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THE BLUE AND THE GRAY.
By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled, Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver, Asleep are the ranks of the dead: Under the sod and the dew, Waiting the judgment day; Under the one, the Blue, Under the other, the Gray.
These in the robings of glory,
Under the willow, the Gray.
From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.
So with an equal splendor,
So, when the summer calleth,
Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
In the storm of the years that are fading
Under the garlands, the Gray.
No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
It was noonday in the town of Mechlin; the Sabbath bells had summoned the inhabitants to divine worship. The crowd that had loitered round the church of St. Rembauld had gradually emptied itself within the spacious aisles of the sacred edifice.
A young man was standing in the street, with his eyes bent on the ground, and apparently listening for some sound; for without raising his looks from the rude pavement, he turned to every corner of it with an intent and anxious expression of countenance.
He held in one hand a staff; in the other a long, slender cord, the end of which trailed on the ground.
Every now and then he called, with a plaintive voice, "Fido, Fido, come back! Why have you deserted me?"
Fido returned not. The dog, wearied of confinement, had slipped from the string, and was at play with other dogs in a distant quarter of the town, leaving the blind man to seek his way as he might to his solitary inn.
By and by a light step passed through the street, and the young stranger's face brightened.
"Pardon me," said he, turning to the spot where his quick ear had caught the sound, " and direct me, if you are not pressed for a few moments' time, to the hotel called The Golden Cap."
It was a young woman whom he thus addressed. "It is some distance hence, sir," said she ; if you continue straight on for about a hundred yards, and then take the second turn to your right hand
"Alas!" interrupted the stranger with a melancholy smile, "your direction will avail me little; my dog has deserted me, and I am blind!"
There was something in these words, and in the stranger's voice, which went to the heart of the young woman.
"Pray, forgive me," she said, almost with tears in her eyes. "I did not perceive your" misfortune, she was about to say, but she checked herself.
"Lean upon me; I will conduct you to the door. Nay, sir," observing that he hesitated, "I have time. enough to spare, I assure you."
The stranger placed his hand on the young woman's arm. "Your voice is very gentle," said he, after a pause; "Are you a native of this town?" continued he.
"Yes, sir; my father holds a small office in the customs, and my mother and I help out his salary by making lace. We are called poor, but we do not feel it, sir."
"You are fortunate! There is no wealth like the heart's wealth, content," answered the blind man, mournfully.
"And you, sir," said Lucille, feeling angry with herself that she had awakened a natural envy in the stranger's mind, and anxious to change the subject — "and you, sir, have you been long at Mechlin?"
"But yesterday. I am passing through the Low Countries on a tour. Perhaps you smile at the tour of a blind man; but it is wearisome even to the blind to rest always in the same place.
"I thought during church time, when the streets are empty, that I might, by the help of my dog, enjoy safely at least the air, if not the sight, of the town; but there are some persons, I think, who cannot have even a dog for a friend."
The blind man spoke bitterly. The desertion of