With a father’s blessing upon his children, he suffered them to be taken away; and as the loud huzza went up from the deck of the steamer, he saw his little one gazing back upon him, from amidst the waving banners, with a look which sank into his heart; her gentle words were still sounding in his ear, and it would seem as if that voice of childhood was of riper years. Her words were never forgotten. Over the spirit of the child there came that which she had never known before; ah! gentle one, it is but the first drop of bitterness which must be mingled with the sweets in every life. May the All-Father keep thy feet from hidden thorns, strewing thy pathway only with the sweet flowers of innocence! He had gone; and the heart of the Sea-flower echoed,—“he has gone;” the very breeze which wafted him from home sighed “gone.” Is there a heart which never knew the tone?
“I hear the tread of pioneers,
Of nations yet to be;
The first low wash of waves, where soon
Shall roll a human sea.”
“Far on the prairies of the West,
A lovely floweret grows;
With glowing pen, each traveller oft
Describes the Prairie Rose.
“For ages there alone it grew,
The prairie’s gem and pride;
But now the Rose of Sharon fair
Is blooming at its side.”
Mrs. J.H. Hanaford.
“Och, sure, mem, and it’s meself that’s afther a thinking that we shall be raching good ould Ireland, from the ither side of this great Ameriky, if we kape on.”
“Have patience, Biddy, we shall be there to-morrow at this time; there is nothing like keeping up good courage.”
“Cabbage! mem, and it’s meself has not seen a hapurth of a cabbage since we stopped the last time, to get a bit to sustain hunger, sure; I think mem, they must have rolled off, when the kitchen mirror and gridiron dhraped down,” said Biddy, desirous to atone in some way for the disappearance of sundry heads of cabbage, which she had found means of disposing of, even in its unprepared state, while buried among washtubs, cheese-presses, and churns.
“Bad luck to the likes of it, indade!” and she caught at a small dining-table just in time to set it upon its legs again.
“I don’t wonder Biddy complains, mother; it’s enough to weary the patience of Job, riding so slowly over these dismal prairies; it would really do my eyes good to get sight of a hill, or any thing to break this continual sameness. What can father be thinking of, to take us to such a lonely, out of the way place? Never mind, Biddy, we shall have the pleasure of seeing where the sun goes to.”
Thus spake the occupants of a long, covered wagon, moving westward, drawn by four stout oxen, with as many horses and cows following in the rear.