« AnteriorContinuar »
He lifts the child, while the other is cuddled away from sight,
And springs down the stair where the flamehounds snarl after their prey in its flight.
On, on, through the fire that leaps round him as a swimmer breasts the wave,
Scorched, and blind, and breathless, to find escape or a grave!
On through the fiery whirlpool till at last he gains the street,
Thank God! and lays down his burden safe at the mother's feet.
"One! only one?" she cries wildly. "You have left the other to die!"
Oh, the terrible, terrible anguish that rings in the mother's cry!
"I will save you, my child, or die with you!" and, maddened by love's despair,
She puts her babe from her bosom, and springs toward the flame-wreathed stair.
"You shall not go!" he tells her, and holds her back from death,
"I left your child,-I will save it,-if I can." Then catching his breath
For the terrible task before him, he leaps up the lurid way.
"God help him!" the awed crowd whispers. "He goes to his death," they say.
Moments that seem like ages go by and he comes not back.
The flames leap higher and higher. The frail walls sway and crack.
"Oh, my lost little child!" cries the mother, forgetting the babes at her breast,
In this moment of awful anguish she loveth the lost child best.
Up from the crowd, all breathless with hope and doubt and fear,
Goes a cry: "Thank God, he's coming with the child!" and cheer on cheer
Rings through the night, blending strangely with the wind and the wild flames' roar,
As out of the tottering building the fireman springs once more.
Straight to the mother he staggers with the rescued child and cries:
"I left him, and I have saved him!" and the hero looks out of his eyes;
Then he falls at her feet; they crowd round him, and lift his drooping head. "I-saved-the-child," he whispers, a gasp
and the hero is dead.
Eben E. Rexford.
THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.
BETWEEN the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day's occupations, That is known as the Children's Hour.
I hear in the chamber above me
The sound of a door that is opened,
From my study I see in the lamplight, Descending the broad hall stair, Graye Alice, and laughing Allegra, And Edith with golden hair.
A whisper, and then a silence:
A sudden rush from the stairway,
They climb up into my turret,
O'er the arms and back of my chair, If I try to escape, they surround me; They seem to be everywhere.
They almost devour me with kisses,
Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
I have you fast in my fortress,
And there will I keep you forever,
GOLDENHAIR climbed upon grand papa's knee.
1Imitation of child-voice, high pitch, small volume of
Up in the morning, as soon as 'twas light,
Grandpapa toyed with the curls on her head, "What has my darling been doing," he said, "Since she arose with the sun from her bed ?"
"Pitty much," answered the sweet little one. "I cannot tell so much things I have done. Played with my dolly, and feeded my Bun;
"And then I jumped with my little jump-rope; And I made, out of some water and soap, Bootiful worlds, mamma's castles of hope.
"I afterward readed in my picture-book; And Bella and I we went down to look For smooth little stones by the side of the brook.
"And then I comed home and eated my tea;
Lower and lower the little head pressed,
We are but children. The things that we do Are as sports of a babe to the Infinite view That marks all our weakness, and pities it, too.