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OF

Bessie H. Woolford.

BESSIE H. WOOLFORD.

461

Of this dream, the dear one

Dastard gods bereft me.

O beloved Bodvar,

Why hast thou, too, left me? Feel'st thou not thy father's

Fondling hands caress thee, And his kiss, the last one,

And his tears that bless thee?

Loath in death's dim shadow,

Dear dead son, I leave thee! Hark, thy buried brethren

Clamor to receive thee!

I will sit beside thee

Silent vigil keeping,

In the cairn where Night-Wolf's Royal race is sleeping.

HOW CAN I LIGHTLY SPEAK THY WONDROUS NAME?

How can I lightly speak thy wondrous name,
Which breathes the airy fragrance of thyself,
As might, far straying from his flower, the elf
Hold yet a breath within his fragile frame
Of the flower's soul, betraying whence he came?
I too, beloved, though we stray apart,
Since in the vestal temple of thy heart
I dwell secure, glow with a sacred flame.

A breath of thy sweet self unto me clings-
A wondrous voice, as of large unborn deeds,

With deep resoundings through my being rings, And unto wider realms of vision leads.

And dead to me are sorrow, doubt, and pain; The slumbering god within me wakes again.

WITHIN THE ROSE I FOUND A TREMBLING TEAR.

WITHIN the rose I found a trembling tear, Close curtained in a gloom of crimson night By tender petals from the outer light.

I plucked the flower and held it to my ear, And thought within its fervid breast to hear A smothered heart-beat throbbing soft and low. I heard its busy life-blood gently flow,

Now far away and now so strangely near. Ah, thought I, if these silent lips of flame Could be unsealed and fling upon the air Their woe, their passion, and in speech proclaim Their warm intoxication of despair

Then would I give the rose into thy hand; Thou couldst its voice, beloved, not withstand.

M

BESSIE H. WOOLFORD.

RS. WOOLFORD was born in Madison, Ind. Her father died in Richmond, Va., when she was but five years old. Immediately after her father's death her mother removed to Jefferson County, Ky., where her family resided. Her first poem was composed when she was but thirteen years old, shortly after she entered the Science Hill Female Academy at Shelbyville, Ky., then one of the best boarding schools in the South. She graduated from this institution at the age of seventeen, taking the honors of her class. Mrs. Woolford, whose maiden name was Hubbs, married Col. J. H. Woolford when she was nineteen years of age. The result of this happy union was two sons, both of whom survive their lamented father, who died May 14, 1888. During the life-time of her husband, Mrs. Woolford did but little writing for public print, but now that her main support is gone, and although her ambition is shadowed by an everlasting grief, she is resolved to make her pen assist in educating her gifted sons.

Mrs. Woolford is thirty years old and in appearance about medium height, has beautiful, large, gray eyes and wavy brown hair; in temperament, ardent and enthusiastic; a devoted and loving mother to her two sons; loves home better than fame, and, from a political stand-point, opposed to L. C. J. woman's rights.

PURPLE ASTERS AND GOLDEN-ROD.

Он, autumn days, with your dreamy splendor,
Your crimsoning trees and withered sod;
Your golden haze in the sunset tender,
Your purple asters and golden-rod!
Where the grass grew green along the hedges
The dust lies thick on withered leaves,
The breeze loud-rustles in the sedges,
And the nest is empty beneath the eaves.

The air is rife with a haunting sweetness;
A half-breathed sigh for the days of yore;
A sense of the present's incompleteness-
Regret for the dreams we can dream no more.
Dreams that are broken and lost in the dreaming,
Good we would do that we never have done;
Friendship so sweet (that was sweet but in seeming),
Love we would win that we never have won!

Ah! so many roses bloom for some

Who heedlessly throw them from their hands; So many lips through pain are dumb;

The heart's low cry, who understands?

Perhaps at the end of some autumn day,

When our eyes are turned to the "Hills of God," We shall find by the dusty and leaf-strewn way Our purple asters and golden-rod!

WHEN LILACS BLOOM.

A DREAM of the past comes back to me
With the lilac's purple bloom;
For a strong association lurks
In its subtle and sweet perfume.

I see the old gray house once more

'Neath the shelter of stately trees, Whose branches brush the mossy roof With every passing breeze.

But dearest of all is the garden old,
With borders quaint and trim,

And the walk where the rows of lilac made
An archway cool and dim.

There's a mint of golden jonquils there,

And thyme, and mignonette,

And fragrant lilies of the vale,

In the shade with the violet.

And the sweet-pea scrambles across the hedge Along with the eglantine;

Oh, garden old! could hearts grow cold 'Mid treasures such as thine?

I hear my name in a fresh young voice
That was music to my ear;

Ah, 'tis but a dream, for I know that voice
Has been silent many a year.

But the lilacs will bring these dreams to me,
Along with the sweet spring weather;
And my heart returns to the hallowed spot
Where, as children, we played together.

And I think if I only could go back

Through the years of sorrow and pain,

I should find my beautiful childhood there, And live it all over again!

And his mother's to blame; but oh! to kiss
Your own dirty boy is the height of bliss.
I lift the rogue from off the ground;
His chubby arms my neck surround,
And as I smoothed his curly head,
"You are so pretty and dirty," I said.

Came a fine lady calling one day,
In silk and satin and plumage gay;'
Richest of silk with lace upon it,
Diamonds bright, and a charming bonnet.
My boy on the floor soon leaves his book,
Drawn by the lady's winning look,
And with his blue eyes open wide,

He came and stood close by her side.
He looked at the dress and jewels rare;
The soft, brown eyes and waving hair,
Then with a nod of his sunny head-
"You is so pretty and dirty,” he said.

SIGH SOFT AND LOW, OH! SUMMER BREEZE.

SIGH Soft and low, oh! summer breeze,
Woo with caressing touch the roses;
Sway the green branches of the trees

Whose parted screen a nest discloses.
Catch the low note the wood-bird sings

To brooding mate with tender breast;
While close beside with folded wings
He watches o'er her downy nest.
Dear memories waken at your breath

That long have slept within the heart;
Lips speak that we have kissed in death,

And unrepressed the tears will start. Sigh soft and low, oh! evening breeze; Rifle the poppy of its power, Soothe thought's sharp pain to dreamful ease, With mystic charms from every flower. Stir the light fringe of maiden's-hair; Steal where the water-lily gleams; Breathe the drowsy fragrance on the air, And bring forgetfulness in dreams!

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AGNES ETHELWYN WETHERALD.

AGNES ETHELWYN WETHERALD.

A

GNES ETHELWYN WETHERALD, one of the best known of the younger school of Canadian literary women, is of English descent and Quaker parentage. She was born at Rockwood, near Guelph, in the Province of Ontario, and was educated at a Friend's boarding school in New York State. Canadian by birth and residence, as well as by literary associations, in connection with the present sphere of her work, Miss Wetherald, by training and intellectual development, may be said, however, to be American. As a frequent contributor to American periodicals-to the Christian Union, the Woman's Journal, the Chicago Current, and to the western press-Miss Wetherald has further claims to be regarded as an American as well as a Canadian writer. Not a few of her stories, and not a little of her verse have, moreover, first appeared on this side, and a novel entitled, "An Algonquin Maiden," which she wrote jointly with a Canadian author, is among the issues of Lovell's Library, published at New York. This work has also had the honor of appearing in an English edition, and when issued, a few years ago, received the favorable comment of the London press. Of recent years her pen has been monopolized by Canadian journals. She is a current contributor of prose and verse to The Week, the chief of the literary periodicals published in the Canadian Dominion, and, under the nom de plume of "Bel Thistlethwaite," she conducts a woman's department in the Toronto Globe, the great daily of the Liberal party in Canada. Miss Wetherald was a regular contributor of essays, sketches and verse to the Canadian Monthly, while that magazine, founded by Prof. Goldwin Smith, was in existence. The London Advertiser and the Toronto Saturday Night have also counted Miss Wetherald on their list of writers. G. M. A.

TO THE FIRST CANADIAN WILD FLOWER.

OH, fairest thing in this great world!
Oh, frailest thing that e'er unfurled
Its heart with timid hardihood
To all the rough winds of the wood!

Least one, I dare not bless thee-
Sweet one-nor yet caress thee,

My breath, my touch would surely be thy doom;
But, oh! when Nature made thee

In this untrampled shade, she

Put all her wealth of beauty in thy slender spear of bloom.

Oh, bodiless! Oh, beautiful!
My heart is dull, and very dull.
What do I in this sacred place?
How should I look upon thy face?

And yet if thou shouldst blossom Upon my lifeless bosom,

463

In some fair spring, long, long years from to-day, "Twould set my heart to beating,

And o'er and o'er repeating,

Ne'er from my soul such poems sprang as from my soulless clay!

THE BREATH OF LOVE.

I AM no singer, I but feel
Love's breath upon me, as a tree
May thrill and tremble inwardly,
And fill the air with melody,
What time a new-born wind from heav'n
through all its leaves doth steal.

Oh, breath of love, that bloweth sweet
From the deep regions of the sky!
Your lightest touch, your faintest sigh
Woos all my soul to make reply,
When e'er at waking or at dark

I feel your soft waves beat.

Oh, breath of love! oh, summer breath! In whose embrace each leaf hath lain, If wintry winds should strike amain, And rend the trembling tree in twain, Still through its leaves the voice of love would whisper after death.

THE DEEP TIDE.
UPON the deep tide of my tenderness,
As in a dream, I feel your spirit drift;
The little waves pulse eagerly, and swift
From heaven falls the wind's divine caress;
Anear the brink a white and wavering press
Of water-lilies, like shy thoughts, uplift
Their glances to the sky. Above a rift

Of clouds the stars their answering thought confess.

Ah, love, the tide flows deep! the tide flows deep!
The petty storms that trouble shallow streams
Cannot come nigh us, while the lilies keep
Their glances on the sky, and answering gleams
From countless starry eyes attend your sleep.
Good rest be yours, dear love, and blessed dreams!

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