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THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
“Shall I have nought that is fair?” saith he;
“ Have nought but the bearded grain ! Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves ; It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
“My Lord hath need of these flowerets gay,”
The Reaper said and smiled; “Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.
“They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear.”
And the mother gave in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
In the fields of light above.
O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth, And took the flowers away.
THE SILENT LAND.
FROM THE GERMAN OF SALIS.
INTO the Silent Land !
Into the Silent Land!
O Land! O land!
LONGFELLOW. THE SLAVE'S DREAM.
BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;
Was buried in the sand.
He saw his Native Land.
Wide through the landscape of his dreams
The lordly Niger flowed: Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
Once more a king he strode; And heard the tinkling caravans
Descend the mountain-road.
He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
Among her children stand;
They held him by the hand!
And fell into the sand.
And then at furious speed he rode
Along the Niger's bank;
And, with a martial clank,
Smiting his stallion's flank.
Before him, like a blood-red flag,
The bright flamingoes flew;
From morn till night he followed their flight,
O’er plains where the tamarind grew, Till he saw the roof of Caffre huts,
And the ocean rose to view.
At night he heard the lion roar,
And the hyena scream,
Beside some hidden stream;
Through the triumph of his dream.
The forests, with their myriad tongues,
Shouted of liberty;
With a voice so wild and free,
At their tempestuous glee.
He did not feel the driver's whip,
Nor the burning heat of day;
And his lifeless body lay
LONGFELLOW. THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE.*
A CHRISTIAN! going, gone!
Hath in her suffering won ?
My God! can such things be! Hast Thou not said that whatsoe'er is done Unto Thy weaker and Thy humblest one,
Is even done to Thee?
In that sad victim, then,
Bound, sold, and scourged again!
A Christian up for sale! Wet with her blood your whips-o'ertask her frame, Make her life loathsome with your wrong and shame,
Her patience shall not fail!
A heathen hand might deal
Ye neither heed nor feel.
Con well thy lesson o'er,
* In a late publication of L. F. Tasistro, “Random Shots and Southern Breezes," is a description of a slave auction at New Orleans, at which the auctioneer recommended the woman on the stand as “a good Christian."