
Didst thou not close that expiring eye,
She lies on her couch, all pale and hushed,
And is still as the spring-flower by traveller crushed,
The mother has flown from that lonely room,
And the maid is mute and pale:
Iler ivory hand is cold as the tomb,
Her mother strays with folded arms,
But listen! what name salutes her ear?
"Jesus," she cries, "has no power here;
He leads the way to that cold white couch,
And bends o'er the senseless form;
Can his be less than a heavy touch?
The maiden's hand is warm!
And the fresh blood comes with a roseate hue,
While Death's dark terrors fly;
Her form is raised, and her step is true,
And life beams bright in her eye.
WHEN the dessert was finally put upon the table, I had great advantages for hearing all the conversation that passed round me; and I was much amused.
The Admiral told a number of good stories. He told them particularly well, from having told them evidently very often before;
and we felt sure they must be all true, for Captain Thompson was there to vouch for them. There was a further advantage in the repetition, since the children knew exactly where the jokes lay, and when to laugh.
Reginald, impudently enough, called these stories his uncle's long yarns, which I understood to be the sea phrase denoting endless recital. I felt I was a little given to indulge in the same weakness, so I could excuse it in the dear good Admiral. I watched my mistress putting some grapes and biscuits aside. I guessed what she was doing, and longed to be of the party; the plate was going up to Frank, who was not well enough to play with the others, and to Bertha, who was too young.
The Admiral gave the Queen's health, for he was a loyal old officer. The ladies retired to the drawing-room; the children rushed to play in the hall. My dear mistress had to assist Lady Jemima in her basket-work. She always began it, and often finished it for her, generally doing a good large bit in the middle of any piece she had in hand.
The gentlemen closed round the fire to discuss politics, and talk of their farms, and crops, sheep, and bullocks. Captain Thompson was a dead hand at the poor-rates; it was wearying to me. One thing I gathered from the general conversation, namely, that the Admiral, Reginald, and one of the little Thompsons were to go to sea in a few days, and that Lady Jemima was to spend the winter at Bath. So soon to part again with Reginald was painful to me.
The gentlemen joined Lady Jemima, and had coffee; but I was so engaged with sad reflections as scarcely to perceive that the servants were clearing away the things, and were making sundry preparations for the sports of the evening. The dessert was carried away, all but the golden pippins and ourselves; we were, by Mrs. Parsons' particular desire, replaced upon the side-board; a deal table and a tub of cold water were brought in, after the Turkey carpet had been rolled aside. Whilst all this was going on, we heard peals of laughter ringing through the hall, and the boys shouting as they played at blindman's-buff. The Admiral and my master were playing as heartily as the best of them. Mr. Neville sat with Lady Jemima, and I missed Alice; she had slipped up-stairs to sit with Frank.
The merriment waxed fast and furious, and presently the whole troop burst into the dining-room, "following the leader," who was my master; and a fine dance he led them, in and out, and over chairs and tables, like hounds after a hare: I certainly saw fine sport now. Comparative peace being restored, a large pan of almonds and raisins was put upon the deal table, the candles were put away, a screen