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My lamp hath fallen from its niche ah, me!
Earth drinks the fragrant flame, and I am left
Forever and forever in the dark!

My babe! my babe! my own and only babe!
Where art thou now? If somewhere in the sky
An angel hold thee in his radiant arms,
I challenge him to clasp thy tender form
With half the fervor of a mother's love!

Forgive me, Lord! forgive my reckless grief!
Forgive me that this rebel, selfish heart
Would almost make me jealous for my child,
Though thy own lap enthroned him.

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Lord, thou hast

I have ah! had but one!

O yet once more, my babe, to hear thy cry!
O yet once more, my babe, to see thy smile!
O yet once more to feel against my breast

Those cool, soft hands, that warm, wet, eager mouth,
With the sweet sharpness of its budding pearls!

But it must never, never more be mine
To mark the growing meaning in thine eyes,
To watch thy soul unfolding leaf by leaf,
Or catch, with ever fresh surprise and joy,
Thy dawning recognitions of the world!

Three different shadows of thyself, my babe,
Change with each other while I weep. The first,
The sweetest, yet the not least fraught with pain,
Clings like my living boy around my neck,

Or purs and murmurs softly at my feet!

Another is a little mound of earth;
That comes the oftenest, darling!

In my dreams,

I see it beaten by the midnight rain,
Or chilled beneath the moon. Ah! what a couch
For that which I have shielded from a breath

That would not stir the violets on thy grave!

The third, my precious babe! the third, O Lord!
Is a fair cherub face beyond the stars,

Wearing the roses of a mystic bliss,

Yet sometimes not unsaddened by a glance
Turned earthward on a mother in her woe!

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* This little poem, written several years before the poet's death, was prophetic. He died at the very hour here predicted. The whisper, "He is gone," went forth as the day was purpling in the zenith, on that October morning of 1867.

BRET HARTE.

1838

FRANCIS BRET HARTE was born in the State of New York in 1838. When quite young he went to California, where he remained until within a few years. His early occupations were various, including teaching and journalism. His success in the latter field of effort led him suddenly into literature and fame. His earliest essays in prose and verse were contributed to California periodicals, but speedily found their way to the Atlantic coast and even to Europe, being admired for their positive originality and as representative of a new phase of social life. In 1868 the Overland Monthly was started in San Francisco, and Mr. Harte was called to the editorial chair, which he filled very creditably for a year or two. But he had outgrown the sphere of a Pacific coast constituency, and there was a general demand for his removal to the larger field of the East. He yielded to this, and during the last few years has been a resident of New York. Mr. Harte is, perhaps, equally distinguished as a writer of prose and poetry: The Luck of Roaring Camp and The Heathen Chinee, representing these two forms of composition, are unique in literature, and their merit has never been approximated by the author's many imitators. Their marvelous popularity is due, primarily, to the strangeness of the life whose products they are, the wild society of newly-settled regions, in which violence is the ruling, and humanity the exceptional, social force; and, secondarily, to a peculiar quality of the author's genius, exclusively peculiar to him, it may be said, by which he is enabled to besiege the reader's mind with almost simultaneous humor and pathos. The power of employing these two agencies in apparently antagonistic, yet practically harmonious combination, is, perhaps, the secret of Mr. Harte's literary success. Surely it is possessed in equal development by no other living writer. His range in composition seems to be limited, and he seems to draw inspiration only from the scenes which first engaged his pen; when he ventures across the Rocky Mountains into regions of conventional life, his wings fail him and he falls to the level of commonplace. In proof of this it is only necessary to cite the fact that since his removal to the Atlantic coast he has written but little, and that little far inferior in quality to his Pacific productions. The volume entitled The Luck of Roaring Camp contains his best work in prose; his verses have been published in a volume called Poems.

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JOHN CHINAMAN.

THE expression of the Chinese face in the aggregate is neither cheerful nor happy. In an acquaintance of half a dozen years, I can only recall one or two exceptions to this rule. There is an abiding consciousness of degradation, a secret pain or self-humiliation visible in the lines of the mouth and eye. Whether it is only a modification of Turkish gravity, or whether it is the dread Valley of the Shadow of the Drug through which they are continually straying, I cannot say. They seldom smile, and their laughter is of such an extraordinary and sardonic nature - so purely a mechanical spasm, quite independent of any mirthful attribute that to this day I am doubtful whether I ever saw a Chinaman laugh.

I have often been struck with the delicate pliability of the Chinese expression and taste, that might suggest a broader and deeper criti

cism than is becoming these pages. A Chinaman will adopt the American costume, and wear it with a taste of color and detail that will surpass those "native, and to the manner born." To look at a Chinese slipper, one might imagine it impossible to shape the original foot to anything less cumbrous and roomy, yet a neater-fitting boot than that belonging to the Americanized Chinaman is rarely seen on this side of the Continent. When the loose sack or paletot takes the place of his brocade blouse, it is worn with a refinement and grace that might bring a jealous pang to the exquisite of our more refined civilization. Pantaloons fall easily and naturally over legs that have known unlimited freedom and bagginess, and even garrote collars meet correctly around sun-tanned throats. The new expression seldom overflows in gaudy cravats. I will back my Americanized Chinaman against any neophyte of European birth in the choice of that article. While in our own State, the Greaser resists one by one the garments of the Northern invader, and even wears the livery of his conqueror with a wild and buttonless freedom, the Chinaman, abused and degraded as he is, changes by correctly graded transition to the garments of Christian civilization. There is but one article of European wear that he avoids. These Bohemian eyes have never yet been pained by the spectacle of a tall hat on the head of an intelligent Chinaman.

My acquaintance with John has been made up of weekly interviews, involving the adjustment of the washing accounts, so that I have not been able to study his character from a social view-point or observe him in the privacy of the domestic circle. I have gathered enough to justify me in believing him to be generally honest, faithful, simple, and painstaking. Of his simplicity let me record an instance where a sad and civil young Chinaman brought me certain shirts with most of the buttons missing and others hanging on delusively by a single thread. In a moment of unguarded irony I informed him that unity would at least have been preserved if the buttons were removed altogether. He smiled sadly and went away. I thought I had hurt his feelings, until the next week when he brought me my shirts with a look of intelligence, and the buttons carefully and totally erased. At another time, to guard against his general disposition to carry off anything as soiled clothes that he thought could hold water, I requested him to always wait until he saw me. Coming home late one evening, I found the household in great consternation, over an im

movable Celestial who had remained seated on the front door-step during the day, sad and submissive, firm but also patient, and only betraying any animation or token of his mission when he saw me coming. This same Chinaman evinced some evidences of regard for a little girl in the family, who in her turn reposed such faith in his intellectual qualities as to present him with a preternaturally uninteresting Sunday-school book, her own property. This book John made a point of carrying ostentatiously with him in his weekly visits. It appeared usually on the top of the clean clothes, and was sometimes painfully clasped outside of the big bundle of soiled linen. Whether John believed he unconsciously imbibed some spiritual life through its pasteboard cover, as the Prince in the Arabian Nights imbibed the medicine through the handle of the mallet, or whether he wished to exhibit a due sense of gratitude, or whether he had n't any pockets, I have never been able to ascertain. In his turn he would sometimes cut marvelous imitation roses from carrots for his little friend. I am inclined to think that the few roses strewn in John's path were such scentless imitations. The thorns only were real. From the persecutions of the young and old of a certain class, his life was a torment. I don't know what was the exact philosophy that Confucius taught, but it is to be hoped that poor John in his persecution is still able to detect the conscious hate and fear with which inferiority always regards the possibility of even-handed justice, and which is the keynote to the vulgar clamor about servile and degraded races.

BOONDER.

I NEVER knew how the subject of this memoir came to attach himself so closely to the affections of my family. He was not a prepossessing dog. He was not a dog of even average birth and breeding. His pedigree was involved in the deepest obscurity. He may have had brothers and sisters, but in the whole range of my canine acquaintance (a pretty extensive one), I never detected any of Boonder's peculiarities in any other of his species. His body was long, and his forelegs and hind legs were very wide apart, as though Nature originally intended to put an extra pair between them, but had unwisely allowed herself to be persuaded out of it. This peculiarity was annoying on cold nights, as it always prolonged the interval of keeping the door open for Boonder's ingress long enough to allow

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