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THE HOLY GRAIL.
O loving Father, must it be
That we shall thus forever fail
To find what in thy heavenly sight [The Holy Grail was a bowl out of which,
Is better than the Holy Grail ?
Ah, no! one day we yet shall gain tradition says, Christ ate the Last Supper; and
The thing we seek, though not on earth, which, coming into the possession of the de- But when in yon celestial land scendants of Joseph of Arimathea, who were
We have diviner, higher birth? wicked and corrupt, was, for this reason, taken in charge by three angels. Henceforth it became the highest aim of every Christian
BEAUTIFUL EXTRACT. knight to find the Holy Grail.]
Tue following eloquent paper on “Time,"
is, we think, from the pen of Paulding: “SIR KNIGHT, pray whither ridest thou
I saw a temple reared by the hands of 'Mid blinding snow and hail ? "
man, standing with its high pinnacle in “I ride, good monk, as thou dost see, the distant plain. The streams beat
To find the Holy Grail;
against it, the God of nature hurled his And still I deeply yearn
thunderbolts against it, and yet it stood To find the blessed angels three
firm as adamant. Revelry was in its Who bear the Sacred Urn."
halls, the gay, the happy, the young, the beautiful were there; I returned, and lo! the temple was no more.
Its high “An old monk's prayers then follow thee
walls lay in scattered ruins ; moss and wild Wherever thou dost go, Beneath the sunny southern skies,
grass grew rankly there ; and at the mid
night hour the owl's long cry added to Or 'mid the northern snow !”
the deep solitude. The young and gay
who revelled there had passed away. The knight rode on, with double speed,
“I saw a child rejoicing in his youth, On, ever on, from east to west,
the idol of his mother and the pride of Across the dreary Norland plains,
his father. I returned, and the child had Ne'er tiring in his holy quest,
become old. Trembling with the weight Until one summer's afternoon, Within an old cathedral pile,
of years, he stood the last of his generaWith eyes of wonder he beheld,
tion, a stranger amidst the desolation
“I saw the old oak standing in all its Beside the gleaming chancel-rail,
pride upon the mountain ; the birds were Who lightly bore within their grasp
carolling in the boughs. I returned, and The thing he sought, – the Holy Grail ! that oak was leatless and sapless ; the
winds were playing at their pastimes Upon his knees he quickly fell,
through its branches. And poured his soul in ardent prayer;
Who is this destroyer?' said I to While as he knelt a lustre seemed
my guardian angel. To gild his glowing, silver hair !
*** It is Time,' said he. · When the In pious yearning, forth he spread,
morning stars sung together with joy over 'Mid blinding tears, his withered hands, the new-made world, he commenced his And in his grasp, the angels placed
? course, and when he shall have destroyed The Urn, long sought of many lands!
all that is beautiful of the earth,
plucked the sun from its sphere, veiled O blessed God, who read'st the thoughts
the moon in blood, yea, when he shall Of all thy creatures here below,
have rolled the heavens and the earth Thou knowest what we sadly seek
away as a scroll, then shall an angel from Amid life's shifting weal and woe!
the throne of God come forth, and with We strive, alas! with passionate prayers,
one foot on the sea and one on the land, To realize our heart's ideal,
lift up his hand toward heaven and swear And how our strivings come to naught,
by heaven's Eternal, — Time is, time was, With bitter agony we feel.
but time shall be no longer !'"
renders youth joyous and beautiful, – this the SPRINGING up on the breezy hill
month that is so grayly dawning upon us, Where the long snowdrifts linger still,
ushered in by dreary winds and lingering Though day by day they are finding away,
snows, and highways floating with deep seas of Like a dying girl in her life's sweet May;
unfathomable mud. I know the snowdrop pushes its head
Out upon it! Why does not some indepenOut of its dark brown winter bed,
dent student of nature cry out against the false Looking up, with a timid grace,
pretences of this same month of many storms Into the April's changing face,
and direful roadways, and call her, as she mer. And spreading its leaves on the last year's its, a winter month ? Surely, not until far into grass,
May do the trees put forth their leaves, and the As the southern winds with their light feet pass. meadows was green and golden with their fair
garniture of grass and flowers. May is the But I hunt in vain in the sheltered nooks,
only real spring month of all the three that And on the banks of the rushing brooks,
bear the name. Everything seems to make a For the early blossoms my childhood knew,
mistake in the matter. Even the birds are pipThe wind-flowers white and the violets blue ;
ing their sweet notes as if “winter were over And I wait in vain by the open door
and gone," and the time were fully arrived for For the faint spring odors that came of yore;
" the voice of the turtle to be heard in our Floating by on the southern breeze
land.” From the swelling buds of the balsam trees.
NATURE has many mysteries. Where do the And the long gray barns with the ricks that flies spend their winter? Surely, they do not stand,
belong to the migratory species, yet here they Yellow and warm on the stubble land,
are now, and to-day the very air out of doors is Look sombre and dun as the cattle pass
thick with them, while within doors the winTo and fro on the sodden grass.
dows are covered with the buzzing insects, all
as stout and merry as if they had eaten their Where are the smiles of the month that bore
regular rations all winter, instead of byber“ Month of Blooms as its name of yore?
nating, as they must have done somewhere, Will they never come back with the early frozen stiff and lifeless for many months. This flowers
is one of the many mysteries of nature which That drew my feet in my childhood's hours ?
we do not, which we never can, understand.
No one can explain it ; we know that it is so, Ah me! the glass that I lift to-day
•and that is all. It is just as wonderful for a fly To my faded eyes las a tint of gray,
to live frozen stiff and solid through the winter That robs the sky of the gleaming gold
months as for a toad to exist ten thousand And rosy hues which it wore of old,
years shut up in a solid rock. God only can
treacherous period of unseasonable warmth, mole was gone. Upon digging where it had but after a few days of genial supshine old win- been placed, it was found buried three inches ter comes roarins down from his northern deep, and under it were four beetles. This was caves once more, and the birds, unable long to enough to give him the clew, but to make sure face his rigors, die by hundreds, of starvation that those little creatures were the cause of its and cold. We know they die, for they are gone disappearince, four of the same kind were put when the sunshine reappears, and do not into a large glass vessel half filled with earth, come back. But where rest their little lifeless and covered over so that they could not get forms? Who in searching the woods and fields out. But let the gentleman tell his story : for the first spring flowers has ever suddenly “I laid two dead frogs on the surface of the and unexpectedly, when about to detach a del- earth, and two of the beetles immediately comicate plant from its soil, put his hand upon a menced their labors on one of these bodies, with lifeless bird! We never knew any one who such vigor that, in the course of twelve hours, had done so. They are not to be found. They it was completely buried. The other two were are all vanished as mysteriously as ghosts at idle during this operation ; but at last their the sound of the cock-crow, and not a feather time came, and the remaining frog was buried. or a little bone remains to tell the tale of where I then put a dead linnet into the case. They they died.
began by pushing out the earth from under it Strange as is this mystery, we have this very so as to form a hole for its reception, and then spring learned in part its solution, and we will dragged at its feathers from below to pull it teach it to you. The birds are buried! Yes, pinto the grave. One of them at length seemed without the ceremony and rites of a funeral, to quarrel with the other, and, driving it off, they have their sepulture as really as human carried on the work alone for five hours. He beings have theirs. They are not consigned to lifted up the bird, changed its place, turned it the grave by a long train of mourners and about, and, from time to time coming out of friends, nor does the solitary mate who has been the hole, climbed upou it, making, apparently, bereared thus pay the last tribute of what we an effort to stamp it down; and, when he had have erery reason to believe a rery true and effected everything that couid he accomplished fuad affection. The little sextons that perform in this way, he again commenced his work bethe work are clad in hlack, and are as mysteri- neath the surface. Being at last exhausted ous in their labors as the task itself, and, like with so many hours of hard and incessant la. the gnomes and little people of fairy--land, they bor, he came out of his hole and lay down on dwell in the bowels of the earth. They are the ground without moving for more than an beetles, - of that remarkable family called bury hour. Again he commenced his work, and, ing-beetles. They belong to that class of na- next morning, I found the linnet sunk an inch ture's scarengers, whose instincts lead them to and a half under the surface, with a trench all a most useful work alike for themselves and around it. In the evening it had sunk an inch eren the human race.
lower, and, in another day it was quite covered The burying-beetle lays its eggs in the pu- up. I afterwards put other small dead animals trescous flesh of reptiles, birds, and little ani. into the glass case, until, in fifty days, those four mals, and when the larvæ are developed in the little beetles had buried no fewer than twelve form of maggots they find a foud ready prepar- bodies.” ed for them by the instinctive foresight of the We think this curious experiment eminently parents. But were these carcases so used to be satisfactory and convincing, and that there left above ground they would be destroyed by need be no longer the least doubt “what beother animals or would decay so rapidly as to comes of the dead birds." defeat the uses to which they are put; so the And who after this will say that anything is beetle buries them. And the following very made in vain, or that design is not stamped on curious experiment will show how a gentleman everything created ? It is a pleasant thought of a very great fondness for natural history had that God in the earth, in the sea, and in the observed that not only did the bodies of birds air has provided innumerable, often invisible disappear very mysteriously from the surface means to purify a dwelling for the noblest of of the ground, but mice, moles, and other little his creation. Millions on millions of insects animals also, and he set himself to discover the inhabit the air whose business it is to consume ciuse. So he placed a dead mule in his garden, the impurities it is constantly absorbing, and marking the spot, left it. The third day the thereby olearing it from malaria which might
otherwise produce disease and death. The wa- one of Tom Paine's lectures. The literary merter is purified in mysterious ways and filled it of the sermon gratified my taste, although I with life-giving gases without which it would listened doubtingly ; but the grave, placid face be unfit to quench our thirst. So everywhere of the preacher - so undoubting in its serenGod has set his seal of love and kindness and ity – drew me again on the next Sabbath to care, and who so blind or so ungrateful as not Orchard Street, and Mrs. Van B-, the old to recognize it?
lady before mentioned, lent me denominational Yes, in the physical, the moral, and the spir- papers, wherein difficult texts were explained, itual world there are influences always at work which I read with eagerness. Now, when the for our advantage, our purifi sation, and happi- housetop seems rather dangerous ground to ness. Everywhere we meet, if we will but see my elderly feet, I smile to think on the study them,
where I pondered on Universalism. Our house PURE INFLUENCES.
was small, and it seemed to me that a doctrine Oh! if no faces were beheld on earth
80 magnificent, whose tender creed made me But toiling manhood and repining age,
weep tears of joy, could be adequately ponderNo welcome eyes of innocence and mirth, ed only in the open air beneath the sky which
To look upon us kindly, who would wage smilingly confirmed the glad tidings. So, on The gloomy battle for himself alone ?
those blessed summer afternoons I took my paOr through the dark of the o’erhanging cloud pers and Bible and, passing through a garret Look wistfully for light? Who would not window on to a roof sequestered from observagroan
tion, and where I had the great delight of overBeneath his daily task, and weep aloud ? looking a neighboring grape-vine, – 'tis hard
to gratify a craving for the beautiful in a poor But little children take us by the hand, neighborhood in New York, – I read and
And gaze with trustful cheer into our eyes ; prayed and 'wrought out my own salvation 'in Patience and fortitude beside us stand
hope and joy. Can you imagine yourself in In woman's shape, and waft to heaven our my situation ? If you can, you have some idea sighs ;
of Mr. Sawyer's altitude in my estimation." The guiltless cbild holds back the arm of guilt We can only congratulate the writer on her
Upraised to strike, and woman may atone emancipation from the obscurities which had With sinless tears for sins of man, and melt surrounded her so long, and her entrance at The damning zeal when evil deeds are done. last into the fair radiance of God's clear light.
For her allusions to our own“ fearful learn
euness" we are humbly grateful, but forbear It will not, we hope, seem a thing out of place to introduce them here. in our “ Table" if we insert a part of a letter received some time since from a lady,- a “We make the weather in our hearts," says stranger. It marks so curious and interesting a sententious but thoughtful French writer, a phase in the history of the Faith we all love “whether the sun shines out, or the heavens that, slight as the incident recounted may seem are black with storins.” This is true undoubtto many, we feel justified in presenting it for the edly to a certain extent, yet whatever may be fellow-feeling it will awaken in others. She the tone of our hearts “some days must be writes,
dark and dreary,” and we sometimes wonder “Pardon my abruptness and allow me to whether the sunshine is ever broad and cheery er plain at once why you receive a letter from on the bearthstones of some of our pioneer an entire stranger.
preachers. This thought has come up with “Some twenty-eight years ago, on my be- uncommon force on reading an extract from a coming a mother, I felt that some more vital letter of a Western missionary to-day. He and tangible hope and strength in religious says, matters than the Episcopal Church, in whose We live on less than two hundred dollars & faith I was reared, – being an English woman, year including housekeeping and travelling – afforded me existed. A neighbor whose unob- expenses ; and my travelling in a year is not trusive piety and cheerfulness in poverty had at- less than three thousand miles. I have to go tracted my attention induced me to go with her to a neighboring wood and fell down the trees, to listen to Mr. Sawyer. I went in fear and trem- chop them into ten or twelve feet logs, hitch bling, very much as if I were going to listen to my horse to them, drag them to the house,
LETTER FROM A LADY.
OVER THE WAY.
chop, saw, and split them into stove fuel, and There are sorrow and labor for all, old man, then, after preaching two sermons a week, rid- Alas! there is sorrow for all ; ing most weeks fifty or sixty miles, teaching And you, peradventure, have had your share, Sabbath-schools, riding three miles to the post- For eighty long winters have whitened your office, store, etc., even after all this, I am told by my brethren that 'I don't do anything but And they've whitened your heart as well, old ride about and read my books,' and they won
man, der why I couldn't work a little now and then Thank God! your old heart as well. and try to earn a part of my living.'
When we read things like this, we pray for You're now at the foot of the hill, old man, great, overmastering faith, that we may not be At last at the foot of the bill; led to doubt whether “brethren ” of this stamp The sun has gone down in a golden glow, are worth saving. The infinite cruelty of such And the heavenly city lies just below; remarks, under such circumstances, is past un. Go in through the pearly gate, old man, derstanding, as the infinite sorrow of their The beautiful, pearly gate! clerical victims must be too heavy for our appreciation. Will the days with them always be
Our associate, Mrs. Soule, sends us a contri. thus “dark and dreary"? and if so, is it in bution for the “ Table” which, like all she their power always to have “fair weather in writes, is interesting, and will be read with their hearts"? After the sadness of this sub- swimming eyes. ject, there is something exquisitely touching in the following lines on
“I think there must be some one sick over
to Mr. Strain's," I said to my sister, the TuesWhere are you going so fast, old man,
day after Christmas. “The doctor went there Where are you going so fast?
yesterday morning and again to-day. I am
afraid it's one of the children, for I see him go There's a valley to cross and a river to ford, There's a clasp of the hand and a parting word, in and out as usual, and I have noticed her at And a tremulous sigh for the past, old man, –
the window several times. I hope they haven't The beautiful vanished past.
got the scarlet fever.”
“Oh, dear, I hope not, though I shouldn't
wonder at all if they had, for it's all through The road has been rugged and rough, old man, the neighborhood. She spoke of it the other To your feet it has been rugged and rough,
evening when I called in ; said she dreaded it But you see a dear being with gentle eyes,
so much, and didn't knew what to do with the Pas shared in your labor and sacrifice ;
children, whether to take them out as usual or Ah ! that has been sunshine enough, old man, house them up. I do hope they wont take it, For you or me, sunshine enough.
for I almost know if they do, Bessie'll die.
She's too bright to live. I don't see why it is, How long since you passed o'er the hill, old either, that such children always have to die, man,
while such dumb-heads as Hannah's and SuOf life, o'er the top of the hill?
san's are, live through everything. Darling Were there beautiful valleys on t'other side ? little Bessie!” and she looked wistfully over Were there flowers and trees with their branches the way ;“ I do hope it isn't you. I'll send wide,
Lizzie over to see as soon as she comes from To shut out the heat of the sun, old man, school.” The heat of the fervid sun ?
Lizzie went and came back with word that the
baby had the scarlet fever and was quite sick, And how did you cross the dark waves, old but not thought dangerous.
"I wonder how that child is " said my cie