Our souls will be caught in the waters
That are hurled at the storm cape’s face;
Our pleasures and joys, our hopes and fears,
Will join in the maddening race.
Our prayers, desires, our penitent griefs,
Our longings and passionate pain,
Be dashed to spray on the stormy cape
And fly in our faces like rain.
But there’s always hope for the
There is ever a passage through;
No life goes down at the cape of storms,
If the life and the heart lie true.
If in purpose the soul is steadfast,
If faithful in mind and in will,
The boat will glide to the other side,
Where the ocean of life is still.
[Illustration: “It was a Fair Scene of Tranquillity.”]
Near to nature’s heart.
It seems but yesterday, although more than a half century ago, that I, a puny boy, stood on the hilltop and looked for the first time upon this, the earliest home of which I have any vivid recollection. It was a fair scene of rustic tranquillity, where a contented mind might delight to spend a lifetime mid hum of bees and low of kine.
Along the eastern horizon’s rim loomed the blue sea beyond the sandy dunes of old Plum Island; the lazy river born in babbling brooks and bubbling springs flowing languidly mid wooded islands, and picturesque stacks of salt hay, representing the arduous toil of farmers and dry-as-dust fodder for reluctant cows. Nearer, the two church spires of the little village, striving to lift the sordid minds of the natives from earthly clods to the clouds, and where beckoning hands strove vainly to inspire them with heavenly hopes; around them, glistening in the sunlight, the marble slabs where sleep the rude forefathers of the hamlet, some mute inglorious Miltons who came from England in the early sixties, whose tombstones are pierced by rifle bullets fired at the maraudering red skins. These are the cities of the dead, far more populous than the town of the living.
Nearer, the willowy brook that turns the mill; to the south the dense pine woods, peopled in our imaginations, with fairy elves, owls, and hobgoblins—now, alas, owing to the rapacity of the sawmills, naught but a howling wilderness of stumps and underbrush.
Directly below me, stands our half-century old house with its eaves sloping to the ground, down which generations of boys had ruined their pants in hilarious coasting; near by, the ancient well-swipe, and the old oaken bucket which rose from the well; beyond this, of course, as usual, the piggery and hennery to contaminate the water and breed typhoid fever, and in the house cellar, the usual dampness from the hillside to supply us all with rheumatism and chills.