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CLEMENT C. MOORE. Mr. Moore is a Professor in the Episcopal Theological Seminary, in New York. The following story of Santa Claus is in imitation of the old legends of England and other European countries. CHRISTMAS TIMES.
X 'T was the night before Christmas, and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In the hope that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads, And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap; When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang
from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
decin herum hond utteroud dihen the fresket to la
then broodful Lydia M. Culld
. 184. Delle
LYDIA در برم
Mrs. Child first became an author in consequence of reading an article in the North American Review, in which was described “the adaptation of early New England history to the purposes of fiction." This led to her writing, the same hour, the first chapter of her first tale, entitled Hobomok. Her Philothea is a classical romance, depicting life in Athens in the days of Pericles. Her other works are numerous, but all breathe a spirit of freedom and humanity. Some of Mrs. Child's early days were spent in Maine ; a part of her life she has resided in Massachusetts, and for several years she was one of the editors of the Anti-Slavery Standard, New York.
[From " Fact and Fiction.”]
THE BELOVED TUNE. In a pleasant English garden, on a rustic chair of intertwisted boughs, are seated two happy human beings. Beds of violets perfume the air, and the verdant hedge-rows stand sleepily in the moonlight. A guitar lies on the green sward, but it is silent now, for all is hushed in the deep stillness of the heart. That youthful pair are whispering their first acknowledgment of mutual love. With them is now unfolding life's best and brightest blossom, so beautiful and so transient, but leaving, as it passes into fruit, a fragrance through all the paths of memory.
And now the garden is alone in the moonlight. The rustic bench and the whispering foliage of the tree tell each other no tales of those still kisses, those gentle claspings, and all the fervent language of the heart. But the young man has carried them away in his soul; and as he sits alone at his chamber window, gazing in the mild face of the moon, he feels, as all do, who love and are beloved, that he is a better man, and will henceforth be a wiser and a purer one. The worlds within and without are veiled in transfigured glory, and breathe together in perfect harmony. For all these high aspirations, this deep tide of tenderness, this fulness of beauty, there is but one utterance; the yearning heart must overflow in music. Faint and uncertain come the first tones of the guitar, breathing as softly as if they responded to the mere touch of the moonbeams. But now the rich, manly voice has united with them, and a clear, spiritual melody flows forth, plaintive and impassioned, the modulated breath of indwelling life and love. All the secrets of the
garden, secrets that painting and poetry had no power to reveal, have passed into the song.
But two years of patient effort secures his prize. The loved one has come to his humble home, with her bridal wreath of jessamine and orange-buds. He sits at the same window, and the same moon shines on him; but he is no longer alone. A beautiful head leans on his breast, and a loving voice says,
“Dearest Alessandro, sing me a song of thine own composing!” He was at that moment thinking of that rustic seat in her father's garden, of violets breathing to the moonlight, of Dora's first bashful confession of love; and, smiling with a happy consciousness, he sought for the written voice of that blissful hour. But he will not tell her when it was composed, lest it should not say so much to her heart as it does to his. He begins by singing other songs, which drawing-room misses love for their tinkling sweetness. Dora listens, well pleased, and sometimes says, “That is pretty, Alessandro; play it again.” But now comes
; the voice of melting, mingling souls. That melody, so like sunshine, and rainbows, and bird-warbling, after a summer shower, with rain-drops from the guitar at intervals, and all subsiding into blissful, dreamy moonlight. Dora leans forward, gazing earnestly into his face, and, with beaming, tearful eyes, exclaims, “O, that is very beautiful! That is my tune.” “Yes, it is indeed thy tune,” replied the happy husband; and when she had heard its history, she knew why it had seemed like echoes from her own deepest heart.
Time has passed, and Alessandro sits by Dora's bedside, their eyes looking at each other through happy tears. Their love is crowned with life's deepest, purest joy, its most heavenly emotion. Their united lives have reappeared in a new existence; and they feel that without this rich experience the human heart can never know one half its wealth of love. Long sat the father in that happy stillness, and wist not that angels near by smiled when he touched the soft down of the infant's arm, or twined its little finger over his, and looked his joyful tenderness into the mother's eyes. The tear-dew glistened on those long, dark fringes, when he took up the guitar, and played the beloved tune. He had spoken no word to his child. These tones were the first sounds with which he welcomed her into the world.
A few months glide away, and the little Fioretta knows the tune for herself. She claps her hands and crows at sight of the guitar, and all changing emotions show themselves in her dark, melancholy eyes, and on her little tremulous lips.
And when her father touches the first notes he
ever played to her, she smiles and listens seriously, as if she heard her own being prophesied in music.
* Three years pass away, and the scene is changed. * One day Alessandro came home as twilight was passing into evening. Fioretta had eaten her supper, and sat on her mother's lap, chatting merrily; but the little clear voice hushed as soon as father's step was heard approaching. He entered, with flushed cheek and unsteady motions, and threw himself full length upon the sofa, grumbling that it was shocking dismal there. Dora answered hastily, • When a man has made his home dismal, if he don't like it, he had better stay where he finds more pleasure !” The next moment, she would have given worlds if she had not spoken those words. * * * There sat they silently in the twilight, and Dora's tears fell on the little head that rested on her bosom. I know not what spirit guided the child; perhaps she remembered how her favorite sounds used to heighten all love, and cheer all sorrow; perhaps angels came and took her by the hand. But so it was. She slipped down from her mother's lap, and scrambling up on the music-stool, began to play the tune which had been taught her in private hours, and which the father had not heard for many months. Wonderfully the little creature touched the
. keys with her tiny fingers, and ever and anon her weak but flexible voice chimed in, with a pleasant harmony. Alessandro raised his head, and looked, and listened. “God bless her dear little soul!” he exclaimed; “can she play it? God bless her! God bless her!” He clasped the darling to his breast, and kissed her again and again, and burst into a flood of tears. Dora threw her arms round him, and said, softly, Dear Alessandro! forgive me that I spoke so unkindly.” He pressed her hand, and answered, in a stifled voice, “Forgive me, Dora.” *
As they stood weeping on each other's necks, two little soft arms encircle their knees, and a small voice says, “ Kiss Fietta !” They raise her up, and fold her in long embraces. Alessandro carries her to her bed, as in times of old, and says, cheerfully,“No more wine, dear Dora ! no more wine! Our child has saved me.”