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Inspirational verse submitted by readers.


Fleffel, an old writer, is chargeable with the following sonnet:— Well they are gone: my fortune first departed, And then my right good friends went after it: Departing likewise, as the swallows flit After Summer—parasites false-hearted. My servants next gave notice they should quit, And so they did: then my betrothed, a maid I worshipped, also went off, in a fit Of laughter, at my imprudence, she said.

I. Where Midian's hoary mountains in rugged grandeur climb, And rule her desert solitude in majesty sublime, Through lonely wilds and gorges, by springs among the rocks, The exiled seer, a shepherd, led his roving browsing flocks.


          Most strange! Most queer—although most excellent a change! Shades of the prison-house, ye disappear! My fettered thoughts have won a wider range,           And like my legs, are free; No longer huddled up so pitiably: Free now to pry and probe, and peep and peer,           And make these mysteries out. Shall a free-thinking chicken live in doubt? For now no doubt undoubtedly I am: This problem's very heavy on my mind, And I'm not one to either shirk or sham; I won't be blinded, and I won't be blind.


"What are our joys but dreams? and what our hopes, But goodly shadows in the summer cloud? There's not a wind that blows, but bears with it Some rainbow promise. Not a moment flies But puts its sickle in the fields of life, And mowes its thousands with their joys and cares.


Ah! solemn mountain at whose feet I stand, Clouds do adorn thy brow, skies clasp thy hand; Nature and God, in harmony profound, With peaceful presence have begirt thee round. And thou majestic oak, from yon high place Guard'st thou the earth, asleep in night's embrace? Or from thy lofty summit, pouring down Thy sheltering shade, her noonday glories crown? Whate'er thy mission, mountain sentinel, O'er my lone heart thou hast a magic spell; A lesson grave, of life, thou teachest me— I love the Hebrew figure of a tree.


Step not within the shrine where sitteth sacred grief, With cheek as pale As his, who but an hour ago, like autumn leaf Before the gale, Outpoured his momentary thrill of life, so brief! For what avail Thy feet upon her holy floors?—Sure, no relief To mourner's wail! Mar not the beauty of the spirit's final flight From earth below, By dwelling on the last sad Incidents, ere light Quite lost its glow! Not with officious word deplore the deathly night And deathly blow, That fall so often 'cross our way, with fearful might, Where flowers grow! Where grief is silent, sympathy consisteth not In human word, Or heart o'erflowing fast with many a trite old thought,— Mere surface stirred! Believe me, thou who wouldst around the lonely spot Such mantle gird, That even pity's voice, with kindliest feelings fraught, Hath often erred! Where grief is silent, we may know full well that then She's soared away, To follow as she, thus earth-trammelled, can The soul astray! And needeth not upon her flight the voice of men, Or earthly lay! Then, Pitying Love, until she cometh back again, Thy hand, oh stay! R. H.