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 EBEN E. REXFORD.
YOU ARE dying, my friend 1 Your bark will go drifting, ere breaking of day, Toward the shores lying over the shadowy bay; And at morn you will see, rising fair through the mist, The hills which the sunshine eternal has kissed.
You are going away: You will meet on the shores, which your vessel will find, Dear friends who sailed outward, and left us behind; You will know them, and clasp them, and kiss them one more, Grown young again there, on the beautiful shore.
Dear friend, when you meet The woman I loved, on the shore far away, Will you give her the message I give you to-day? You will know her, I know, by her face, that was fair As the face of an angel, and beautiful hair.
And her eyes, like a star, In a clear summer night, snining out through the dew.
O, tell her, my friend, That I miss her so much since she left me that night, When the mists of the sea drifted over my sight, And hid her in shadows, so dense and so deep, That, remembering the time, even now I must weep.
And tell her for me, That I wait for the morn, which for her has begun, When our ways, which were severed on earth, shall be one; I shall come to her, over the wide solemn sea, And clasp her, and claim her - that tell her for me.
Friend, you will not forget? Already your bark is afloat on the tide, That shall bear you out over the waters so wide; At morn you will see her, and tell her for me,
That I love her. I miss her. this side of the sea.
OH! wonder no more at the dimmed eye-light.
THERE'S BUT ONE PAIR OF STOCKINGS TO MEND TO-NIGHT.
AN OLD wife sat by her bright fireside, Swaying thoughtfully to and fro, In an ancient chair whose creaky frame
Told a tale of long ago; While down by her side, on the kitchen floo Stood a basket of worsted balls - a score.
The good man dozed o'er the latest news, Till the light of his pipe went out, And, unheeded, the kitten, with cunning paws,
Rolled and tangled the balls about; Yet still sat the wife in the ancient chair, Swaying to and fro in the fire-light glare.
But anon a misty tear-drop came
In her eye of faded blue, Then trickled down in a furrow deep,
Like a single drop of dew; So deep was the channel - so silent the stream, The good man saw naught but the dimmed eye-beam.
Yet he marvelled much that the cheerful light
Of her eye had weary grown, And marvelled he more at the tangled balls;
So he said in a gentle tone: "I have shared thy joys since our marriage vow, Conceal not from me thy sorrows now."
Then she spoke of the time when the basket there
Was filled to the very brim, And how there remained of the goodly pile
But a single pair - for him. "Then wonder not at the dimmed eye-light, There's but one pair of stockings to mend to-night.
"I cannot but think of the busy feet, Whose wrappings were wont to lie In the basket, awaiting the needle's time,
Now wandered so far away; How the sprightly steps, to a mother dear, Unheeded fell on the careless ear.
"For each empty nook in the basket old, By the hearth there's a vacant seat; And I miss the shadows from off the wall,
And the patter of many feet; Tis for this that a tear gathered over my sight At the one pair of stockings to mend to-night.
" 'Twas said that far through the forest wild,
And over the mountains bold, Was a land whose rivers and dark'ning caves
Were gemmed with the rarest gold; Then my first-born turned from the oaken door, And I knew the shadows were only four.
They'll never be warm any more - And this nook, in its emptiness, seemeth to me To give forth no voice but the moan of the sea.
"Two others have gone toward the setting sun, And made them a home in its light,
And fairy fingers have taken their share To mend by the fireside bright;
Some other baskets their garments fill -
But mine! Oh, mine is emptier still.
"Another - the dearest - the fairest - the best - Was ta'en by the angels away, And clad in a garment that waxeth not old,
In a land of continual day. Oh! wonder no more at the dimmed eye-light. While I mend the one pair of stockings to-night.'