And yet I would not. I would rather stay
And talk with these green woods,—for woods can talk.
Didst ever hear their voice? In spring they speak
Of early love and youth, and ardent hope;
In summer, of the noon of wedded life,
All buds and blossoms and sweet-smelling flowers;
In autumn, of domestic bliss with all its fund
Of ripe enjoyments, and then winter hears
The leafless trees sing mysterious hymns,
And point their long lean arms to homes above.
Yes, the old woods talk, and I might hold
A sweet communion here with them to-night.
Farewell to Night; farewell these thoughts of mine,
For day hath come.
NOT DEAD, BUT CHANGED.
I sat and mused o’er
all the years gone by;
Of friends departed, and of others going;
And dwelt upon their memories with a sigh,
Till floods of tears, their hidden springs o’erflowing,
Betrayed my grief. Soon, a bright light above me,
Voices saying, “We’re near thee yet to love thee,”
Dispelled my tears. I raised my drooping head,
And asked, “Who, who,—the dead?”
When the angelic lost around me ranged
Whispered within my ear, “Not dead, but changed.”
My next door neighbor’s name was Jotham Jenks. This was all I knew about him, until the circumstance I am about to tell you occurred.
One evening I had seated myself by my fire, and had taken up an evening paper with which to occupy my time, until an acquaintance of mine, who I momentarily expected, should arrive. It was December,—cold, blustering, and by no means an agreeable time to be out of doors, or away from a good fire. Such being the state of affairs, as far as weather was concerned, I began to think I should not see my friend that night, when a smart rap upon the outer door, half a dozen times repeated, prevented me from further speculation.
Why did n’t he ring?-there was a bell. It must have been a stranger, else he would have used it.
Presently a servant came with the information that a stranger was at the door with a carriage, and wished my immediate presence.
“Request him to walk in,” said I.
“He cannot wait a moment,” answered the servant;—“he wishes you to put on your hat and coat, and go with him.”
“He did not say.”
This was a strange interruption,—strange that a man, a stranger, in fact, should call for me to go out with him on such a night; but I mustered courage, and went out to meet him. I don’t know what induced me so readily to grant his request; but out I went, hatted, coated and booted. As I approached, I heard the falling of steps, and the voice of the coachman requesting me to hurry. Reaching the carriage, I looked in and beheld Jotham Jenks. In I jumped, and before I was seated the carriage was moving.