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The Watchers

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

(Ps 33: 7.)

While wrapped in slumbers of the night,
Mine eyes beheld a vision.
A group of white-robed angels came
Floating from fields elysian:
And as I marveled at the sight,
With wonder past the telling,
They circled, in a shining band,
Around a lowly dwelling.

O, never princes of the earth
Had guard so high and holy
As that which moved with noiseless wing
Around the cot so lowly,
Unwearied, through the long, dark hours
Their silent vigil keeping,
While sire and son, mother and maid,
Lay gently, sweetly sleeping!

O, heart bowed down with grief and woe,
Crushed by the cold world鈥檚 scorning,
Have patience through the dreary night,
Wait for the glorious morning!
For through thy dark and lonely hours,
Shining with rays supernal,
God鈥檚 angels watch thy dwelling round
With love pure and eternal.

Going to Church

From Ailenroc鈥檚 Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Mr. Washington Brown is our good-natured man.聽 Everybody says he is one of the best-natured men in the world, and, of course, what everybody says must be so.聽 His neighbor, who is known to be a choleric person, sighs regretfully and wishes he could take the world fair and easily, like Brown.聽 It has grown into a proverb that nothing upsets Brown鈥檚 temper.聽 No, sir; rain or shine, luck or no luck, it鈥檚 all the same to him.聽 But his friends don鈥檛 drop in often to see him get off to church.

On Sunday morning he takes his rest鈥攏o use in a hurry, so he lies in bed till the call to breakfast rouses him.聽 Then after breakfast he feeds the horses, and, as it is getting late, begins to prepare for going to meeting.

While Mrs. Brown clears away the breakfast things and tidies up the kitchen, he blacks his boots; and by the time she is ready to make up the beds, he is calling for hot water and his clean clothes.聽 He meditates a while and contemplates his unshaven visage in the glass, and says: 鈥淎manda, I believe I will wear that pair of drab pantaloons to-day, as it is getting late in the season and I may not have another chance to wear them.鈥

鈥淥 dear!鈥 sighs Amanda.聽 鈥淭here are no buttons on them.鈥

Mr. Brown鈥檚 eyes open wide and he glares angrily.聽 Read More

The Meadow Spring

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

To-day, while the sun shone warm and bright,
Bathing the sun in its mellow light;
While the air was sweet with the breath of flowers,
And the peach blooms fell in rosy showers,
I closed my eyes to the sunlight’s gleam,
And drifted off in a restful dream,
Back through the valley of hopes and fears,
Back to the scenes of my childhood’s years.

Again I lay on the soft, green grass,
Watching the fleecy cloud banks pass,
Building my castles, tall and fair–
Castles in cloudland, based on air;
While close at hand, a murmuring thing,
Gurgled the dear old meadow spring.

Cool and fragrant and sweet the spot,
One that my heart has ne’er forgot;
Feathery ferns grew round the brink,
Brushing the lips that stooped to drink;
Tuneful birds in the thickets sang;
Musical bells in the distance rang;
Starlike flowers peeped through the grass,
Nodding their heads at the merry lass,
Who came each day, a careless thing,
To lie and dream by the meadow spring.

Waiting for the Train

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

At a wayside station sat an old man,
As the twilight gathered o’er the plain;
He had waited since the early morning,
Waited for the coming of the train.

Bent was his form by the weight of years,
Bleached his locks by the sun and rain;
Yet patient and calmly he sat and watched,
And waited for the coming of the train.

It came at last, with a tolling bell;
It passed with a fluttering breath,
And the Great Engineer took the old man home
On the train that men called Death.

O, friends, at our wayside stations
We are waiting in our sorrow and pain,
Listening to the rush of the wheels of time,
Waiting for the coming of the train.

Bearing the Cross

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

鈥淢y little woman in brown was there again. I found myself laughing more than once, she has such a comic look.鈥

鈥淚t is wrong, my dear, to laugh at other people鈥檚 oddities.鈥

鈥淚 know it is, mamma, and I just laughed inside. I don鈥檛 think it was observed. Really, I couldn鈥檛 help it. Brown dress and apron, brown bonnet, brown eyes, brown skin鈥攁 regular 鈥榖rownie.鈥欌

鈥淒id you manage to hear any of the sermon, Maud, or were you taken up entirely with Miss Baker鈥檚 appearance?鈥

Maud gave her mother a quick, reproachful glance, and seated herself on a low stool beside the coach; for Mrs. Weir had been kept from church by a severe headache.

鈥淵es, indeed, I can tell you a good deal about it. He preached about crosses. First, of course, he told how, anciently, people were put to death in that way; what a shameful, ignominious death it was. Then he told us of the death of our Savior on the cross, which forever hallowed it. He spoke of the cross Constantine saw, or thought he saw, and how it became to all devout Catholics a symbol of their religion. O, he told us a great many things about crosses; but the strangest thing was of a sect in our own land, a half-mad people, who hold to the Roman Catholic belief, but who are far more fanatical. Read More