Once on a time, from scenes
An angel winged his airy flight;
Down to this earth in haste he came,
And wrote, in lines of living flame,
These words on everything he met,—
“Cheer up, be not discouraged yet!”
Then back to heaven with speed he flew,
Attuned his golden harp anew;
Whilst the angelic throng came round
To catch the soul-inspiring sound;
And heaven was filled with new delight,
For hope had been to earth that night.
CHILD AND SIRE.
“Know you what
I asked a little child,
Who seemed too young to sorrow know,
So beautiful and mild.
It raised its tiny, blue-veined hand,
And to a church-yard near
It pointed, whilst from glistening eye
Came forth the silent tear.
“Yes, for yonder, in
Is my father lying;
And these words he spake to me
While he yet was dying:
“’Mary, when the sod lies o’er me
And an orphan child thou art,—
When companions ask thy story,
Say intemperance aimed the dart.
When the gay the wine-cup circle,
Praise the nectar that doth shine,
When they’d taste, then tell thy story,
And to earth they’ll dash the wine.’
“And there my dear-loved mother lies,—
What bitter tears I’ve shed
Over her grave!-I cannot think
That she is really dead.
And when the spring in beauty blooms,
At morning’s earliest hour
I hasten there, and o’er her grave
I plant the little flower.
“And patiently I watch to see
It rise from out the earth,
To see it from its little grave
Spring to a fairer birth.
For mother said that thus would she,
And father, too, and I,
Arise from out our graves to meet
In mansions in the sky.
“O, what intemperance is, there’s none
On earth can better tell.
Intemperance me an orphan made,
In this wide world to dwell;
Intemperance broke my mother’s heart,
It took my father’s life,
And makes the days of man below
With countless sorrows rife.”
“Know you what intemperance is?”
I asked a trembling sire,
Whose lamp of life burned dim, and seemed
As though ’twould soon expire.
He raised his bowd head, and then
Methought a tear did start,
As though the question I had put
Had reached his very heart.
He raised his head, but ’t was to bow
It down again and sigh;
Methought that old man’s hour had come
In which he was to die.