With easy grace for one deceased,
Upreared her head,
Looked round, and said,
Very distinctly for one so dead:
“The nights are sharp, and the sheets are thin:
I find it uncommonly cold herein!”
I answer not how this was wrought:
All miracles surpass my thought.
They’re vexing, say you? and dementing?
Peace, peace! they’re none of my inventing.
But lest too much of mystery
Embarrass this true history,
I’ll not relate how that this goat
Stood up and stamped her feet, to inform’em
With—what’s the word?—I mean, to warm’em;
Nor how she plucked her rough capote
From off the pegs where Bruin threw it,
And o’er her quaking body drew it;
Nor how each act could so befall:
I’ll only swear she did them all;
Then lingered pensive in the grot,
As if she something had forgot,
Till a humble voice and a voice of pride
Were heard, in murmurs of love, outside.
Then, like a rocket set aflight,
She sprang, and streaked it for the light!
Ten million million years and a day
Have rolled, since these events, away;
But still the peasant at fall of night,
Belated therenear, is oft affright
By sounds of a phantom bear in flight;
A breaking of branches under the hill;
The noise of a going when all is still!
And hens asleep on the perch, they say,
Cackle sometimes in a startled way,
As if they were dreaming a dream that mocks
The lope and whiz of a fleeting fox!
Half we’re taught, and teach to
And praise by rote,
Is not, but merely stands for, truth.
So of my goat:
She’s merely designed to represent
The truth—“immortal” to this extent:
Dead she may be, and skinned—frappe—
Hid in a dreadful den away;
Prey to the Churches—(any will do,
Except the Church of me and you.)
The simplest miracle, even then,
Will get her up and about again.
CONVERTING A PRODIGAL.
Little Johnny was a saving youth—one who from early infancy had cultivated a provident habit. When other little boys were wasting their substance in riotous gingerbread and molasses candy, investing in missionary enterprises which paid no dividends, subscribing to the North Labrador Orphan Fund, and sending capital out of the country gene rally, Johnny would be sticking sixpences into the chimney-pot of a big tin house with “BANK” painted on it in red letters above an illusory door. Or he would put out odd pennies at appalling rates of interest, with his parents, and bank the income. He was never weary of dropping coppers into that insatiable chimney-pot, and leaving them there. In this latter respect he differed notably from his elder brother, Charlie; for, although Charles was fond of banking too, he was addicted to such frequent runs upon the institution with a hatchet, that it kept his parents honourably poor to purchase banks for him; so they were reluctantly compelled to discourage the depositing element in his panicky nature.