The day was fair; the air was mild -
The streams and birds made music rare;
Not e'en my thoughts I called my own,
For I had banished every care.
My only wish, my one desire,
As my bug-net lay by my side,
Was that some rare but stupid bug
Might into its interior glide.
I glanced toward the cheese-cloth sack,
'T was moving to and fro;
I gently raised the circled wire
To see an awful show!
The bug I saw within that net
Was larger than my head;
Its eyes looked just like coals of fire,
Or saucers colored red.
The antenna was clavate like, -
Looked like a base ball bat;
Its mandibles like grapplinghooks,
Between them was my hat.
He dropped the hat and at me ran,
Too scared was I to flee,
But stood and screamed this, o'er and o'er,
"Seat, you Searabidae."
W. W. HUTTO.
The world, so they say, is full of deceit,
And friendship a jewel we seldom can meet.
How strange does it seem, that, in searching around,
This source of delight is so rare to be found.
When fortune is smiling, whole crowds may appear,
Oh, friendship! thou balm and rich sweetness of life,
How much to be prized and esteemed is a friend
And whether the world condemn or approve,
Did it ever occur to you that all mankind is one great selfish individual, finding the consummation of all aspirations in self gratification? In him how little sympathy exists; how little brotherly love, that feeling which renders the interests of others as precious as our own! Would you see this selfishness exhibited? Then come with me into the streets of the city.
I believe that a dry goods box on the street corner, is the best school. Here your books are human beings and your lessons human nature. The streets themselves and the very buildings seem to be bent on naught but their own interest. From the magnificent marble palace of commerce to the dilapidated little shoe shop, from one street's end to the other there dangles and flaps in the rustling wind, the index to what the stores contain. Shop windows are shining with glossy fabrics, or glittering with tinkling jewels, or overflowing with delicacies, tempting the eye with appeals to the stomach. The shop keepers are fighting for self; and how maliciously they eye each other as a customer passes on to a neighbor. But look to the sidewalk, where we come into man's sphere. I wonder if we then reach a higher plane. Looking at the crowd collectively, it seems to be a conglomerate mass of men, women and children; the molecular individuals of which are arranging themselves as incessantly as if obeying some mechanical law.
Analyze this mass of humanity and view the individuals, as the unorganized procession goes by you. It takes all kinds of men to make up this world of ours, and in no place is this more evident than here. Now passes portly independence, personified in the form of an elderly gentleman, whose manner and tread are that the sidewalk was laid for his especial benefit. Next the peacock element of humanity appears in the form of a millionaire's wife. She is self-consciousness adorned. Stand aside! Here comes a ten cent cigar with fire on one end and a fool on the other, who is heir to a delicate cane, that reposes meekly under its master's arm. His mind is dwelling on the contrast between the third and the fifth vowels. Here is the farmer intent on his business; there the schoolboy exultant in a holiday; here again, the stirring newsboy, the sloven bootblack, the professional man and the professional idler - men and women; white and black; rich and poor; innocent and guilty all are here, and all seek the good of self alone.
A crowd is a lonesome place. Gradually they gather into little groups; groups in greeting and in parting; groups of idle tongues at the corner, base wretches, commentors on passers by, enveloped in smoke, rivals in profanity. Again they disappear and are lost in silence.
The Pharisees and Levites are numerous, but the good Samaritans are few indeed. Here is an old colored woman, lame and feeble, limping along through the throng of men, subject to the jeers of idle loafers, spurned by men and shunned by women, yet she is braving the world alone - "urged on by peerless want." What a chance for mercy; what an opportunity for showing true manliness in lifting a burden from a human soul! Oh! Have you no heart, idle jester? Have you no tears for somebody's mother? 'Twill brighten your joys to lift her burden. 'Twill bring a ray of sunlight into two hearts. 'Twill be a spring of joy in a desert of grief. A sparkle from those eyes and a "God bless you" beaming from every wrinkle in that aged countenance will repay you richly for your kindness, and still you do not volunteer. What a crowd of selfish men!
Are you tired of human beings? Then turn again to the streets. The day is declining, and one by one vacancies are being made where first we saw the farmer's team standing. The continuous line is being broken and the intervals grow wider and wider, while the clatter and roar, with their reverberating echoes, "deaden and deafen the ear with their sound." What do you see in the distance, approaching the city? It is a hearse, a hungry living sepulchre, coming from the city of the dead. Its reckless roll on the stone paved streets seems to be voicing the hollow, mocking tones of disregard for humanity that the whole brazen world is muttering.
But old Sol is sinking in the distant horizon. As he throws the last ray on the city, it is lit up with a golden lustre, and stands participating in the resplendent grandeur of the light of day. Each decked in his own most gorgeous robe cordially bids the other good night. The teams are gone; the town is still save the noise of men, my brothers, ever reaping something new; still hammering, still chiseling, till the clock on the tower announces the hour of six - then all is quiet.
Then does night throw the mantle of darkness on fleeting day, stars upon stars in the infinite realms of space conspire in vain to lift night's sable pinions. Darkness, the king of night, reigns. Self is gone, and the beautiful stars, "the forget-me-nots of the angels," spread their soft radiance over all. How happy they seem as they twinkle alike for all! Can we not, like the stars, forget ourselves and throw little rays of light into the hearts of those around us? Can we not be, instead of a burden maker, a burden bearer in this one great human family to which we belong? A kindly word and a friendly smile will live through eternity, and the God who is in all and who rules all in that mysterious realm, will place in your crown jewels that shall shine forever unto those whom you have left behind.
Once upon a pleasant evening,
Not so very long ago,
Gay and festive college students
Went to see a meteor show.
They were anxious, so they started
For to get a first-class view
And to further their ambition,
Started out in squads of two.
The meteors were to be recorded,
Soon a heavenly body flitted;
Now the fireflies went on record
Soon the rumbling of a freight train
But the trains were slow in coming,
They have wed; no more they linger
H. W. JONES.
Tom & Carolyn Ward