They heard the South wind sighing
A murmur of the rain;
And they knew that Earth was longing
To see them all again.
While the snow-drops still were sleeping
Beneath the silent sod;
They felt their new life pulsing
Within the dark, cold clod.
Not a daffodil nor daisy
Had dared to raise its head;
Not a fairhaired dandelion
Peeped timid from its bed;
Though a tremor of the winter
Did shivering through them run;
Yet they lifted up their foreheads
To greet the vernal sun.
And the sunbeams gave them welcome.
As did the morning air
And scattered o'er their simple robes
Rich tints of beauty rare.
Soon a host of lovely flowers
From vales and woodland burst;
But in all that fair procession
The crocuses were first.
First to weave for Earth a chaplet
To crown her dear old head;
And to beautify the pathway
Where winter still did tread.
And their loved and white haired mother
Smiled sweetly 'neath the touch,
When she knew her faithful children
Were loving her so much.
A Story Of The Rebellion
The treacherous sands had caught our boat,
And held it with a strong embrace
And death at our imprisoned crew
Was sternly looking face to face.
With anxious hearts, but failing strength,
We strove to push the boat from shore;
But all in vain, for there we lay
With bated breath and useless oar.
Around us in a fearful storm
The fiery hail fell thick and fast;
And we engirded by the sand,
Could not return the dreadful blast.
When one arose upon whose brow
The ardent sun had left his trace,
A noble purpose strong and high
Uplighting all his dusky face.
Perchance within that fateful hour
The wrongs of ages thronged apace;
But with it came the glorious hope
Of swift deliverance to his race.
Of galling chains asunder rent,
Of severed hearts again made one,
Of freedom crowning all the land
Through battles gained and victories won.
'Some one,' our hero firmly said,
'Must die to get us out of this;'
Then leaped upon the strand and bared
His bosom to the bullets' hiss.
'But ye are soldiers, and can fight,
May win in battles yet unfought;
I have no offering but my life,
And if they kill me it is nought.'
With steady hands he grasped the boat,
And boldly pushed it from the shore;
Then fell by rebel bullets pierced,
His life work grandly, nobly o'er.
Our boat was rescued from the sands
And launched in safety on the tide;
But he our comrade good and grand,
In our defence had bravely died.
The Night Of Death
Twas a night of dreadful horror, --
Death was sweeping through the land;
And the wings of dark destruction
Were outstretched from strand to strand
Strong men's hearts grew faint with terror,
As the tempest and the waves
Wrecked their homes and swept them downward,
Suddenly to yawning graves.
'Mid the wastes of ruined households,
And the tempest's wild alarms,
Stood a terror-stricken mother
With a child within her arms.
Other children huddled 'round her,
Each one nestling in her heart;
Swift in thought and swift in action,
She at least from one must part.
Then she said unto her daughter,
"Strive to save one child from death."
"Which one?" said the anxious daughter,
As she stood with bated breath.
Oh! the anguish of that mother;
What despair was in her eye!
All her little ones were precious;
Which one should she leave to die?
Then outspake the brother Bennie:
"I will take the little one."
"No," exclaimed the anxious mother;
"No, my child, it can't be done."
"See! my boy, the waves are rising,
Save yourself and leave the child!"
"I will trust in Christ," he answered;
Grasped the little one and smiled.
Through the roar of wind and waters
Ever and anon she cried;
But throughout the night of terror
Never Bennie's voice replied.
But above the waves' wild surging
He had found a safe retreat,
As if God had sent an angel,
Just to guide his wandering feet.
When the storm had spent its fury,
And the sea gave up its dead
She was mourning for her loved ones,
Lost amid that night of dread.
While her head was bowed in anguish,
On her ear there fell a voice,
Bringing surcease to her sorrow,
Bidding all her heart rejoice.
"Didn't I tell you true?" said Bennie,
And his eyes were full of light,
"When I told you God would help me
Through the dark and dreadful night?"
And he placed the little darling
Safe within his mother's arms,
Feeling Christ had been his guardian,
'Mid the dangers and alarms.
Oh! for faith so firm and precious,
In the darkest, saddest night,
Till life's gloom-encircled shadows
Fade in everlasting light.
And upon the mount of vision
We our loved and lost shall greet,
With earth's wildest storms behind us,
And its cares beneath our feet.