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There they knelt with folded hands, and said
Low, soft words in stammering accents sweet;

In the firelight shone their golden hair

And white robes : my darlings looked so fair, With their little bare and rosy feet!

There he waited till their low" Amen;"
Stopped the rosy lips raised for “ Good night!”–

Drew them with a fond clasp, close and near,

As he bade them stay with him, and hear Something that would make his heart more light.

Little Olga crept into his arms;
Arthur leant upon his shoulder; May

Knelt beside him, with her earnest eyes

Lifted up in patient, calm surpriseI can almost hear his words to-day.

“ Years ago, my children, years ago, When your mother was a child, she came

From her northern home, and here she met

Love for love, and comfort for regret,
In one early friend,—you know her name,

“ And this friend—a few years older-gave Such fond care, such love, that day by day

The new home grew happy, joy complete,

Studies easier, and play more sweet, While all childish sorrows passed away.

“And your mother—fragile, like my May, Leant on this deep love,-nor leant in vain.

For this friend (strong, generous, noble heart!) Gave the sweet, and took the bitter part,Brought her all the joy, and kept the pain.

Years passed on, and then I saw them first: It was hard to say which was most fair,

Your sweet mother's bright and blushing face,

Or the graver Margaret's stately grace; Golden locks, or braided raven hair.

" Then it happened, by a strange, sad fate, One thought entered into each young soul :

Joy for one—if for the other pain ;

Loss for one—if for the other gain :
One must lose, and one possess the whole.

“ And so this—this—what they cared for-came And belonged to Margaret : was her own.

But she laid the gift aside, to take

Pain and sorrow for your mother's sake, And none knew it but herself alone.

“ Then she travelled far away, and none
The strange mystery of her absence knew.
Margaret's secret thought was never told:

Even your mother thought her changed and cold, And for many years I thought so too.

“ She was gone; and then your mother took
That poor gift which Margaret laid aside :

Flower, or toy, or trinket, matters not :
What it was had better be forgot ...
It was just then she became my bride.

“ Now, I think May knows the hope I have.
Arthur, darling, can you guess the rest ?

Even my little Olga understands
Great gifts can be given by little hands,
Since of all gifts Love is still the best.

“ Margaret is my dear and honoured wife, And I hold her so. But she can claim

From your hearts, dear ones, a loving debt

I can neither pay, nor yet forget :
You can give it in your mother's name.

“ Earth spoils even Love, and here a shade On the purest, noblest heart may fall:

Now your mother dwells in perfect light,

She will bless us, I believe, to-night,She is happy now, and she knows all.”

Next day was farewell—a day of tears ;
Yet Sir Arthur, as he rode away,

And turned back to see his lady stand

With the children clinging to her hand, Looked as if it were a happy day.

Ah, they loved her soon! The little one
Crept into her arms as to a nest ;

Arthur always with her now; and May
Growing nearer to her every day :-
-Well, I loved my own dear lady best.

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RURTARRY Crowns of Heaven

Set in azure night!

Linger yet a little
Ere you hide your light:-

-Nay; let Starlight fade away
Heralding the day!

Snowflakes pure and spotless,

Still, oh, still remain, Binding dreary winter, In your silver chain :

-Nay; but melt at once and bring Radiant sunny Spring !

Blossoms, gentle blossoms,

Do not wither yet;
Still for you the sun shines,

Still the dews are wet:

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