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MARY K. BUCK.
But at night when so softly they're sleeping,
Cuddled down in each snug little bed, With busy hands safe from all mischief
And quiet each restless young head, And a look of such peace on their features,
As if never a tear they had shed;
As I gaze on their dear rosy faces,
So sweet in their innocent sleep,
Nor thought of their naughtiness keep; For my heart overflows in the silence
With love that is tender and deep.
How small seem the trifles that vexed me!
How could they have power to annoy! And gently I fold the worn garments
And pick up each battered old toy, While I think of the homes where no children
Repay ev'ry care with a joy
RS. MARY K. BUCK, of Traverse City,
Mich., is a daughter of Bohemia, in the literal and not the figurative sense of the word, though the latter might still be very appropriate. But the land of the rugged mountain ranges of the Erzberg and the romantic depths of the Bohmer Wald were very early exchanged for the evergreen pine forests of Northern Michigan and the sparkling blue waters of Grand Traverse bay. So, although not native and to the manor born, this portion of America's “bonnie northland” is proud to claim her as its own. She is still on the sunny side of life's meridian, and personally is a most charming little lady, with a quaint, sweet originality of her own that wins her everywhere hosts of warm friends and admirers. A devoted mother, a shrewd business woman doing good work daily in her husband's office, a model housekeeper, it can easily be seen that she has not much time to woo the muses. Had she more leisure and less of the active duties of life, the world would know more of her. As it is, her literary work makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. Her graceful verse is very often found among the fugitive poems that have been so often copied as to have lost name and identity, and are bound up in many compilations of choice poetry. Originally, she has written for St. Nicholas and other leading periodicals, but mainly for prominent newspapers, the Congregationalist, Advance, InterOcean, Portland Transcript, Detroit Free Press and Good Housekeeping being among the number. As a prose writer, she has written many bright short stories for leading periodicals, and is at present at work upon a book, of which more will be known later on. If the past forecast the future, Mrs. Buck has a brilliant one before her.
E. L. B.
Sad homes, where their merry young voices
No longer the glad echoes start, To fall, like the sweetest of music,
On a mother's lone, aching heart, Whose dear ones too soundly are sleeping
From her sheltering arms apart.
And often too hastily chide,
Nor wait for the darkness to hide The love welling up from the heart-spring
When kneeling your darlings' beside. Let us give of our best in the daytime;
Let mother-love brighten and bless The pathway the dear ones must travel;
Too soon will life's burdens oppress; Let theirs be the joy to remember
Mother's smile and the tender caress.
WILLIAM F. McNAMARA.
And pleasant it is when summer noons
On the hills lie fast asleep, With green leaves whispering their tremulous
runes, And the warm air full of sounds, the tunes,
Mayhap, of fays who keep
'Tis said by the old folk everywhere
Themselves from mortal sight; And days like these are so wondrous fair That they float aloft in enchanted air,
Nor wait for the secret night.
The cardinal lists its fire-plumed head
By the lisping streamlet's side, When the earlier days of the summer are fled, And the scattered petals of roses red
Lie low in their perfumed pride.
ILLIAM FRANKLIN MCNAMARA, pen
name Harry Hazleton, was born in Camden, Maine, December ist, 1855, the first of eleven children, seven boys and four girls, all living, and a family, too, of natural refinement, with intellects above the average. The father of this large family, a hard-working, honest man, who has for some years been laid away at rest, was born on the island of Achill, in Clew Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. At the age of twenty he came to America. Ten years later attracted to Camden, the charming sea-port of the Penobscot, having a natural love for the beautiful, he fell in love with the town, and also with Miss Martha Wellman Allenwood, a sterling young woman of rare Christian grace, whose ancestors figured in the annals of the pioneer history of Maine, resulting in a happy marriage.
The early life of William McNamara ran quiet as the brooks by which he sported.” It was his intention early in life, an intention which may yet reach fruition, to take the profession of medicine, but the way was not opened; one of a large family of children, his help was needed on the farm. An accident happened to him at the age of twenty by which his back was injured from a fall on the ice. He slowly regained his strength, but not wholly, so that a few years ago, deeming it advisable for his health, he sought out a pleasant home among the fruitful farms of the Aroostook, in the northern part of the State, where he has since married and is living with his devoted wife. The accident of the fall on the ice, though apparently a loss to him, was a blessing in disguise. It led his mind to a world of thought and fancy, and during the years that he was unable to do manual labor he wrote many sweet and sad, but hopeful songs. During the past ten years he has written more extensively on various subjects for different publications.
W. W. P.
The locust whirs in the oak's tall crest,
The night mists earlier fall; Then the provident squirrel fills his nest, And the rabbit doffs his summer vest,
And winds through the bare trees call.
I KNOW a nook, a sunny nook,
That hides in a dark old wood, Where fern fronds saucily nod to the brook, And the rabbit pauses with timid look,
And strut the partridge's brood.
Then he pursed up his lips and a whistle came out That brought down the North Wind with rollick
ing rout; And the trees heard with fear his mad laughter and
shout, And bent their heads low as he passed them. Right onward he rushed in most terrible glee, Till, unsatisfied still with his maudlin spree, Chimneys, steeples and gables in his arms gathered
he, And down to the earth rudely cast them.
And I love it well when violets wake;
For the merry thrushes then Their rarest notes in the soft air shake, And the swelling buds into leafage break,
When the violets wake again.
In his bed the good man turned uneasily o'er, While his wife, sore affrighted, concluding her
WILLIAM EDWARD VASSER.
First prayed, and then scolded, and then prayed W"
To all the known saints for protection. All, roused from their slumbers, in fear looking
forth, Exclaimed: "'Tis the wicked Old Man from the
With the North Wind at his mad direction.”
The droll little man, when the North Wind grew
still, Blew a breath that froze hard every babbling rill, And fastened the wheel of the old village mill
Which for months had been merrily turning; Then he chuckled and said: “This will do for
to-night; What a lark there will be when each sluggardly
wight, With staring eyes greets the old town's sorry plight
And groans, each mad caper discerning!”
Ere morn, like a youth with cheeks rosy and red,
O'er the rim in the faint starlight glancing,
passed A queer little man, with a voice like the blast, And a reindeer team dashing so gaily and fast
Away through the night gaily prancing.
ILLIAM EDWARD VASSER is thirty-seven
years of age, having been born in 1855 in the quiet, highly respectable little town of Athens, Ala. Reared in an elegant, refined home, and possessing instinctive culture of mind, Mr. Vasser is a type of the free-hearted, honorable, southern gentleman. Aside from the refining influences of the home, and his early fondness for wholesome reading, his school advantages were the very best, his parents placing him, in 1870 at the age of fifteen in the Virginia Military Institute, where he remained for four years. Thence he went to the University of Virginia and matriculated for the session of 1874-75. Returning to his native town he spent the next few years in reading, occasionally scribbling verse and indulging in social ease which a competency enabled him to enjoy. The summer of 1878 was spent in Paris. During this short residence abroad his keen observation served to enrich his mind with much of useful and pleasurable knowledge. In 1881-82 he edited the Alabama Courier. In 1883 he left the office and undertook to farm, but, finding the employment uncongenial, or unprofitable, abandoned it after one year and embarked in a bookstore enterprise in Athens which he conducted for two years. In the fall of 1885 he was elected by the Democratic party to the Lower House of the Alabama Legislature, where he made an able and acceptable representative. Though a new member he was at once selected as chairman of the Committee on Education, an especially important committee at that time, the Blair Bill for National Aid to Education being a prominent measure before the various Legislatures of the country. Although a zealous advocate of the education of the masses, believing that a Republic can only safely rest on an enlightened suffrage, yet his political faith led him to oppose the proposed national scheme as threatening the autonomy of the States. He, however, favored as large state appropriations for educational purposes as the people were able to bear, and vigorously defended the Normal Schools, against much opposition. As an earnest of their appreciation of his faithfulness and capacity as a representative, he was strongly urged by his friends to announce himself as a candidate for the State Senate for the ensuing term, but he persistantly refused to come forward, having no inclination to enter political life.
Mr. Vasser's poetical work has not been great in amount, he having never devoted himself assiduously to poetry, which has been a past-time with him rather than an occupation. Only one volume
ABOVE the drowsy hum of bees,
That rove amid the garden's bloom, A clear, young voice comes on the breeze,
As glad and sweet as if no gloom Hung o'er the dreary world to-day; And listening to the quaint old lay,
A melody my childhood knew, I half forget that I am gray,
And softly hum the measures through.
Oh! it does seem so long since then,
When, like this artless boy I sang! And three-score cannot sing as ten;
For silver bells which sweetly sang For joyous youth are silent now; So if I sink, it must be low;
But oh, how gladly would I fing Aside the spoil of years, to go
And with this careless urchin sing!