« AnteriorContinuar »
nations must find their sons and daughters beneath the roof-tree of the poor and oppressed. Childless art thou, Barbara; yet the maidens of Saxony, through yet uncounted ages, shall call thee mother.”
“Come with me, sweet wife, and I will show thee a new wonder in the mines,” said the good Herr Uttmann one summer's morning.
So Barbara went forth with her husband, and he led her to the yawning mouth of a dark cavern in the mountains. Carefully infolding her in a thick cloak to protect her from the jagged points of the rocks, he took her in his arms, and bore her, like a child, into the cavern; and at length, setting her feet upon a broad ledge of rock, lifted the cloak from her face, and bade her look upon the scene before her.
It was a gallery in the mine, which, years before, had been closed up and forgotten. The workmen, in digging an air-shaft, had struck into the disused chamber. During the years it had been closed, the spiders had taken possession of its walls, and their webs, spun over and over again for half a century, had produced a tapestry richer in design, and more airy in fabric, than ever came from the looms of Ispahan. Barbara stood entranced before the strange spectacle ; but while she gazed, dim and vague recollections came thronging upon her mind. At length all was clear to her. In the webs which adorned the walls of the mine she recognized the beautiful drapery which had vailed the face of her dream-visitant, and had linked together the band of dream-children, in former years. A cry of wild surprise broke from her lips, and from that moment she felt that there was a mysterious connection between her fate and this haunted chamber of the mine.
They who look with most pleasure on a finished work are oft-times most easily wearied with tracing the slow footsteps of the patient laborer. By an unwearied toil, Barbara made herself acquainted with the new manufacture, which offered to her prophetic spirit a means of livelihood to the feebler portion of the poor. Going on from one improvement and invention to another, she finally established the weaving of lace as the especial employment of the women of Saxony. Thousands of maidens have found their sole support in this employment; and for nearly three hundred years the name of Barbara Uttman has been revered as the “mother” of many daughters, and the benefactress of the women of more than one nation in Europe.
Mrs. E. C. Embury.
SONG FOR THE RAGGED SCHOOLS IN LONDON.
But these others, - children small,
Spilt like blots about the city,
Take them up into your pity :
Whom the angels in white raiment
Huddled up out of the coldness
footman chides their boldness.
Begging, lying little rebels;
Struggling on with piteous trebles.
Makes a young child patient, — ponder!
After right or wish or wonder.
And old foreheads! there are many
Gambling with a stolen penny.
Sickly children, that whine low
To themselves, and not their mothers, From mere habit, — never so
Hoping help or care from others. Healthy children, with those blue
English eyes, fresh from their Maker, Fierce and ravenous, staring through
At the brown loaves of the baker.
Can we smooth down the bright hair,
O my sisters! calm, unthrilled in Our hearts' pulses? Can we bear
The sweet looks of our own children While those others, lean and small,
Scurf and mildew of the city, Spot our streets, convict us all
Till we take them into pity ?
“ All these mouths we can not feed,
And we can not clothe these bodies." Well, if man's so hard indeed,
Let them learn at least what God is ! Little outcasts from life's fold,
The grave's hope they may be joined in, By Christ's covenant consoled
For our social compact's grinding.
If no better can be done,
Let us do but this, — endeavor That the sun behind the sun
Shine upon them while they shiver ! On the dismal London flags,
Through the cruel social juggle, Put a thought beneath their rags
To ennoble the heart's struggle.
O my sisters! not so much
Are we asked for; not a blossom From our children's nosegay, such
As we gave it from our bosom ; Not the milk left in their
cup; Not the lamp while they are sleeping; Not the little cloak hung up
While the coat's in daily keeping, But a place in ragged-schools,
Where the outcasts may, to-morrow, Learn, by gentle words and rules,
Just the uses of their sorrow. O my sisters! children small,
Blue-eyed, wailing through the city ; Our own babes
in them all : Let us take them into pity!
E. B. Browning.