Page images
PDF
EPUB

tion of depriving you of the only friend you seem to have in the world." “I must part with him," said the man.

« I have not a farthing, and they will never let me take him within the door again.”

“Don't go within their door yourself,” said Mrs. Grafton. “Why should you ?”

“Because I have no other roof to shelter me," replied

the man.

“Do you think you would work if you had a chance to do better for yourself, and keep your dog ?” asked the lady

“Would I not, ma'am !” said he. “Ah! you don't know all !”

“But I know a great deal," replied his benevolent friend; "and I am determined to make the trial if you will but work, and keep away from bad company, and give up your wandering, idle habits. If I find

you

industrious and honest, I will give you wages that will enable you to live decently, and to keep your dog into the bargain.”

The man uncovered his head, and with clasped hands, poured forth such a torrent of eloquent but genuine gratitude, that Helen could not help wishing she had remembered at first, how much kinder it would have been to assist the poor man, without at the same time depriving him of his dog

MAGGIE MAYFLOWER.

MAGGIE Mayflower loved a frolic

Better than she loved a book, Many a scholar has grown wise with

Half the pains that Maggie took.

Pains to cheat, and pains to puzzle,

Pains to make herself believed ; For, when Maggie meant no mischief,

Others thought she still deceived.

Not a guest, and not a neighbour,

But her tricks they all had tried ; Seldom felt they safely seated

Maggie's blooming face beside.

Seldom knew they but some trifle

Might awake her ready laugh, Broken chair, or crazy table,

Spill the draught they meant to quaff.

Sober talk, or solemn lecture,

All alike on Maggie's ear
Fell unheeded, or forgotten
When some pleasant fun was near.

Maggie lived where rock and river

Spread their beauties far and wide ; Blooming vale, and purple heather,

Rippling stream, and swelling tide.

Lonely stood an ancient ruin

Near her father's peaceful home; Scarce the shepherd-boys at evening

Near that ruin liked to roam.

Maggie cared not. Fear had seldom

Blanched her cheek, or bent her knee. Stealing forth, she often rambled

Where no lonely maid should be.

Sometimes when an aged matron

Homeward trudged at close of day, Maggie, with her mother's cloak on,

Went and met her on the way.

Tones of grief she well could mimick,

Tales of hardship quaintly tell; Thus with plaintive suit she follow'd

Many a wanderer through that dell.

Maggie Mayflower had an uncle,

Kind, but somewhat hard to please ; Well she loved her Uncle David ;

But she better loved to tease.

Once, it happen'd in the winter,

While December's blast did blow, Here and there, in hedge and hollow,

Lay the drifts of melting snow;

Maggie and her brothers plann'd it

Such a scheme it was to be ; Uncle David, dear old fellow !

Was to come that day to tea.

O'er a tract of dreary moorland

Uncle David had to pass ;
Here the youthful party station’d

Crouch'd among the wither'd grass.

Maggie had a hat and coat on,

And the part she meant to play Was to mount behind her Uncle,

Spur his steed, and ride away.

Not as in her own fair

person, Not his kind and loving child, But a robber fierce and furious,

Muttering threats and menace wild.

“Hark! he comes,” the brothers whisper,

“Now your time is–Maggie, fly! From yon rock you mount the pony,

While we hold it-James and I.”

Sure enough a horseman gallop'd

Swift as lightning o'er the ground. Hold !” the brothers cried, and quickly

Stopp'd the horseman at the sound.

Maggie was a skilful rider

Well her Uncle's horse she knew. In a moment she was mounted,

Round his waist her arms she drew.

Bounding went the frighten'd pony,

Over brier, and over heath; Not a word spoke Uncle David ;

Maggie held her fluttering breath.

Once or twice she tried to murmur

Threats of terror, fierce and dire; Not a word spake Uncle David

Faster flew that steed of fire.

Faster still, and still more furious,

O'er that waste so wild and black, Flash'd the hoofs on ridge and causeway,

Yell'd a fierce dog in their track.

Fast they flew, and darker--deeper

Closed around the dismal night; Soon was lost each rock and headland

Lost to Maggie's wondering sight.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »