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From Ailenroc鈥檚 Book, by Cornelia Alexander

鈥淲here is Charles?鈥 said Mrs. Butler, as they gathered around the breakfast table. 鈥淗e is generally prompt at mealtime, if no other.鈥

鈥淚 think he was reading,鈥 Mr. Butler answered. 鈥淟ou., go and call him; perhaps he did not hear the bell;鈥 but as Lou. arose from her seat the clatter of boyish boots was heard, and in a moment Charles was in his place beside her.

鈥淚 got interested,鈥 he said, in a frank, offhand manner, 鈥渋n a little story鈥攐r incident, rather鈥攁bout Napoleon.鈥

鈥淎nd what did Napoleon do in this instance?鈥 said his father.

鈥淗e got in a passion and counted a hundred before speaking.鈥

鈥淧ooh! That was a great thing to do,鈥 said Mr. Butler; and he went on helping the twins, Essie and Earnest, who sat, in all the dignity of high chairs and bib aprons, opposite Charles and Lou.

鈥淚f that鈥檚 all it takes to make a Napoleon, I could be one myself,鈥 Lou. said, as she stirred her tea. Read More

The Consolation

From Ailenroc鈥檚 Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Mother, art grieving for the little form
Stern death has snatched from thine embrace away,
Which thou with sorrow-stricken heart hath laid
In dreamless sleep beneath the churchyard clay?
Grieve not, fond mother, for that tiny bark
Shall ne鈥檈r by stormy winds on seas be driven,
Life鈥檚 storms are not to weather; but, the ocean crossed,
鈥橳is safely anchored in the port of heaven.

Mother, art listening for the prattling tongue,
Whose music charmed thee all the day long,
Till, hushed in slumbers of the night, she smiled
As though she hearkened to an angel鈥檚 song?
By faith look upward; thou canst almost hear,
Floating through pearly gates, that silvery voice
Joined with bright angels in a song of praise;
Then weep no longer, mother, but rejoice.

Mother, art sighing for the little feet
Whose pattering followed thee from morn till night?
How oft thy heart has trembled, lest thou should
Not guide them in the paths of peace aright!
Then sigh no longer, for those little feet
Shall never walk in sin or wickedness;
But, saved forever, they are sporting now
On the green fields of everlasting peace.

Ah, what is life? 鈥橳is a struggle, toil, and strife;
Blissful the peace of heaven when all is past.
In joy and love and thankfulness the soul
Finds rest and its lost treasures there at last.
Then grieve not, for thy babe has gone before,
Saved from all sorrow, sin, and earthly pain.
Rejoice that on that bright and shining shore
You there may clasp her to your heart again.

Spare Beds

From Ailenroc鈥檚 Book, by Cornelia Alexander

That is a curious subject, you will all think, and I think so myself; but I鈥檝e got a little tale to unfold about spare beds in general, and one spare bed in particular, and I had just as well get at it.

Last fall Jasper (that鈥檚 my husband) and I went over to Luke Singleton鈥檚 to spend the day, and, as a bit rain came on in the evening, we had to stay all night.

I was anxious to get back home; but Jasper said not to trouble, for his mother was with the children and everything would go right; so I tried to enjoy myself, and succeeded very well.

Sarah Singleton in one of the best housekeepers that I know. She does more work than half the other women put together, and she laid herself out for a good supper, and got it.

When bedtime came around, she lit a candle and led me out of her room into her spare room, which is in the front part of the house, and comes nearer being a parlor than any other in the neighborhood; for it has a nice carpet on the floor, two rocking-chairs, a big bureau, and a beautiful bed. The white counter-pane was tucked in so nicely, and the big pillows had such pretty shams on them, that I said: 鈥淪arah, I don鈥檛 want to muss up that pretty bed. Put us in one of the back rooms.鈥

鈥淚 shall not,鈥 she said, laughing as hard as she could. 鈥淭his is my company room, and I intend for my company to use it; we don鈥檛.鈥 Read More

To the Savior

From Ailenroc鈥檚 Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Note from the blogger: I set this poem to music several years ago, but am still fiddling with the harmony. I’ll probably share it here on Ziphen Central once it’s done.

When earth smiles in gladness, in fullness, and beauty,
And hope steers our vessels across the blue sea,
We are prone to forget that we owe our first duty
To thee, our Savior, to thee.

When friends are around us, our hearts throb with pleasure;
We make the air vocal with laughter and glee,
Forgetting above we should lay up our treasure
With thee, our Savior, with thee.

But鈥擮!鈥攚hen clouds rise and loud rolls the deep thunder,
And our vessels are shattered on treacherous sea,
Then we turn, with our sad hearts all riven asunder,
To thee, our Savior, to thee,

Because thy dear face has been oft wet with weeping;
Because thou hast said, 鈥淐ome, ye weary, to me;鈥
Because we are watched, whether walking or sleeping,
By thee, our Savior, by thee.

Thou knowest our trials, our every affliction;
Thine ear can be reached by the lowliest plea,
And our sad hearts are soothed by a sweet benediction
From thee, our Savior, from thee.

Birdie’s Pet

From Ailenroc鈥檚 Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Quietness reigned in the town of C鈥斺. The hum of busy everyday life was hushed in the streets, while the closed doors and the sound of church bells proclaimed to the traveler that it was the Lord鈥檚 day. Even the green parrot which hung in its gay cage over Jim Carter鈥檚 door seemed subdued by the sweet stillness of the morning, and held its tongue where it belonged鈥攊n its head.

I said the doors were closed. They were, all but one, and that was where the parrot hung. 鈥淏ar鈥 was written over it in big letters, and there was a tall green screen standing just inside to hide the thirsty caller from the passers-by.

鈥淏ut,鈥 says one, 鈥渢he law of the land does not allow whisky shops open on Sunday.鈥 But the law only imposes a fine, you see, for so doing; and Jim Carter didn鈥檛 care for fines.

鈥淚 makes it up in the long run, he said, winking his one eye. 鈥淏less you, Sunday is as good a day as any! I buys my liquors, and sells when I gets ready. I pays my fines, and it鈥檚 nobody鈥檚 business. Old Jim and the law has a tussle occasionally; but what of it? I does as I pleases.鈥

On this particular morning he sat sunning himself, like a great, big, bloated spider at the door of his den, and, as usual, a crowd of loafers had collected to keep him company.

鈥淭he new parson holds forth to-day, I suppose,鈥 said Joe Bently, a young limb of the law, whose shaky hands and watery eyes proclaimed his habits. He did not add that he had fled from home by the way of a back window, fearing that his pious widowed mother would ask his company to the house of God.

鈥淵es,鈥 drawled old Jim, 鈥渁nd I thought you鈥檇 a-been there; but 鈥榖irds of a feather,鈥 you know,鈥 he added, with a wink of his eye, giving Joe, at the same time, a dig in the ribs. Read More