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82

THE SISTER'S VOICE.

And the mild, bright smile that lit her face,

And made our hearts rejoice,Sadly we mourn each vanished grace,

But most of all her voice.

For ob! it was so soft and sweet,

When uttered forth in words ;
Such tones it had as hearts repeat

In echoes on their chords ;
And lovely when, in measure soft,

She sung a mournful song,
And heavenly when it swelled aloft

In triumph chorus strong;
And dearest when its words of love

Would soothe our bosoms' care,
And loveliest when it rose above

In sounds of praise and prayer. O, in my childhood I have sate

When that sweet voice hath breathed, Forgetful of each merry mate

Of the wild flowers I had wreathed; And, though each other voice I scorned

That called me from my play,
If my sweet sister only warned,

I never could delay.
'Twas she who sang me many a rhyme,

And told me many a tale,
And many a legend of olden time

That made my spirit quail.

THE SISTER'S VOICE.

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There are a thousand pleasant sounds

Around our cottage still —
The torrent that before it bounds,

The breeze upon the hill,
The murmuring of the wood-dove's sigh,

The swallow in the eaves,
And the wind that sweeps a melody

In passing from the leaves ;
And the pattering of the early rain,

The opening flowers to wet;
But they want my sister's voice again,

To make them sweeter yet.

We stood around her dying bed,

We saw her blue eyes close;
While from her heart the pulses fled,

And from her cheek the rose;
And still her lips in fondness moved,

And still she strove to speak
To the mournful beings that she loved,

And yet she was too weak;
Till at last from her eye came one bright ray,

That bound us like a spell ;
And, as her spirit passed away,

We heard her sigh,“ farewell !”
And oft since then that voice hath come

Across my heart again;
And it seems to speak as from the tomb,

And bids me not complain :

84

THE SONG AT TWILIGHT. And I never hear a low, soft flute,

Or the sound of a rippling stream,
Or the rich deep music of a lute,

But it renews my dream,
And brings the hidden treasures forth

That lie in memory's store;
And agaiu to thoughts of that voice gives birth,

That voice I shall hear no more.

No more! it is not so—my hope

Shall still be strong in heaven;
Still search around the spacious scope

For peace and comfort given.
We know there is a world above,

Where all the blessed meet,
Where we shall gaze on those we love,

Around the Saviour's feet;
And I shall hear my sister's voice,

In holier, purer tone;
With all the spotless souls rejoice

Before the Eternal Throne.

BROWNE.

THE SONG AT TWILIGHT.

When evening spreads her shades around,

And darkness fills the arch of heaven;
When not a murmur, not a sound,

To Fancy's sportive ear is given ;

TO A YOUNG BROTHER.

85

When the broad orb of heaven is bright,

And looks around with golden eye; When nature, softened by her light,

Seems calmly, solemnly to lie ;

Then, when our thoughts are raised above

This world, and all this world can give, 0, sister, sing the song I love,

出 And tears of gratitude receive.

'Twere almost sacrilege to sing

Those notes amid the glare of day; Notes borne by angel's purest wing,

And wafted by their breath away.

When, sleeping in my grass-grown bed,

Shouldst thou still linger here above, Wilt thou not kneel beside my head,

And, sister, sing the song I love ?

L. M. DAVIDSON.

TO A YOUNG BROTHER.

There's something in a noble boy,

A brave, free-hearted, careless one,
With his unchecked, unbidden joy,

His dread of books and love of fun;

86

TO A YOUNG BROTHER.

And in his clear and ready smile,
Unshaded by a thought of guile,

And unrepressed by sadness-
Which brings me to my childhood back,
As if I trod its very track,

And felt its very gladness.

Ang yet it is not in his play,

When every trace of thought is lost, And not when you would call him gay,

That his bright presence thrills me most. His shout may ring upon the hill, His voice be echoed in the hall,

His merry laugh like music thrill, And I in sadness hear it all

For like the wrinkles on my brow,

I scarcely notice such things now
But when, amidst the earnest game,

He stops, as if he music heard,
And, heedless of his shouted name

As of the carol of a bird,
Stands gazing on the empty air,
As if some dream were passing there-

'Tis then that on his face I look,
His beautiful but thoughtful face,

And, like a long-forgotten book,
Its sweet, familiar meanings trace,

Remembering a thousand things
Which passed me on those golden wings

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