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cautiously dealt with ; but she knew, also, that no mother need despair, who possesses the affection of her child.
Effie's violet eyes opened to greet the first ray of the morning sun, as he peeped into her room. She stood at the little mirror, gathering up, with those small hands, the rich tresses so impatient of confinement. How could she fail to know that she was fair?-she read it in every face she met; but there was one (and she was hastening to meet him) whose eye had noted, with a lover's pride, every shining ringlet, and azure vein, and flitting blush; his words were soft and low, and skilfully chosen, and sweeter than music to her ear; and so she tied, with a careless grace, the little straw hat under her dimpled chin; and fresh, and sweet, and guileless, as the daisy that bent beneath her foot, she tripped lightly on to the old trysting place by the willows.
Stay! a hand is laid lightly upon her arm, and the pleading voice of a mother arrests that springing step.
"Effie dear, sit down with me on this old garden seat; give up your walk for this morning; I slept but indifferently last night, and morning finds me languid and depressed."
A shadow passed over Effie's face; the little cherry lips pouted, and a rebellious feeling was busy at her heart; but one look in her mother's pale face decided her, and, untying the strings of her hat, she leaned her head caressingly upon her mother's shoulder.
" You are ill, dear mother; you are troubled ;" and she looked inquiringly up into her face.
"Listen to me, Effie, I have a story to tell you of myself:-When I was about your age, I formed an acquaintance with a young man, by the name of Adolph. He had been but a short time in the vlllage, but long enough to win the hearts of half the young girls, from their rustic admirers. Handsome, frank, and social, he found himself everywhere a favourite. He would sit by me for hours, reading our favourite authors; and side by side, we rambled through all the lovely paths with which our village abounded. My parents knew nothing to his disadvantage, and were equally charmed as myself with his cultivated refinement of manner, and the indefinable interest with which he invested every topic, grave or gay, which it suited his mood to discuss. Before I knew it, my heart was no longer in my own keeping. One afternoon, he called to accompany me upon a little excursion we had planned together. As he came up the gravel walk, I noticed that his fine hair was in disorder; a pang, keen as death, shot through my heart, when he approached me, with reeling, unsteady step, and stammering tongue. I could not speak. The chill of death gathered round my heart. I fainted. When I recovered, he was gone, and my mother's face was bending over me, moist with tears. Her woman's heart knew all that was passing in mine. She pressed her lips to my forehead, and only said, "God strengthen you to choose the right, my child'.
“I could not look upon her sorrowful eyes, or the pleaded face of my grey-haired father, and trust myself again to the witchery of that voice and smile. A letter came to me; I dared not read it. (Alas! my heart pleaded too eloquently, even then, for his return.) I returned it unopened; my father and mother devoted themselves to lighten the load that lay upon my heart; but the perfume of a flower, a remembered strain of music, a struggling moonbeam, would bring back old memories, with a crushing bitterness that swept all before it for the moment. But my father's aged hand lingered on my head with a blessing, and my mother's voice had the sweetness of an angel's, as it fell upon my ear! .“ Time passed on, and I had conquered myself. Your father saw me, and proposed for my hand; my parents left me free to choose, and Effie dear, are we not happy ?"
“Oh, mother,” said Effie, then looking sorrowfully in her face, “ did you never see Adolph again ?"
“Do you remember, my child, the summer evening we sat upon the piazza, when a dusty, travel-stained man came up the steps, and begged for “a supper ? Do you recollect his bloated, disfigured face ? Effie, that was Adolph!”
"Not that wreck of a man, mother ?" said Effie, covering her eyes with her hands, as if to shut him out from her sight.
" Yes; that was all that remained of that glorious intellect, and that form made after God's own image. I looked around upon my happy home, then upon your noble father-then-upon him, and” (taking Effie's little hand, and pointing to the ring that encircled it) “in your ear, my daughter, I now breathe my mother's prayer for me- God help you to choose the right !?"
The bright head of Effie sank upon her mother's breast, and with a gush of tears she drew the golden circlet from her finger, and placed it in her mother's hand.
“God bless you, my child," said the happy mother, as she led her back to their quiet home.
THE CHILD AND THE STARS.
J. E. CARPENTER.
" They tell me, dear father, each gem in the sky
That sparkles at night is a star;
And shed their cold lustre so far ?
That it gives to the flow'rets their birth,
Their cold rays of light upon earth ?"
“ My child, it is said, that yon stars in the sky,
Are worlds that are fashioned like this,
Where the souls of the good and the gentle who die,
Assemble together in bliss;
Of His glory whose throne is above,
How great is His goodness and love." “Then, father, why still press your hand to your brow,
Why still are your cheeks pale with care ? If all that was gentle be dwelling there now,
Dear mother, I know, must be there." “ Thou chidest me well,” said the father with pain,
“ Thy wisdom is greater by far, We may mourn for the loss, but we should not complain,
While we gaze on each beautiful star."
“ROCK ME TO SLEEP, MOTHER.”
BACKWARD, turn backward, oh! Time in your flight;
Backward, turn backward, oh! tide of years,
Over my heart in the days that are flown,
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Come, let your brown hair just shaded with gold,
Mother, dear mother! the years have seem'd long