« EelmineJätka »
Minutes filled with shadeless gladness,
Loveliness beyond completeness,
(By permission of the Author.)
THE SAILOR'S UNCLE.
A SEA TALE.
Rev. GEORGE ASPINALL, D.D.
The man I deemed
my Was a swarthy seaman old; His hair was white, and his eye was kind,
And his heart was frank and bold.
The winds of night blew loud and wild,
And the sea was flecked with foam, As we two sat by the fir-wood fire
Within our Cornwall home.
The old man sighed, as he smoked his pipe,
And listen'd to the roar
Against the stricken shore.
While now and again the chimney-stacks
Fell in with a sudden crash; And now and again our little room
Was lit with the lightning's flash.
At length he spake with a troublous voice,
And turning his face to me; “ This night is the fellow of a night,
Long past and gone,” quoth he.
"It is well nigh twenty years ago
Since I govern'd The Ocean Lord;
“The one was a minister sent to preach,
To the heathen, the Word of Life; The second, a boy of some three years old ;
And the third, a widow'd wife.
“The preacher had no domestic ties,
Nor wife, nor child, nor brother; And the little lad was the widow's son,
The darling of his mother.
“A slight young thing that mother was,
A very girl in years, Yet she knew what sorrow was, and her eye
Oft bore the trace of tears.
“But he, the prop of the widow's heart,
What language can paint that child; His loving look and his laughing glance,
And his spirit so free and wild !
“One day when we long had lain becalm’d,
When no wave or ripple stirred,
In the far-off sky, a bird.
“Thereat I scanned it through my glass,
And behold 'twas a cloud of lead ;
The forehead of Heav'n o'erspread.
« And lo ! the winds broke loose from it,
In a loud and furious gale;
And tearing to shreds each sail.
“We sprang a leak, and the hungry waves
Rush'd in through every rip;
Was I to leave the ship!
“ The boat in which I leaped was small,
To defy that ocean wild;
And the widow and her child,
“I was the sixth, yet how that boat
Could live was strange to me;
That sustained her on that sea!
“Through three days' storm we toss'd about,
And then the waters fell,
A sail; which we saw full well.
“We saw it like an archangel come
Nearer and yet more near :
That cometh after fear!
“The dear young mother, it so appear’d,
Had calmly sunk to rest,
With his head upon her breast.
“By this the welcome ship had come
Close up, to give us aid;
And bade them not be afraid.
“We thought that their weight seemed heavy then,
But when the covering spread
The mother, alas ! was dead !"
“But the lad," I exclaim'd, "the cruel storm
Did not the child destroy ?".
“ For you were that same boy."
And cried 6 God's will be done!
I will be, old man, a son !"
For I cherished him until death;
THE PASSIONATE FATHER.
“Greater is he who ruleth his spirit than lie who taketh a city.” “ COME here, sir !" said a strong, athletic man, as he seized a delicate-looking lad by the shoulder. “You've been in the water again, sir! Haven't I forbidden it?''
“Yes, father, but—"
“No reply, sir !" and the blows fell like a hail-storm about the child's head and shoulders.
Not a tear started from Harry's eye, but his face was deadly pale and his lips firmly compressed, as he rose and looked at his father with an unflinching eye.
“ Go to your room, sir, and stay there till you are sent for. I'll master that spirit of yours
before many days older."
Ten minutes after, Harry's door opened, and his mother glided gently in. She was a fragile, delicate