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that merry air :—“Bob-o'-link ! bob-o'-link ! spink, spank, spink ! Nobody knows, but my mate and I, where our nest and our nestlings lie. Chee, chee, chee! chink!”
Summer wanes ; the children are grown ; fun and frolic no more he knows; Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone ; off he flies, and we sing as he goes : “Bob-o'-link ! bob-o'-link ! spink, spank, spink ! When you can pipe that merry old strain, Robert of Lincoln, come back again ! Chee, chee, chee! chink!”
The Creed of the Bells,
(Verse printed as Prose.) How sweet the chime of Sabbath bells !- Each one its Creed in music tells, in tones that float upon the air as soft as song, as pure as prayer ! And I will put in simple rhyme the language of each golden chime: my happy heart with rapture swells, responsive to the bells—sweet bells !
“In deeds of love, excel ! excel !” chimed out, from ivied towers, a bell ; “Oh! heed the Church—not based on sands, emblem of one not built with hands : its forms and sacred rites revere!
Come worship here ! Come worship here ! In rituals and faith excel !”-chimed out the “ Episcopalian" bell !
"Oh! heed the ancient landmarks well !” in solemn tones exclaimed a bell. “No progress made by mortal man can change the just eternal plan : with God there can be nothing new ; ignore the false, embrace the true, while all is well !—is well! -is well !”-pealed out the “Presbyterian" bell! “Ye purifying waters, swell!” in mellow tones rang out
Though trust alone in Christ can save, man must be plunged beneath the wave, to show the world unfaltering faith in what the sacred Scripture saith : oh, swell! ye rising waters, swell !”—pealed out the clear-toned “ Baptist” bell.
“ Not faith alone, but works as well, must test the soul ! ” said a soft hell. “Come here, and cast aside your load ; and work your way along the road, with faith in God, and faith in man, and hope in Christ—where hope began: do well ! do well! do well ! do well !”—rang out the friendly “Quaker” bell. “ Farewell ! farewell ! base world farewell !
in touching tones exclaimed a bell. “Life is a boon to mortals given, to
fit the soul for bliss in heaven ; do not invoke the avenging rod; come here, and learn the way to God ! Say to the world, Farewell ! farewell !'"-pealed forth the solemn “Cloister” bell !
“To all, the truth we tell ! we tell !” shouted, in ecstacies, a bell.
“Come, all ye weary wanderers, see ! our Lord has made salvation free ! repent, believe, have faith !—and then be saved, and praise the Lord ! Amen! Salvation's free, we tell ! we tell !”_shouted the “ Methodistic” bell !
“In after-life there is no hell !” in raptures rang a hopeful bell. “Look up to heaven this holy day, where angels wait to lead the way : there are no fires, no fiends, to blight the future life : be just and right: No hell ! no hell ! no hell ! no hell !” rang out the “ Universalist” bell !
“The Pilgrim Fathers heeded well my cheerful voice,” pealed forth a bell. “No fetters here, to clog the soul : no arbitrary forms control the free heart and progressive mind, that leave the dusky past behind. Speed well! speed well ! speed well ! speed weil !"-pealed out the “Independent” bell !
“No rigid creeds to doom to hell ! ” in solemn joy rang out a bell. “Great men have stamped their fervent zeal upon
all hearts, which truly feel that loyalty to God will be the fealty that makes men free! God's praise alone still tell ! still tell ! ” rang out the “ Unitarian" bell !
“ All hail, ye saints in heaven that dwell close by the Cross ! exclaimed a bell. “Lean o'er the battlements of bliss, and dei n to bless a world like this: let mortals kneel before this shrine -adore the water and the wine! All hail, ye saints ! the chorus swell !”—chimed out the grand old “Catholic” bell !
“ Ye workers all, who toil so well to save the race !” said a sweet bell, « with varied badge, and banner, come,-each brave heart beating like a drum; be royal men of noble deeds, for love is holier than creeds ; in faith, hope, charity, excel !” -sang forth each creed— rang forth each bell !
The Old Schoolmaster. He sat at his desk at the close of day, for he felt the weight of
his many years. This form was bent and his hair was grey, and his eyes were
dim with the falling tears.
The school was out and his task was done, and the house seemed
now so strangely still, As the red beam of the setting sun stole silently over the
window-sill, Stole silently into the twilight gloom, and the deepening
shadows fell athwart The vacant seats and the vacant room, and the vacant place
in the old man's heartFor his school had been all in all to him, who had no wife,
child, land, nor gold; But his frame was weak, and his eyes were dim, and the fiat
was issued at last-"Too old.” IIe bowed his head on his trembling hands a moment, as one
might bend to pray; “Too old !” they say, and the school demands a wiser and
younger head to-day. “Too old! too old !” these men forget it was I who guided
their tender years ; Their hearts were hard, and they pitied not my trembling lips
and my falling tears. “Too old ! too old !” it was all they said ; I looked in their
faces one by one, But they turned away, and my heart was lead : “Dear Lord,
it is hard, but Thy will be done.” The night stole on and a blacker gloom was over the vacant
benches cast; The master sat in the silent room, but his mind was back in
the days long past. And he smiled as his kindly glances fell on the well beloved
faces thereJohn, Rob, and Will, and laughing Nell, and blue-eyed Bess,
with golden hair, And Tom, and Charley, and Ben, and Paul, who stood at the
head of the spelling class— All in their places—and yet they all were lying under the
graveyard grass. Thus all night long, till the morning came, and the darkness
folded her robe of gloom,
And the sun looked in with his eye of flame, on the vacant
seats of the silent room, And the wind stole over the window-sill, and swept through
the aisles in a merry rout; But the face of the master was white and still his work was
finished, his school was out.
He stands in aught above the rest,
And mounts his scaffold with a jest:
Because he scorns the thing that dies,
That might proclaim him grand or wise.
The counterchange of weak with strong,
Nor sitting still to watch a wrong.
Most tender when he suffers most;
To count, but never grudge the cost.
Greater from less, from substance shade ;
Unable to be much afraid ;
Ready to love what they behold;
Quick sense where gilding is not gold.
It seems a voluntary grace,
That holds no mirror to his face.
True sympathy, a light that grows
And broadens like the summer morn's,
Being out of tune with all the scorns.
On radiant ends by means as bright,
With all the bitter fruits of right.
Worn with the greatness of their way ;
Aware that they have won the day.
Out of the limits of the night,
Falls with his face toward the height.
Only a Wee Bit Bairn.
Only a wee bit bairn, but 'tis bitterly hard to miss
grasp of her gentle hand, the touch of her soft, warm cheek; Blue eyes beaming with love, that the young tongue could not
speak. They say she has gone before
where little children go, To dwell in a garden of lilies, in garments white as snow. But we envy the angels our treasure, and wish her back once
more, Her small, sweet face at the window, her laugh at the open door. Only a wee bit bairn, with soft, blue, bonny eyes; Ready to dance with fun, or laugh with the light of surprise ; Hands ever ready for mischief, mouth ever ready for glee, Voice like a cherub—at least so it seemed to her mother and me, Seraphs have given her welcome, coaxed her to enter the fold, Where lambs that are missed on earth are gathered and lovingly