Oh, the Friday evening meetings, how the ransomed
Of their weary toils and trials ere they reached the blessed fold;
How we trembled when the Deacon, with a saintly relish, spoke
Of the fiery place of torment till we seemed to smell the smoke;
And we all joined in “Old Hundred” till the rafters seemed to ring
When the preacher said, “Now, brethren: Hallelujah! Let us sing.”
Oh, the Friday evening meetings, and the waiting ’round
’Neath the lamplight, at the portal, just to see when she came out,
And the whispered, anxious question, and the faintly murmured “Yes,”
And the soft hand on your coat-sleeve, and the perfumed, rustling dress,—
Oh, the Paradise of Heaven somehow seemed to show its worth
When you walked home with an angel through a Paradise on earth.
Oh, the Friday evening meetings, and the happy homeward
While the moonlight softly mingled with the love-light in your soul;
Then the lingering ’neath the lattice where the roses hung above,
And the “good-night” kiss at parting, and the whispered word of love,—
Ah, they lighted Life’s dark highway with a sweet and sacred glow
From the Friday evening meetings in the vestry, long ago.
* * * * *
Little foot, whose lightest pat
Seems to glorify the mat,
Waving hair and picture hat,
Grace the nymphs have taught her;
Gown the pink of fit and style,
Lips that ravish when they smile,—
Like a vision, down the aisle
Comes the parson’s daughter.
As she passes, like a dart
To each luckless fellow’s heart
Leaps a throbbing thrill and smart,
When his eye has sought her;
Tries he then his sight to bless
With one glimpse of face or tress—
Does she know it?—well, I guess!
Parson’s pretty daughter.
Leans she now upon her glove
Cheeks whose dimples tempt to love,
And, with saintly look above,
Hears her “Pa” exhort her;
But, within those upturned eyes,
Fair as sunny summer skies,
Just a hint of mischief lies,—
Parson’s roguish daughter.
From their azure depths askance,
When the hymn-book gave the chance,
Did I get one laughing glance?
I was sure I caught her.
Are her thoughts so far amiss
As to stray, like mine, to bliss?
For, last night, I stole a kiss
From the parson’s daughter.
* * * * *
[Illustration: man feeding horse]
When the farm work’s done, at the set of sun,
And the supper’s cleared away,
And Ma, she sits on the porch and knits,
And Dad, he puffs his clay;
Then out I go ter the barn, yer know,
With never a word ner sign,
In the twilight dim I harness him—
That old gray nag of mine.