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Brain and fingers of matchless cunning
Patiently planned the strange machine ; Framed and balanced, and set it running,
With a living heart in its wheels unseen. Behind the dial, the iron pallet
Counted the seconds, and just below Hung a silver gong, and a brazen mallet
For every hour had a brazen blow;
Or battle wrecks at a charnel door,
In a shapeless heap, on a marble floor!
The smallest hour on the disk of day, Click! from the piecemeal pile, rejointed,
A new-made mannikin jumped away! Nimble-handed, a small, trim figure,
Briskly he stooped when his work begun, Seized a mallet with nervous vigor,
And loud on the echoing gong struck one ! Clang! and the hammer that made the clamor
Dropped and lay where it lay before, And the arms of the holder fell off at the shoulder,
And his head went rolling down to the floor.
Dead! ere the great bell's musical thunder
In the listening chamber throbbed away. (No eye discovered the hidden wonder,
That dreaming under the ruins lay.) Dead as the bones in the prophet's valley,
Waiting without a stir or sound, While the pendulum's tick, tick, tick, kept tally,
And the busy wheels of the clock went round, Till another hour to its limit, creeping,
Its sign those bodiless limbs shot thro', And a pair of mannikins, swift upleaping,
Loud on the echoing gong struck two ! Clang ! clang! and the brazen hammers
Dropped, and lay where they lay before,
Still as the shells of the sea-floor, sleeping
Countless fathoms the waves below;
The path of an earthquake, ages ago,
Beat the slow pendulum, tick, tick, tick,
Rose three men's limbs with a click, click, click; And, joined together by magic gifted,
In statue perfect and motion free,
Clang! clang! clang!
And as many as each hour's figure numbered,
So many men of that small brigade,
Made themselves, and as soon unmade,
His brazen sledge by its brazen helve, Set all the rooms of the palace ringing,
As their strokes on the silver gong told twelve.
Rajah Balpoora, Prince of Jullinder,
And still in that hall of splendor
Read in the wonder the lesson plain : Every human hour is a thing immortal,
And days but perish to rise again. From the
life we saddened,
Ring from the past like angel songs.
THE MISSING SHIP.
It was long before the cable stretched across the ocean, whon the steamers did not make such rapid runs from continent to continent, that the ship Atlantic was missing. She had been due in New York for some days, and the people began to despair. “The Atlantic has not been heard from yet?” 6. What news from the Atlantic on Exchange?”
“None.” Telegraphic dispatches came in from all quarters. Any news from the Atlantic?" And the word thrilled along the wires to the hearts of those who had no friends on board. 66 No."
Day after day passed, and people began to get excited, when the booming of the guus told that a ship was coming up the Narrows. People went out upon the Battery and Castle Garden with their spy-glasses; but it was a British ship—he Union Jack was flying. They watched her come up to her moorings, and their hearts sank within them.
'Any news from the Atlantic ? ” “Has not the Atlantic arrived ?” “No!”
“She sailed fifteen days before we did, and we have heard nothing from her.” And the people said, “There is no use hoping against hope: she is gone, like the President. She has made her
Day after day passed, and those who had friends began to make up their mourning.
Day after day passed, and the captain's wife was so ill that the doctor said she would die, if suspense were not removed.
Day after day passed, and men looked at one another and said, “Ah! it is a sad thing about the Atlantic.”
At length one bright and beautiful morning the guns boomed across the bay, and a ship was seen coming into port. Down went the people to the Battery and Castle Garden. It was a British ship again, and hope seemed to die within them. But up
she came, making a ridge of white foam before her, and you could hear a heavy sigh from that crowd, as if it were the last hope dying out. Men looked at one another blankly. By and by some one cried out, "She has passed her moorings, she is steaming up the river.”
Then they wiped away the dimness of grief, and watched the vessel. Round she came, most gallantly, and as she passed the immense crowds on the wharves and at Castle Garden, the crew hoisted flags from trucks and main-chains. An officer leaped upon the paddle, put his trumpet to his lips, and cried out, “ The Atlantic is safe; she has put into port for repairs ! ”
Then such a shout! Oh, how they shouted! Shout! shout! shout! .“The Atlantic is safe!”
Bands of music paraded the streets, telegraph wires worked all night long. “The Atlantic is safe!” bringing joy to millions of hearts; and yet not one in a hundred thousand of those who rejoiced had a friend or a relative on board that steamer.
It was sympathy with the sorrows of others, with whom they had no tie in common save that which God created when he made of one blood all the nations of the earth, and permitted us, as brethren, to call him the common Father of us all.
-John B. Gough.
THE LEGEND OF EASTER EGGS.
Trinity bells, with their hollow lungs,
“ Dearest papa,” says my boy to me,
Tenderly shine the April skies,
child's blue eyes ;
Why cloud this youngster's by saying nay?
You have heard, my son, of the Man who died,
Now, close by the tomb a fair tree grew,
Now when the bird, from her dim recess,
All night long, till the moon was up,
But soon there came through the weeping night