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Sad looked the Asphodel, and from her breast
She heaved low sighs that like a dirge soft spread
In music round : “ Methinks it were more blest
In waxen hand to lie, and perfume shed
Around the form of the beloved dead.
What fate more meet than by sweet-scented sighs
With weeping mourners' heart to sympathize ?”
Next rose the Daisy, in her pink-fringed gown :
“I wish," she lisped,“ to be the children's flower."
On hearing this the Rose looked scornful down,
And made reply: “Oh, well, you have no dower
Of scent or beauty to adorn the bower."
“I know,” said the Pearl, while she on Kingcup

leant, “ That simple joys give simple hearts content." " And I," chimed in the blue Forget-me-not, “ The pledge would be 'twixt parted friend and

friend.” The Poppy woke and shook her drowsy head : “ I'd bear to pain the seeds of sleep,” she said. With lips dew kissed, now spake the Lily maid Sweet words that fell like snowflakes on the air :

My wish would be to spring 'neath cloister shade,
And soon be placed by nun, with skilful care,
In shrine at Mary's feet, to linger there."
Then cried the flowers, as round their queen they

pressed :
“O Vestal Lily, thou hast chosen best !"

THE GRAY SWAN.

“Oh, tell me, sailor, tell me true, Is my little lad, my Elihu,

A-sailing with your ship ?”
The sailor's eyes were dim with dew,-
Your little lad, your Elihu ?”

He said with trembling lip,-
“What little lad? what ship?”

66 What little lad! As if there could be Another such a one as he !

What little lad, do you say ?
Why, Elihu, that took to the sea
The moment I put him off my knee !

It was just the other day
The Gray Swan sailed away.”

- The other day?” The sailor's eyes Stood open with a great surprise,

“ The other day? the Swan ?
His heart began in his throat to rise.
Ay, ay, sir, here in the cupboard lies

The jacket he had on.”
“ And so your lad is gone?

“But, my good mother, do you know All this was twenty years ago ?

I stood on the Gray Swan's deck,

And to that lad I saw you throw,
Taking it off, as it might be, so,

The kerchief from your neck.”
Ay, and he'll bring it back!”

“ And did the little lawless lad, That has made you sick and made you sad,

Sail with the Gray Swan's crew ?” “ Lawless! The man is going mad ! The best boy ever mother had,

Be sure he sailed with the crew !
What would you have him do ?”

“ And he has never written line,
Nor sent you word, nor made you sign
To
say

he was alive?" “ Hold ! if 'twas wrong, the wrong is mine; Besides, he may be in the brine,

And could he write from the grave ?
Tut, man, what would you have?”

“Gone twenty years—a long, long cruise; 'Twas wicked thus your love to abuse;

But if the lad still live,
And come back home, think you you can
Forgive him?”—“Miserable man,

You're mad as the sea, -you rave, –
What have I to forgive ?”

The sailor twitched his shirt so blue,
And from within his bosom drew

The kerchief. She was wild.
“My God ! my Father! is it true-
My little lad, my Elihu ?

My blessed boy, my child!
My dead,-my living child !”

Alice Cary.

A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when alı through

the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced through their

heads;

And mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang

from

my

bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon, on the breast of the new-failen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled and shouted and called them by

name:

now,

Now, Dasher! now, Dancer ! Prancer and

Vixen ! On, Comet ! on, Cupid ! on, Donder and Blitzen' To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all !”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the

sky,
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too;
And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound;

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