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Tic-tac! tic-tac! go the wheels of thought; our will cannot stop them; they cannot stop themselves; sleep cannot still them; madness only makes them go faster; death alone can break into the case, and, seizing the ever-swinging pendulum, which we call the heart, silence at last the clicking of the terrible escapement we have carried so long beneath our wrinkled foreheads.
THE SEA-SHORE AND THE MOUNTAINS.
I have lived by the sea-shore and by the mountains. No, I am not going to say which is best. The one where your place is is the best for you. But this difference there is : you can domesticate mountains, but the sea is feræ naturæ. You
have hut, or know the owner of one, on the mountain-side ; you see a light half-way up its ascent in the evening, and you know there is a home, and you might share it. You have noted certain trees, perhaps; you know the particular zone where the hemlocks look so black in October, when the maples and beeches have faded. All its reliefs and intaglios have electrotyped themselves in the medallions that hang round the walls of your memory's chamber. The sea remembers nothing. It is feline. It licks your feet,-its huge flanks purr very pleasantly for you; but it will crack your bones and eat you, for all that, and wipe the crimsoned foam from its jaws as if nothing had happened. The mountains give their lost children berries and water; the sea mocks their thirst and lets them die. The mountains have a grand, stupid, lovable tranquillity; the sea has a fascinating, treacherous intelligence. The mountains lie about like huge ruminants, their broad backs awful to look upon, but safe to handle. The sea smooths its silver scales until you cannot see their joints,—but their shining is that of a snake's belly, after all. In deeper suggestiveness I find as great a difference. The mountains dwarf mankind and foreshorten the procession of its long generations. The sea drowns out humanity and time; it has no sympathy with either; for it belongs to eternity, and of that it sings its monotonous song for ever and ever.
Yet I should love to have a little box by the sea-shore. I should love to gaze out on the wild feline element from a front window of my own, just as I should love to look on a caged panther, and see it stretch its shining length, and then curl over and lap its smooth sides, and by-and-by begin to lash itself into rage, and show its white teeth, and spring at its bars, and howl the cry of its mad, but, to me, harmless fury.
MY LAST WALK WITH THE SCHOOLMISTRESS.
I can't say just how many walks she and I had taken together, before this one. I found the effect of going out every morning was decidedly favorable on her health. Two pleasing dimples, the places for which were just marked when she came, played, shadowy, in her freshening cheeks when she smiled and nodded good-morning to.me from the school-house steps. * * *
The schoolmistress had tried life. Once in a while one meets with a single soul greater than all the living pageant that passes before it. As the pale astronomer sits in his study with sunken eyes and thin fingers, and weighs Uranus or Neptune as in a balance, so there are meek, slight women who have weighed all which this planetary lífe can offer, and hold it like a bauble in the palm of their slender hands. This was one of them. Fortune had left her, sorrow had baptized her; the routine of labor and the loneliness of almost friendless city-life were before her. Yet, as I looked upon her tranquil face, gradually regaining a cheerfulness which was often sprightly, as she became interested in the various matters we talked about and places we visited, I saw that eye and lip and every shifting lineament were made for love,– unconscious of their sweet office as yet, and meeting the cold aspect of Duty with the natural graces which were meant for the reward of nothing less than the Great Passion.
It was on the Common that we were walking. The mall, or boulevard of our Common, you know, has various branches leading from it in different directions. One of these runs downward from opposite Joy Street southward across the whole length of the Common to Boylston Street. We called it the long path, and were fond of it.
I felt very weak indeed (though of a tolerably robust habit) as we came opposite the head of this path on that morning. I think I tried to speak twice without making myself distinctly audible. At last I got out the question,—Will you take the long path with me? Certainly,—said the schoolmistress,—with much pleasure. Think, I said, -before you answer: if you take the long path with me now, I shall interpret it that we are to part no more! The schoolmistress stepped back with a sudden movement, as if an arrow had struck her.
One of the long granite blocks used as seats was hard by,—the one you may still see close by the Gingko-tree. Pray, sit down, -I said. No, no,-she answered, softly,-I will walk the long path with you!
The old gentleman who sits opposite met us walking, arm in arm, about the middle of the long path, and said, very charm ingly, -" Good-morning, my dears !"
ALBERT PIKE was born in Boston, December 29, 1809. At the age of sixteen, he was admitted to Harvard College, but, not being able to meet its expenses, he became an assistant teacher in a grammar-school at Newburyport, and at the end of the year its principal. In 1831 he was seized with a spirit of adventure, and started in his travels to the West and South, going through New York, Obio, Kentucky, Tennessee, to St. Louis,—thence to Santa Fe, where he was engaged a year in merchandise,—and thence along the Red River to Little Rock. Here a trifling circumstance caused bim to make that place his home; for, being out of funds, he wrote some pieces of poetry for a newspaper printed there, with which the editor was so much pleased that he invited him to become his partner. The proposition was gladly accepted, and here commenced a new era of his life. The “ Arkansas Advocate" was edited by him to the close of the year 1834, when it became his property. Soon after this he studied law, was admitted to the bar, sold his printing-establishment, and devoted himself to his profession.
Mr. Pike has published a volume entitled Prose Sketches and Poems. Among the latter is a beautiful and spirited piece, for which he deserves to be remembered, entitled
TO THE MOCKING-BIRD.
Thou glorious mocker of the world! I hear
Thy many voices ringing through the glooms
And floods the heart. Over the sphered tombg
No light from history's starlike page illumes
None cares for them but thou, and thou mayst sing,
Perhaps, o'er me,-as now thy song doth ring
The world's turmoil and never-ceasing din,
Where misery gnaws the maiden's heart within;
And with thy soul of music thou dost win
-no jar intrudes
Amid the sweet musicians of the air,
Goes floating through the tangled passages
of glossy music under echoing trees,
Over a ringing lake; it wraps the soul
With a bright harmony of happiness,
Their waves of brilliant flame,-till we become,
E'en with the excess of our deep pleasure, dumb,
Amid the eloquent grandeur of the shades,
Of human life until existence fades
Through the thick woods and shadow-checker'd glades,
The brilliance of thy heart, but I must wear,
As now, my garmenting of pain and care,-
Have overshadow'd Youth's green paths with gloom!
To welcome me, within my humble home;-
The darkness of existence to illume!
Over the spirit, then my bones shall rest
Beneath these trees, -and from thy swelling breast,
ANNA PEYRE DINNIES.
ANNA PEYRE Dinnies is the daughter of Judge Shackelford, of Georgetown, South Carolina. When a child, her father removed to Charleston, where she was educated. For many years she wrote poetry for various magazines, under the signature of Moina. In 1830, she was married to Mr. John C. Dinnies, of St. Louis, Missouri, where she resided for many years. In 1845, her husband removed to New Orleans, where she now lives. In 1846, she published a richly-illustrated volume, entitled The Floral Year. Her pieces celebrating the domestic affections are marked by unusual grace and tenderness.
“ She flung her white arm round him-Thou art all
That this poor heart can cling to.'”
And borne the rich one's sneer,
Nor shed a single tear.
I could have smiled on every blow
From Life's full quiver thrown,
I should not be “alone.”
E’en for a time, that thou
With less of love than now;
The sweet hope still my own
On earth, not been “alone." But thus to see, from day to day,
Thy brightening eye and cheek,
Unnumber'd, slowly, meek;
And catch the feeble tone
And feel, I'll be " alone;"
And yet thy hopes grow stronger,
“ Earth may not claim thee longer;". Nay, dearest, 'tis too much,—this heart
Must break when thou art gone: It must not be; we may not part:
I could not live " alone!”
TO MY HUSBAND'S FIRST GRAY HAIR.
“I know thee not, - I loathe thy race;
But in thy lineamients I trace
Thou strange, unhidden guest! from whence
Thus early hast thou come?
And seek some fitter home!
The youthful cheek is fading,
And Passion have been shading;
And tell what brought thee here!
Beside thyself appear,