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“What Father Takes”

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

They drew around the festal board,
Where hearts beat high with mirth and joy,
And bubbles danced on beaker’s brim—
‘Twas fairyland to that fair boy.

Old age was there, and manhood’s prime,
And smiling beauty fresh and fair,
Who bowed to toasts of flashing eyes,
To smiling lips and flowing hair.

“What will you take?” the waiter asked,
And paused to hear the youth’s reply,
Who, all unused to such gay scenes,
Upon his father turns his eye;

And as the waiter smiling stands,
His sweet, young voice the silence breaks
In flutelike music on the air:
“I’ll take whatever father takes.”

A thrill ran through the father’s heart,
A thrill of pain, and yet of joy.
He saw a way to guide the feet
Of his bright, trusting boy.

A nobler look grew on his brow,
Even as the ruby wine went by.
“Waiter,” he said, “bring water pure
For this my boy and I.”

O, fathers, will you stop and think,
Lest some day your sad heart should break
Because a son has gone to ruin
From taking what he saw his father take?

Hymn of the Week – David’s Song of Thanks

[O]n that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him; sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Israel his servant,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
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One Christmas Day

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

“Miss Sims and Miss Nellie Sims, and Miss Horn and Miss Mary Ann Horn, and Miss Hendon, all must come to Mr. J. R. Coleman’s on the twenty-fifth day of December, to a quilting. Be sure to came, and don’t fail to bring your needles with you.”

So read an invitation received by my mother, and including the whole family except my father and brother, who pretended to be very angry over the slight.

I had never been to a big quilting, and, of course, looked forward to the day with great anticipations. I was surprised that my sisters cared so little for the invitation and indulged in so much laughter concerning it.

We had not been living in the country long, and the Colemans were among our first acquaintances. They were “good livers”—a good, old-fashioned family—and, while not going in for style at all, lived well in a rough manner.

Mrs. Coleman was uneducated, but she had a brother who had been off to school, and who, I thought, was an exception. Viewed in the calm light of riper years, his face was very foolish. His forehead and chin retreated from a large nose, and his pale hair and light blue eyes gave him a washed-out appearance; but I thought him charming. He seemed to be quite literary, and I loved books better than anything; so, of course, we were congenial spirits. He was twenty, I was fifteen, and I had no hesitation in appropriating his visits to myself. In the foolishness of my foolish heart, I no doubt put on airs. Indeed, my brother often assured me that I needed taking down a peg. Alas! The taking down came soon enough. Read More

The Old, Old Story

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Twilight throws her dusty mantle
Over earth and over sea,
And the gentle dews are falling
On the flowers that dot the lea.

The bright stars are looking downward,
And the moon resplendent shines,
Making dewdrops sparkle brilliant
As the gems that fill the mines.

There is one who just has left her;
Long years she has loved him well,
But his words to-night have filled her
With a bliss she cannot tell.

Yes, he told the old, old story;
But to her ‘twas strange and new.
Now the world seems doubly glorious,
Sparkling through its veil of dew.

Dirinda’s Dilemma

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

When Jeems Henry’s name first appeared in the Buglehorn as a candidate for the office of constable, I was just as proud as proud could be. Jeems Henry always stood high in my estimation, and I was glad that others had a good opinion of him also. To be sure, it was not much of an office, but Jeems Henry soon reconciled me to that. He illustrated it by a ladder, and made it look beautiful to my eyes. Of course, every one knows that you ascend a ladder step by step and round by round, and I must confess that I built in my imagination a stairway that rivaled Jacob’s; only, his led to heaven, and mine to the presidency.

It was a right pretty little notice that was in the paper. Things were said of Jeems Henry that I could have told them long before, concerning his good looks, good morals, and fine sense, and I took real pleasure in reading it. “Several friends” wrote it out, so it said, and I was wrathy all over when the opposition hinted that it was Jeems Henry himself. But he didn’t run after office—not he. He told me in confidence that if his party chose to give it to him, he would accept, but he did not ask for office.

Old Peter Doolittle ran against him, and, like an old scamp, as he is, he must rake up a great chance of tales against Jeems Henry, and narrate them all over the country, till, if I hadn’t known them to be false, I couldn’t have voted for him myself. But Jeems Henry paid him back in his own coin. He picked up some things about old Peter that were true, and published them in the Buglehorn, and old Peter’s son sent Jeems Henry word that he would thrash him on first sight. After that you may know I was uneasy all the time. I was troubled all day and dreamed bad dreams all night, till I wished the election was safely over. Read More