« EelmineJätka »
ful left eye, and was exceedingly awkward and a loud voice-as he smoked his long with his arms and tolerably heavy with pipe-glance towards us, and smile. Her his hands—who blubbered when scolded, mother, with her kindly pleasant face, and turned one knee in ; how he could be would stand now and then and listen, her brother, and how she could be so laughingly, to our chatter, or while readfond of him, is a thing that I have noting to one another from our story books been able to understand to this hour. - that's how I knew about the “ Pilgrim's
It was the case, though, and I soon Progress," and how she knew about found it out-a little to my cost. I took “Robinson Crusoe.” As for Tom, he had a tremendous thrashing from him one no great taste for anything beyond day, just as I was beginning to polish him "sweets "--perhaps he had not found out off for having shown an intention of his Kate, perhaps " ring-taw" and "trap mastering my marbles without winning had greater attractions than our pretty them. At the critical moment when his fairy-tales. Oh, dear me! how we two, cupidity had become aggressive, and I was with our arms passed round each other's roused into action by a blow on the nose, necks, used to wander up and down those and just as I was finding out that he was enchanted gardens--pass through those a little of a bully, Katie care running up, wondrous palaces, built up in a night, and her eyes flashing, her lips quivering, her vanished ere the next eve came! How cheeks pale with anger, and fearlessly we followed the pilgrims through the stepping between us, poured upon me dreadful valley, and avoided the awful a torrent of such angry reproaches, that blandishments of “Vanity Fair !" How if I had been going to be Tom's butcher we shrank from the appalling footprint she could not have disarmed me sooner. in the sand-and shuddered with the lone The result was that my hands were down mariner on his raft! For all these, I liked instantly; and then Tom took the oppor- marbles, and bird's-nesting, and boy'stunity of crowning his victory with a slap play, quite as well as the liveliest of them in the chops, which made my jaws all. I wasn't sentimental, and I wasn't chatter, recommending me to be careful a “spooney,” for all the grin I see ready how I turned upon him for the future. to break out on your-well then, I won't
I sacrificed all the peace of mind I was say "ugly mug,” but don't you be too able to invest in tops, for him, as if he sharp on a fellow. was a Moloch or an ugly "Joss,” (Tom, I The more you were with Kate, and the im happy to add, has not belied the pro- more you knew of her, the more her mise he gave, for he couldn't be much winning ways, sweet temper, and loving aglier if he had been carved out of wood), affectionate nature would shine about you, ind she his worshipper. I became his just as if the sun were coming out with a bject slave, and made over an infinite double power of light and warmth. She mount of property to him, including a had a good deal to do to please her little cite, ever so many yards of twine, an old brothers and sisters at home-three or nife, a trap-ball, marbles not to be four, I think; but as for Tom-whom ounted. I became his friend (he did not I could have strangled-there, you have it aisuse me after, for a reason of his own, -many a time-he was such a rough maybe), and I was rewarded by Katie's beast to her at times. I never knew a miles, nis fullest approbation, her entire creature so-well, so he was-ugly. There onfidence; from that hour she was my must have been something beautiful in lode-star"-I was her champion-hers, him after all, which she alone could find ir ever. Oh, little Kate! that “for out-I couldn't-for she actually doted rer was very, very brief !
on him, and didn't he reward her for it! When she did not call upon me, I called He loved her in his queer way, and pon him. As we sat together at the she didn't care, the sweet darling, how indow of their room, which looked into rough that way was, so that he loved her le garden, I sometimes noticed her father at all. He couldn't have helped himself he was a "collector,” possessing wealth nohow. d power incalculable-a portly person I played truant for Kate, and grew so hardened in that appalling depth of happy we were; and then came Christ criminality that I didn't feel any regret mas, with its pudding, and its presets, ---what do you think of that? I would and its Christmas tree, the first I had tre do it again, but it is too late-not needed seen—but I shan't keep you long shout now. I have made forays, and foraged that. for her. I have gathered her baskets of It was the merriest and the happies blackberries, and bushels of ripe bazel- Christmas party you ever knew, an! nuts. I have caught for her dozens of besides a number of us smaller folks,-! plump trout, gathered her early violets, was one of them, you may be sure, al and barrow-loads of cowslips. They cooked Katie, of course, was another, and looking the trout, and I am sorry to say that in her white frock and her blue sash and “hips and hawes," and raspberries. and ribbons, with her rosy cheeks and curing much fruit generally, would make Katie brown hair, just like a little angelill, and I have been half heart-broken for besides about a dozen of us there were the share I took in it.
grown-up people - grandfathers and grand I have torn my clothes to shreds for mothers and uncles and aunts, and father her-broken my head, scratched my face and mothers, and cousins and friends; and hands among the brambles-once I and, if we young ones were the merries, was nearly drowned, in fishing up a the old people, with their aged from trumpery old bracelet that we saw shining beaming with kindness, and their great in the mill-pond, under the bridge, and at pockets stuffed with presents--they were half a wish she expressed I scrambled the jolliest. And the tree was all ablaza in for it, and what's more, I got it too ; with little lamps and candles, and websd but I shan't forget her white face in music and a dance-Sir Roger de Cover a hurry, nor the scolding I got from her ley and a minuet-and such feasting, and - I did so like that. If I could have got heaps of toys, and that Christmas tree
, the moon, and rolled it at her feet, a with all the pretty stories that a white regular “cheese” of the very greenest haired old gentleman told about it, and character, I'd have done it, and no its associations, and the angels that mistake. In the deepest dingle, or the brought gifts down, and the beautifu highest tree, no nest was secure from me. and solemn story belonging to that ting It was understood at last, I'm greatly that I couldn't help listening, although afraid, that if I did not show at school Í he did have Katie op his knee, and was needs on some predatory excursion, in though she did put her arm around his which she was principal and accessory, neck and kiss him ; but she came and bless her! but our old Tinglefinger was a by me afterwards, when we whispered kindly old fellow, and did not massacre these rare things over again, or player us boys, as I've heard they do at some together at forfeits. I couldn't forget schools.
those wonderful things; and then we had I suppose you are getting a little tired funny stories told us, which made u of me, and think I ought to speak a little laugħ, and one about a tall ghost, which more to the purpose about Katie; but, if made our flesh creep, but I think * this is not all about her, wbo is it about? liked that story as well as any, it was so Me! Nonsense. Besides, without me, very astonishing. And so that Christmas you wouldn't know anything of her at all. passed by, and the long winter nights
Well, there was the summer, and we wbich followed were pleasantly spent, spent our balf-holidays and spare time before, with our books and fairy tales and a lot of us—in the leafy woods, down pictures, until, I don't know why, I began in the meadows anywhere, amidst grass to fancy that something very dreadia and flowers, and sunshine, and the sweet was about to happen, and, at last, I found bay: Then the autumn took us into the it, and oh! the despair and the terms gardens, or on a nutting expedition; and that began to fill my breast! then came the winter, with howling winds There were a good many parties giren and sheeted snow, and we had our books about this time, and one to which Kate by the evening tireside, and oh, how went without me.
Of course, I could not always be with her to protect and be a good boy, and cheer up poor and take care of her. I remember Tom," how her father roared out, “Oh! oh! Tom used to cry dreadfully, and I oh!" when I told them so. And when think his heart was tender enough-if she returned, some days afterwards, I his head was soft. I used to say my noticed that there seemed an anxious prayers too, I hope, and if they could have look upon the household—that Katie was saved her, Katie would have been alive wrapped in sbawls, in the parlour, by the now. It was better that she should add fire-that the doctor came, and, with a to the number of the angels. I thought laugh that gave me great joy to hear, I heard her sweet voice singing when the it was so full of health, "Well, and how Christmas angels gathered in my dreams were we to-day ?” speaking to Katie, and at the next Holy-tide. calling her his "little woman "-and that I had by this time borne away my little Katie coughed every day, and that a flying island out of the scents of the strange light came into her eyes, quite garden and the orchard, out of the sundifferent from the sweet lovely light that shine and chequered shadows, and used to dance and sparkle in them before; moored it, with all its wizard and fairy and that on her cheeks, which used to be splendour, beside the fireplace—beside 80 rosy, there were two red spots which Katie's couch, where she now lay daily, awed me; and I used to look upon her in and when the winds were making sad a silence so wistful, -with a feeling so complainings and the snow falling fast, strange and awe-stricken to myself, that and the angry sleet dashed against the she would hold out her arms and say, faces of the passers-by--then I read to “ Frank, dear Frank, don't look at me so her as before, but we added now to our --you frighten me !” but how it fright- favourite stock, the sermons
on the ened me, I can't tell you; and then, I re- Mount, the miracles of our Saviour, and member, how, with a sob, I would sit the beautiful parables, by which He beside her and lay my head on her lap, taught us such sacred lessons of love and and she would smooth my head and kiss goodwill to men; and I saw that Katie, it, and say, “Oh! Frank, dear Frank, with her eyes half closed and her hands don't cry!”
folded together, would wear upon her But what was the use of telling me lips a smile, such as was never there that, you know, when a fellow couldn't before, and I knew that she felt happy. help it ?
I don't mean to say much for myself, It was a heavy time for me, for when when I tell you that I gave up marbles alone I thought and moped about Katie; and top, kite and fishing-tackle, cricket but I always pulled up spirits, was cheer- and prison-bars, and the rest of the sports ful and brisk when I went to see her, our boys engaged in, because the wintry which was every day, but our evenings weather was not very favovrable for were now sadly shortened, and her cough them; but skating and slides I had no was become distressing. The poor little time for now, as I was always with Katie darling was dying-dying of one of those when out of school, and in school my slow, yet fierce and horrible fevers, arising thoughts were with her, and, I think, from cold on the lungs. Her delicate old Tinglefinger behaved with kindness rame could not stand against the kisses and forbearance to the forlorn lad who »f that fever-demon which she had met saw his little sweetheart dying daily before in the night I was not with her; and how his eyes, and overlooked many a slip and banged she was becoming every day! blunder, and many a neglected lesson. Jur evenings were shortened, as I said, Did this approach of Death, whose vecause she was obliged to be borne to stealthy footfalls seemed to grow daily er little chamber early. She used to louder and to arrive nearer, frighten me, iss me on wishing me good evening, and you ask ? I am inclined to believe that
it did ; but not quite in the way that one “ Good-night, Frank, dear; I shall name feels usually frightened, at something ou in my prayers. Pray for little Katie, I that is hideous or dreadful The mystery of death seemed to be invested in her “Not see her!" thought I, "not se person with something that was awful, my little darling, and to part 3 von but also beautiful. The whisperings that --and for ever!" I thought they were came in the midst of silence, as from un- cruel and harsh. Tom, blabbering, seen presences that were watching over attempted to comfort me. Katie's motherher, were as things which I cannot ex- in-law in her great grief thougbt of mine, plain, but clear to some hidden sense She asked me to remain quietly in the within me that made them understood, parlour, while she went upstairs far a but not to ear of flesh, to eye of reason, or few minutes. The silence, the hearines to any process of thought. She was before of death reigned in the house. All seemed me, and beside me, and about me; and if muffled, stealthy, dark, stilling, airless I was at first disposed to murmur and Choking as I was, I sat down in sallen re complain, she had in her teachings, her bellion, and waited. I thought she would words, and her ways—all now imbued never return, but she came back at last with a loftier and higher character, her worn fond motheriy face stresin made me submissive, if not happy. It with tears. She beckoned me to follor, was a change, singular enough to me, for with a low, trembling hush, and I obered they told me many a time that I had not I don't know how I felt on entering a very tractable temper. Little Katie the chamber, but my eyes fastened on the could calm the wildest storm in my bed at once. The eyes had not now their breast, dissipate every trouble, and make unnatural lustre, the cheeks had lost their me by a word or a sign as quiet as a lamb, dreadful patches of fiery red. It sa and as easily led. She could do anything white, calm, holy, and I don't know that with me.
I shall ever behold a face whose loveSo day by day passed on, and week by liness had so much of a seraphie als week went by, and the winter was passing which I cannot attempt to describe. into spring, and oh ! I hoped, I prayed The eyes unclosed-they beheld . that she might be able to stray into the The lips parted - I surely heard my meadows once more, that I might gather “Frank ! Frank! dear Frank !" wild flowers for her, and fetch bundles of was only a whisper, but I stooped the rushes wherewith to make fantastic kissed her forehead, and knelt and covered caps. But the spring was not to bring her thin worn hands with tears and bier, her health and strength and renewed and heard the low sweet voice prate beauty. It was only to blossom upon her Then followed a thrill, a shiter, and a grave.
moan, and my little Katie was-dead! One evening I went to their bouse- my little darling, my playfellow, 25 I was almost a part of the household pretty sweetheart Kate—was dead! now and a little later than usual. I I saw my pretty treasure buried, and ! saw that she was not downstairs; and thought I should like to have been la I met the clergyman, a good, kind, vener- beside her—the bright blossom that able man, who was passing from the stairs was. I have seen her grave since, and as I entered. Despite his office and
my lies in a swarded nook, waich is sarit respect for him, I could not help looking and as odorous as a garden, with biztupon him with something of a half-angry, songs rising around it, and a wimusi hateful fear. You may guess what he as of great white wings all about it boded,
I always am better-I know I "Is-is-anything the matter ? is Katie better-when I think of Katie, who lori worse?" I managed to gasp forth. me, and prattled to me, and prayed in
He looked down upon me with a me, and and I don't think I have tenderness and pity. "You had better more to tell you. not see her," he said ; "your little play- Only this before the dear face of the fellow is not likely to outlive the night;" angel-child fades out of my me and I rushed in with a choking sob, and I shall be still as she,
or a very old a great cry just begun which I had the I am growing ever so old now nower to suppress.
shall then be unable to recollect that
have been a boy—when I shall forget her.
And that's my story-if you like itabout myself and little Katie, and I'm not going to answer any more questions. Its somebody else's turn now, and I'm quite ready for the ghost story that's going to be told. Put plenty of sheet on it, let it be ever so tall, and as white as the moonshine on the snow.
THE SEA-GULL'S SONG.
What care I
For the drowning cry Of the sailor-boy brave ?
Or the stifled groan
And fearful moan
When the storm-king reigns
With fiendish strains,
On the surging swell
'Mid the whirlwind's yell, Fearless, undaunted, I roam o'er the deep.
Unhecding I rise
To the stormy skies,
Or thundering roar,
On rock-bound shore, Of the breakers' deafening crash. Up and down over the white-crested foam, Making the treacherons sea my home, Resting awhile on rocky crag high, None so unfettered and free as I.
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie);
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). Young he was, and stately, and tall
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); Brave in battle and courteous in hall
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). Many a dame sought his heart to melt
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); Proud was I when to me he knelt
(l've lived alone, and alone I'll die). He won my heart, and I loved him well
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); Out on the hour when that befell!
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die.) Thero was a maiden, a fair-haired child
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); Her baby charms De Vere beguiled
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). They met at night, when the moon shone clear
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); Little they thought I watched there
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). I could have stabbed him where he stood
(Bright on the sea the moanbeams lie); But I let him pass in the gloomy wood
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). I followed her where the dark cliffs frown
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); I stole upon her, and hurled her down
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). When the morning sun lit np the bay
(Bright on the sea the moon beams lie), I led De Vere where the maiden lay
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). It joyed my heart to hear his groan
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); I laughed in scorn as he made his moan
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). Weeping beside her I left him there
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie). Never again saw I Lord De Vere
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). So let him pass! he'll remember long
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie) How Blanche St. Aubyn avenged her wrong
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). Yet not on the maiden should vengeance fall
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); Peace be with her her fault was small
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). Love for life may well atone
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); She is dead, and my love is gone
(I've lived alone, and alone I'll die). In the world I have not a friend
(Bright on the sea the moonbeams lie); So will it be till life shall end (I've lived alone, and alone I'll die).
AUTUMN. WHAT though as the death-tinted Autumn ap
proaches We heave a short sigh to bid Summer farewell, Still, still do we spurn the rude thought that
encroaches, And hasten the low rising murmur to quell. Por, say, can the seasons, so evenly rolling.
Perplex or disturb the repose of the mind! Ah, no! with an influence mighty, controlling,
We heed not the swift-passing breath of the wind. On the laws of an all-wise Creator depending,
The altering seasons we tranquilly see; And e'er to the whispers of conscience attending,
Would joyful submit to His gracious decree. Then though we must moarn for the soft-breathing