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He ate and drank like a famished wolf and then lay down to rest,
And the camp perchance had a stiller feast for its strange Christmas guest.
But ere ever the morning dawned again, the captain touched his hand :
"Here is a horse and some meat and bread; fly to the Rio Grande !
Fly for your life! We follow hard, touch nothing on your way—
Your life was only spared because 'twas Jesus Christ's birthday."
He watched him ride as the falcon flies, then turned to the breaking day;
The men awoke, the Christmas berries were quietly cast away;
And, full of thought, they saddled again and rode off into the West
May God be merciful to them, as they were to their
MEASURING THE BABY.
WE measured the riotous baby
Against the cottage wall-
A lily grew on the threshold,
And the boy was just as tall;
A royal tiger-lily,
With spots of purple and gold, And a heart like a jeweled chalice, The fragrant dew to hold.
Without, the bluebirds whistled
High up in the old roof-trees, And to and fro at the window
The red rose rocked her bees; And the wee pink fists of the baby Were never a moment still, Snatching at shine and shadow
That danced on the lattice sill.
His eyes were wide as bluebells
His mouth like a flower unblown-
Two little bare feet, like funny white mice,
Peeped out from his snowy gown;
And we thought, with a thrill of rapture
That yet had a touch of pain,
When June rolls around with her roses,
We'll measure the boy again.
Ah me in a darkened chamber,
With the sunshine shut away,
Through tears that fell like a bitter rain,
We measured the boy to-day;
And the little bare feet, that were dimpled
And sweet as a budding rose,
Lay side by side together,
In the hush of a long repose!
Up from the dainty pillow,
White as the risen dawn,
The fair little face lay smiling,
With the light of heaven thereon;
And the dear little hands, like rose-leaves
Dropped from a rose, lay still,
Never to snatch at the sunshine
That crept to the shrouded sill!
We measured the sleeping baby
With ribbons white as snow,
For the shining rosewood casket
That waited him below;
And out of the darkened chamber
We went with a childless moan-
To the height of the sinless angels
Our little one had grown.
CHRIST, THE GLEANER.
IN a vision of the night
Looked I upon fields of light,
Spreading broad beneath the moon,
Fair as though the night were noon.
Moonlight fell on golden sheaves,
Woven as the reaper weaves;
Bounteous harvest gathered there
Hath repaid the Master's care.
All His toilers soundly sleep,
One alone doth vigil keep ;
Who is this that cometh last
Where the reaper's feet have passed?
One who walketh grave and slow,
Going as the gleaners go,
Stooping oft full tenderly,
That no grain escape His eye;
Gathering in secluded spot
What the gleaners have forgot;
In His mantle deep and wide
Many a broken stalk doth hide. ·
Ere the morning shall arise,
Christ, the Gleaner, with His prize
Maketh goodly sheaf and crown
Out of what was trodden down.
Bruised and broken, held unsound,
Left to rot upon the ground-
E'en the wisest gleaner saw
Nothing there but worthless straw.
Only He with eyes of light
Pierced beyond our mortal sight;
In the sullied husk He knew
Living grain was hid from view.
Lo! it is the darkest hour,
Stars have set and clouds do lower;
Christ, the Gleaner, gleaneth still,
Casting radiance where He will.
When the sun shall flood the land,
And the golden sheaves shall stand,
Ripened for the Harvest Home,
Waiting till the Master come :
Riper, fuller, none than they
Trodden once into the clay;
Gleaned from dust by hand Divine,
In eternal light they shine.
Grandma sat in her old arm-chair,
Our baby on her knee;
Three-score-and-ten were grandma's years,
Sweet Baby Bell's were three.