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A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art,
VOL. XXVI. — JULY, 1870. — NO. CLIII.
THE ALARM-BELL OF ATRI.
Of ancient Roman date, but scant renown,-
How happily the days in Atri sped,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by Fields, Osgood, & Co., in the Clerk's Office
of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts VOL. XXVI. —NO. 153.
By chance it happened that in Atri dwelt
He sold his horses, sold his hawks and hounds,
At length he said: “What is the use or need
One afternoon, as in that sultry clime
But ere he reached the belfry's light arcade,
Meanwhile from street and lane a noisy crowd
And thereupon the Syndic gravely read
The Knight withdrew abashed; the people all
Henry W. Longfellow.
A SHADOW. .
SHALL always remember one win- history, their fate, are all unknown.
ter evening, a little before Christ- But these two will always stand for me mas-time, when I took a long, solitary as disembodied types of humanity, the walk in the outskirts of the town. The Mother and the Child, they seem nearer cold sunset had left a trail of orange to me than my immediate neighbors, light along the horizon, the dry snow yet they are as ideal and impersonal as tinkled beneath my feet, and the early the goddesses of Greece or as Plato's stars had a keen, clear lustre that archetypal man. matched well with the sharp sound and I know not the parentage of that the frosty sensation. For some time child, whether black or white, native or I had walked toward the gleam of a foreign, rich or poor. It makes no difdistant window, and as I approached, ference. The presence of a baby equalthe light showed more and more clearly izes all social conditions. On the floor through the white curtains of a little of some Southern hut, scarcely so comcottage by the road.
I stopped, on fortable as a dog-kennel, I have seen reaching it, to enjoy the suggestion of a dusky woman look down upon her domestic cheerfulness in contrast with infant with such an expression of dethe dark outside. I could not see the light as painter never drew. No social inmates, nor they me; but something culture can make a mother's face more of human sympathy came from that than a mother's, as no wealth can make steadfast ray.
a nursery more than a place where chilAs I looked, a film of shade kept dren dwell. Lavish thousands of dolappearing and disappearing with rhyth- lars on your baby-clothes, and after all mic regularity in a corner of the win the child is prettiest when every gardow, as if some one might perhaps be ment is laid aside. That becoming sitting in a low rocking-chair beside nakedness, at least, may adorn the it. Presently the motion ceased, and chubby darling of the poorest home. suddenly across the curtain came the I know not what triumph or despair shadow of a woman. She raised in her may have come and gone through that arms the shadow of a baby, and kissed wayside house since then, what jubilant it; then both disappeared, and I walked guests may have entered, what lifeless
form passed out. What anguish or What are Raphael's Madonnas but what sin may have come between that the shadow of a mother's love, fixed in woman and that child ; through what permanent outline forever? Here the worlds they now wander, and whether group actually moved upon the canvas. separate or in each other's arms, - this The curtains which hid it revealed it. is all unknown. Fancy can picture The ecstasy of human love passed in other joys to which the first happiness brief, intangible panorama before me. was but the prelude, and, on the other It was something seen, yet unseen; hand, how easy to imagine some speairy, yet solid; a type, yet a reality; cial heritage of human woe and call it fugitive, yet destined to last in my theirs ! memory while I live. It said more to
“I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest, me than would any Madonna of Ra- Lord of thy house and hospitality : phael's, for his mother never kisses And Grief, uneasy lover, might not rest her child. I believe I have never
Save when he sat within the touch of thee." passed over that road since then, never Nay, the foretaste of that changed seen the house, never heard the names fortune may have been present, even in of its occupants. Their character, their the kiss. Who knows what absorbing