This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
BY FLORENCE PERCY.
Dimpled and soft, and pink as peach-tree blossoms
In April's fragrant days - How can they walk among the briery tangles
Edging the world's rough ways?
These white-rose feet, along the doubtful future,
Must bear a woman's load; Alas! since woman has the heaviest burden,
And walks the hardest road.
Love, for a while, will make the path before them
All dainty, smooth and fair - Will cull away the brambles, letting only
The roses blossom there.
Away from sight of men, And these dear feet are left without her guiding.
Who shall direct them then?
How will they be allured, betrayed,, deluded,
Poor little untaught feet - Into what dreary mazes will they wander, What dangers will they meet?
Will they go stumbling blindly in the darkness
Of Sorrow's tearful shades? Or find the upland slopes of Peace and Beauty
Whose sunlight never fades?
Will they go toiling up Ambition's summit,
The common world above? Or in some nameless vale,securely sheltered,
Walk side by side in Love?
Some feet there be, which walk Life's track unwounded,
Which find but pleasant ways; Some hearts there be, to which this life is only
A round of happy days.
But they are few. Far more there are who wander
And long to reach the end!
How shall it be with her, the tender stranger,
Fair-faced and gentle-eyed, Before whose unstained feet the world's rude highway
Stretches so strange and wide?
Ah! who may read the future? For our darling
We crave all blessings sweet - And pray that He who feeds the crying ravens
Will guide the baby's feet.
558 "we'll meet no more at bingen - loved bingen oN the rhine! "
A SOLDIER of the Legion lay dying in Algiers:.
There was lack of woman's nursing, there was dearth of woman's tears; But a comrade stood beside him, while his life-blood ebbed away,
And bent with pitying glances, to hear what he might say.
The dying soldier faltered, as he took that comrade's hand,
And he said, "I nevermore shall see my own, my native land.
Take a message and a token to some distant friends of mine;
For I was born at Bingen - at Bingen on the Rhine!
"Tell my brothers and companions, when they meet and crowd around, To hear my mournful story, in the pleasant vineyard ground, That we fought the battle bravely; and when the day was done, Full many a corse lay ghastly pale beneath the setting sun. And midst the dead and dying were some grown old in war, The death - wounds on their gallant breasts the last of many scars; But some were young, and suddenly beheld life's morn decline; And one had come from Bingen - fair Bingen on the Rhine!
"Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her old age,
For I was still a truant bird that thought his home a cage;
For my father was a soldier, and even as a child
My heart leaped forth to hear him tell of struggles fierce and wild;
And when he died, and left us to divide his scanty hoard,
I let them take whate'er they would - but kept my father's sword;
And with boyish love I hung it, where the bright light used to shine
On the cottage wall at Bingen - calm B ugen on the Rhine!
" Tell my sister not to weep for me, and sob with drooping head, When the troops come inarching home again, with glad and gallant tread; But to look upon them proudly, with a calm and steadfast eye, For her brother was a soldier too, and not afraid to die; And if a comrade seek her love, I ask her in my name To listen to him kindly, without regret or shame; And to hang the old sword in its place, my father's sword and mine, For the honor of old Bingen - dear Bingen on the Rhine !
" There's another, not a sister: in the happy days gone by You'd have known her by the merriment that sparkled in her eye; Too innocent for coquetry, too fond for idle scorning;
O friend! I fear the lightest heart makes sometimes heaviest mourning.
Tell her the last night of my life (for ere this moon be risen,
My body will be out of pain, my soul be out of prison),
I dreamed I stood with her, and saw the yellow sunlight shine On the vine-clad hills of Bingen - fair Bingen on the Rhine!
"I saw the blue Rhine sweep along; I heard, or seemed to hear,
The German songs we used to sing, in chorus sweet and clear;
And down the pleasant river, and up the slanting hill,
The echoing chorus sounded, through the evening calm and still;
And her glad blue eyes were on me, as we passed, with friendly talk
Down many a path beloved of yore, and well-remembered walk;
And her little hand lay lightly, confidingly in mine:
But we'll meet no more at Bingen - loved Bingen on the Rhine!"
"A soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers.""
"all sights were mellowed, and all sounds subdued."
His voice grew faint and hoarse - his grasp was childish weak; His eyes put on a dying look - he sighed, and ceased to speak; His comrade bent to lift him, but the spark of life had fled: The soldier of the Legion in a foreign land was deadl
And the soft moon rose up slowly, and calmly she looked down On the red sand of the battle-field, with bloody corpses strown. Yes, calmly on that dreadful scene her pale light seemed to shine, As it shone on distant Bingen - fair Bingen on the Rhine!