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Robert E. Lee Portrait
RALPH FARNHAM'S LAST DREAM.
IN the midst of his children's
children, by the home-fire's cheerful blaze, An o1(1 man sat in an easy-chair,
dreaming of by-gone days; Dreaming of wearisome marches, by flood, morass, and
wold, Where many a brave heart fainted with hunger and thirst and cold :
Dreaming of midnight watch( s in the dreary, drizzling rain,
And the hum of his comrades'
voices, that he never should hear again ; Of the smouldering fires of the
bivouac, the sentinel's measured tread, The smoke and roar of the battle, and
the faces of the dead—Of the fair young son of his neighbor, who fought and fell
by his side, And the sacred message he gave him to his girl-love when he died.
He saw the face of the maiden grow as cold as death and as pale, As he sat by
her father's hearth-stone and told her the cruel tale. "Ay, ay!" in his sleep he
murmured, "she was fair and he was brave, But she faded away like a blossom, and
we made him a soldier's grave. But we routed the British legions, and sent them
over the sea, For the God of battles helped us, and our native land was free. My
son, I have been dreaming a dream that gave me pain ; I thought I was young, and
a soldier, fighting for freedom again : I saw the tents and the banners, and the
shining ranks of the foe, And the crimson tracks our poor recruits left on the
frozen snow. But is it true, this rumor, or only an idle tale
Do they talk of dissolving the
Union ?—Ah, well may your cheek grow pale, And well may an old man tremble, and
his heart beat faint and low, When he thinks of the price it cost us some
fourscore years ago ! I have watched its growing greatness through a life of
many years, But I never forgot that its blessings were purchased with blood and
tears. I never forgot the privations of fourscore years ago,
When the naked feet of our poor
recruits left crimson tracks in the snow. I never forgot their faces, and I seem
to see them still, Who looked straight into the face of death at the battle of
Bunker's Hill. And so the home of Marion is the first to break the band That
bound the beautiful sisterhood of our beloved land; The children of the heroes
around whose memory clings The glory of King's Mountain, Cowpens, and Eutaw
Springs ! I saw our blessed banner, with its white and crimson bars, When fair
South Carolina was one of the thirteen stars; And if' ever that constellation is
marred or rent in twain, It would blast the sight of these poor old eyes to see
its folds again. If God has forsaken our country, the only boon I crave Is that
He will delay its ruin till I have gone down to the grave; For I could not
breathe with traitors, nor turn my face to the sun, Nor dwell in the land of the
living, when the States are no longer one."
SARAH T. BOLTON.
UNDER THE FIR-TREES.
A HARVEST ROMANCE.
" HA, MARIAN ! well met, fair
maid ! Where roaming this bright morn?"
The maiden, with a sigh, replies,
" My Lord, to lease the corn."
Her hair with blossoms wild
bedeck'd, her cheek with blushes dyed,
She stands a very queen of
flowers, yet downcast as a bride.
" Come, Marian, my love, with me;
nay, why so bashful now?
This scorching sun will deeply
tinge the whiteness of thy brow ;
The coarse, harsh stubble of the
fields these little hands will spoil ;
My village beauty was not born to
suffer heat and toil.
"Come, fairest, come, why linger
still? Such rude employment leave;
Beneath the fir-trees' welcome
shade, we'll wander as at eve.
Have you that happy hour
forgot—my murmur'd vows and sighs?
Dear Marian, turn, and let me
read my answer in thine eyes!"
Fair Marian at his bidding turns
; they pace beneath the trees,
Whose tall and tender columns
wave and mutter with each breeze.
But those sweet eyes are filled
with tears, the blush forsakes her cheek.
" What is it troubles Marian so ?
Speak, little maiden, speak."
But Marian, resting on a bank,
looks down and thinks a while;
The handsome noble, lounging
near, looks on with careless smile.
No sound disturbs the solitude
but labor's distant hum:
Impatiently at last he cries, "My
sweetest, art thou dumb ?"
Then, hands clasped loosely round
his arm, upturn'd her pretty face,
Fair Marian says with earnest
air, yet full of modest grace,
"The words you whisper'd me last
night, and once we met before,