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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.


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 patter of little feet,

The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

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:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together,
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

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,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!


Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away.



GOLDENHAIR climbed upon grand papa's knee.
Dear little Goldenhair! tired was she;
All the day busy, as busy could be.

1Imitation of child-voice, high pitch, small volume of

Up in the morning, as soon as 'twas light,
Out with the birds and butterflies bright,
Skipping about till the coming of night.

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;
And I climbed up on grandpapa's knee;
And I jes as tired as tired can be.”

Lower and lower the little head pressed,
Until it dropped upon grandpapa's breast.
Dear little Goldenhair,.sweet be thy rest!

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.

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