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T is the glory of poesy and of song that it belongs
then the leading paper of the State. The untimely death of one so near and doubly dear to her heart was a prostrating blow to the sister, but the Christian faith which has ever been her chiefest joy in life sustained her in her sorrow, and, after a season of mourning, she took up her pen again to pour out her soul in song. In September, 1863, Miss Mary Harris was united in marriage to Horace Ware, then one of the iron kings of the South. In 1883 she, with her husband, removed to their present elegant home in the city of Birmingham, where, surrounded by all that wealth and art can contrive to make life pleasant, she spends her time in study and work, finding in both an avocation at once felicitious and congenial. In July, 1890, Mrs. Ware was again called to mourn, this time, the death of her husband.
B. F. S.
WHEN NATURE WREATHED HER ROSY
WHEN Nature wreathed her rosy bowers, And sunlight danced amid the flowers, Young Love, in gaudy hues arrayed, Within a fairy bower strayed.
lines confine its powers, but wherever the sun shines, winds sigh, brooklets murmur or birds sing, its spirit floats free on the blessed air of heaven and its votaries find a shrine. It matters not to us, then, where or when a poet was born. North, South, East or West, the children of song are kindred all. Had Mary Harris found a home for her happy childhood among the pleasant fields of New England instead of the wild, rugged and yet charmingly beautiful hills of Tennessee, she would have been no more, no less the favored daughter of the muse than she is. We may not deny that the wild woodland beauty that hedged in her happy girlhood, the deep blue skies above, the musical ripple of streams and the songs of birds contributed much to the happy expansion of the inborn powers, and when, later on, the Tennessee home was exchanged for the no less wild and romantic home in Alabama, the same conditions of outward loveliness, of peace and gladness, surrounded her. It was there, in that sylvan home, myself then an awkward boy, I first met her, with her gifted brother, Edmund K. Harris. Of him, her twin brother of genius, it is essential to speak. While living, he was her brother, friend, counsellor and guide. When he died, alas! so young, it is no weird stretch of the fancy to say that his mantle fell upon her. A sketch, then, of Mrs. Ware's life would be but half complete without a corollary sketch of his. Brother and sister, they were the children of George and Matilda Roper Harris. Their father was a successful lawyer living in Madisonville, Monroe county, Tenn., where three children were born to him, Mary, Edmund K. and Bruce. In 1844 their father, retiring from the practice of law, removed to Shelby county, Alabama, where the literary life of the brother and sister began. The gentle sister sat and worshiped at her brother's feet, exulting in his flight, but almost fearing to essay a trial of her own wing. At length, longing for a close companionship in achievements as well as in taste, and encouraged by his brotherly assurance, she mustered up the courage to make the venture, resulting in a bright little poem entitled “When Nature Wreathed Her Rosy Bowers." Happily assured by the success of this, her maiden effort, she plumed her wing for still loftier flights. In 1857 her brother established the Shelby Chronicle, in Columbiana, Ala., which he conducted with signal success and ability until he sold it to take a place on the editorial staff of the Mobile Tribune,
A maiden there, with long, fair hair,
A tear-drop in her eye of blue,
He kissed the pearly tear so bright,
THE BROOK'S WEDDING.
A BRIGHT little brook went dancing by, With many a glance at the soft blue sky,
And saying as plain as words could tell: “ Come to my forest home and dwell!
“ Come from the din of noise and strife,
Come from the busy haunts of life, Come where the sky is bright and blue, Come where simple hearts are true!"
EDMUND K. HARRIS.
We hailed the new-born flowers of spring
With joy, like they were human; The pure white lily of the vale,
Seemed typical of woman.
The daisies and the violets
Were pretty baby faces, That always looked up lovingly,
From out their hiding places.
And every bird that winged the air,
Was sacred in our sight, Like gleams of joy they fitted by,
Or sang for our delight.
Our hearts were full of love and truth,
We never doubted others; We saw no blight on Eden's bloom,
We counted all men brothers.
Ware, was born in Monroe county, Tenn., February 16, 1830. The earliest years of this gifted writer were spent amid his native mountains, breathing Nature's omnipotence in the strength of her hills. Thoughtful, studious, literary, diligent in his research for wisdom, his tastes for books and storied authors were the consummation of a father's hopes, whose mind was a reflection of his own. In 1844, removing with his father's family to Shelby county, Ala., he was placed under the tutelage of an eminent foreign-born English scholar, where he made rapid progress, subsequently assuming control of the Shelby Chronicle. Here his ability and accomplishments were so displayed that in 1857, when one of the editors of the Mobile Tribune was summering in the vicinity, he induced Mr. Harris to return with him to become a member of the editorial staff of the Tribune. Mobile was then prosperous, influential, the flower of Alabama cities, and was indeed to the entire South what Venice was to Mediterranean Europe in the fifteenth century.
Mr. Harris died April 16, 1859, when his adopted city was gladdened by the garlands and bloom of a tropic spring. His finely wrought nature was spared the soul-harrowing scenes of the Civil War, and at his death rare tributes were prompted to his memory from the illustrious in the world of letters over the South.
B. F. K.
And much we wondered life could wear,
For some the garb of sadness; We only saw the bright and good,
That clothed our souls with gladness.
And pity 'tis, that hearts should learn,
Such trusting hearts as ours, That sin and sorrow left their blight
Upon earth's fairest flowers.
He never knew the wrong and ruth,
That shadow's all life's gladness, His heart was full of light and truth,
But mine has learned its sadness.
And from that life whose beauty seems
Sometimes a part of ours,
Amid earth's fairest flowers.
Come, beautiful June!
The sweet minstrel throng; Oh, gladden our land
With beauty and song! Thy skies are the brightest, Thy breezes the lightest, Thy song bird the sweetest,
And gayest of tune, And thy roses are fairest,
o, beautiful June!
O life! so dark, so bright, so evanescent,
My heart grows sometimes weary of thy thrall. Then I would burst these bonds of toil incessant,
Thy sin to flee, thy joy, thy sorrow—all! Yes, my tired spirit, faint and sorrow-laden,
Would fly away to some sweet isle of rest, There safe to lie, and, like a low-voiced maiden,
Beguile its woe away on Nature's breast. In the dim forest I have roved at even,
And, pensive, listened to the birds' sweet lay; And I have dreamed of a far home in heaven,
Till almost I forgot that I was clay.
Would soothe to rest the throbbings of my heart, But iron fetter's galling chains have bound me,
Whose stubborn links in time will never part. O Freedom! blessed spirit, grand and holy,
Thou hast no dwelling underneath the sky, For men are bondsmen, weak, and vile, and lowly,
Born unto suffering, doomed to toil and die.