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stranger. And it is a lulling, soothing, don't-carewhether-school-keeps-or-not atmosphere. It is not the climate in which to roll up one's sleeves at five A. M., and do hard mental or physical work till sundown or midnight.

It is the very place to stop all things of that kind, and to do a little only, to-day, and the rest, or more, well-may be next week! It is a good place in which to dream life away, and not to be called idle, either, because you are busy watching Nature in her most beautiful holiday dress — a very queen of transcendent loveliness! Ah, yes! the lotos will grow in your brain and thrive; and you will take to a lulling dream-life, and die there, accomplishing almost nothing of your life's earnest, best work, unless you see your danger, rouse yourself, put on the brakes, and go where you can once again swim on skates, and smell the snow !


" Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,

Arrives the snow; and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm."

“As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,

We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back,-
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art
The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-treo
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks' heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: "Under the tree
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.'
Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed.
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head;
The cat's dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger's seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons' straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow.
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood

With nuts from brown October's wood.
What matter how the night behaved ?
What matter how the north-wind raved ?
Blow bigh, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire's ruddy glow.
O Time and Change!



COMEWHERE I have read that in India, while

all flowers may be offered to the lesser or inferrior gods, the plumaria only is offered to Brahma.

For me, there is but one flower and one perfumethe violet. From the time of “our old home," when, as a child, in the early summertime, I would run with my chum-brother-a year younger than myself -down the road in the morning, and through “Bryon's Woods," on across the foot-bridge of Swan's Brook, past the Indian encampment (whose inmates and their basket-making were one more note in my happy childhood's music), thence straight on to the side of the hill to pull my violets wet with the dew; throwing away handful after handful, tugging little Dyke farther on, fancying, in my childish ignorance, I saw longer-stemmed and larger violets, richer in their royal color, a little farther up the hill! Nor even then quite satisfied until too warm and too tired to try to mount a step higher. Typical of life: we throw away the good we hold, climbing a little higher, toiling to reach what seems a little better, larger, sweeter, more-to-be-desired flower or fruit, and we grasp instead, too often, alas! the deception, the illusion, the

mirage of the desert, the will-o'-the-wisp, the DeadSea apple of ashes. We look, and there is nothing in our hands. We have thrown away our birthright for “a mess of pottage.” “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity.” Violets are selling in the streets of San Francisco to-day, beautiful and cheap enough, indeed, while snow and frozen streams are in my birthplace, and the merry tinkling of sleigh-bells. But they are not quite like the violets of the dear old home. The friction of town-life-the busy whir of loom and lathe—is now upon my hill; they do not know it was the violets' land; my Indians are in their Heavenly Father's hunting-grounds; strangers are on our much-loved hearth-stone. Violets blossoming in the springtime in the “old buryingground” tell of the “new life" and the home beyond -farther on-a little higher up!

" Somewhat back from the village street

Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw,
And, from its station in the hall,
An ancient time-piece says to all,

Forever-never !
Never-forever !

“ In that mansion used to be

Free-hearted hospitality.
His great fires up the chimney roared,
The stranger feasted at his board ;
There groups of merry children played
There youths and maidens dreaming strayed.
O precious hours! O golden prime!
An affluence of love and time!

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