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THE SONG OF THE SHIRT.

(THOMAS HOOD.) With fingers weary and worn,

With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread-

Stitch ! stitch I stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,

And still with a voice of dolorous pitch She sang the “Song of the Shirt !”

“Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!

And work—work-work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's Oh! to be a slave

Along with the barbarous Turk,
When woman has never a soul to save

If this is Christian work!

" Work_work_work
Till the brain begins to swim;

Work-work-work
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,

Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,

And sew them on in a dream!

“Oh, men, with sisters dear!

Oh, men, with mothers and wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!

Stitch-stitch-stitch,
In poverty, bunger, and dirt,

Sewing at once, with a double thread, A shroud as well as a shirt.

“But why do I talk of Death?

That phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear his terrible shape,

It seems so like my own-
It seems so like my own,

Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,

And flesh and blood so cheap!

• Work-work-work!

My labor never flags;
And what are its wages ? A bed of straw,

A crust of bread-and rags.
That shatter'd roof—and this naked floor-

A table-a broken chair-
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank

For sometimes falling there!

“Work-work-work! From weary chime to chime,

Work-work-work-
As prisoners work for crime !

Band, and gusset, and seam,

Seam, and gusset, and band, Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb'd,

As well as the weary hand.

“Work-work—work,
In the dull December light,

And work-work—work,
When the weather is warm and bright-
While underneath the eaves

The brooding swallows cling,
As if to show me their sunny backs

And twit me with the spring.

“Oh! but to breathe the breath

Of the cowslip and primrose sweet With the sky above my head,

And the grass beneath my feet,

For only one short hour.

To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want

And the walk that costs a meal!

“Oh! but for one short hour!

A respite however brief !
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,

But only time for Grief?
A little weeping would ease my heart,

But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop

Hinders needle and thread !"

With fingers weary and worn,

With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread-

Stitch ! stitch ! stitch !
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!

She sang this “Song of the Shirt !"

EVELYN HOPE.

(ROBERT BROWNING.) Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead !

Sit and watch by her side an hour. That is her book-shelf, this her bed ;

She plucked that piece of geranium flower, Beginning to die too, in the glass.

Little has yet been changed, I think: The shutters are shut, no light may pass

Save two long rays through the hinge's chink.

Sixteen years old when she died !

Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name; It was not her time to love ; beside,

Her life had many a hope and aim,

Duties enough, and little cares,

And now was quiet, now astir,
Till God's hand beckoned unawares,-

And the sweet white brow is all of her.

Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope ?

What, your soul was pure and true, The good stars met in your horoscope,

Made you of spirit, fire and dew,And just because I was thrice as old,

And our paths in the world diverged so wide, Each was nought to each, must I be told ?

We were fellow-mortals, nought beside ?

No, indeed I for God above

Is great to grant, as mighty to make, And creates the love to reward the love:

I claim you still, for my own love's sake! Delayed it may be for more lives yet,

Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few : Much is to learn and much to forget

Ere the time be come for taking you.

But the time will come,-at last it will,

When, Evelyn Hope, what meant, I shall say, In the lower earth, in the years long still,

That body and soul so pure and gay? Why your hair was amber, I shall divine,

And your mouth of your own geranium's red And what you would do with me, in fine,

In the new life come in the old one's stead.

I have lived, I shall say, so much since then,

Given up myself so many times, Gained me the gains of various men,

Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; Yet one thing, one, in my soul's full scope,

Either I missed or itself missed meAnd I want and find you, Evelyn Hope!

What is the issue ? let us see!

I loved you, Evelyn, all the while !

My heart seemed full as it could hold There was place and to spare for the frank young smile

And the red young mouth, and the hair's young gold. So, hush, I will give you this leaf to keep

See, I shut it inside the sweet, cold hand There, that is our secret! go to sleep;

You will wake, and remember, and understand.

ABOU BEN ADHEM.

(LEIGH HUNT.) " Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase !) Awoke one night from a sweet dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, An angel, writing in a book of gold. Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the Presence in the room he said, • What writest thou ?' The vision raised its head, And, with a look made all of sweet accord, Answered— The names of those who love the Lord.' * And is mine one ?' said Abou; Nay, not so, Replied the angel.--- Abou spoke more low, But cheerily still ; and said, I pray thee, then, Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

" The angel wrote, and vanish'd. The next night
It came again, with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had bless'd-
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest."

THE NATION'S DEAD.
Four hundred thousand men

The brave-the good-the true,
In tangled wood, in mountain glen,
On battle plain, in prison pen,

Lie dead for me and you!

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