« AnkstesnisTęsti »
AGNES MAULE MACHAR.
HERE is no name among the many that have striven to show the world that Canada, "the Child of Nations," could do good literary work, more favorably known, than that of Agnes Maule Machar. She has labored both at home and abroad, both in the magazines of the sister nation, and in old country periodicals, to give her Fatherland a just report.
Her father, a highly-cultured man of broad learning and sympathies, was a native of Scotland, and for a time a clergyman in that country. While still a young man he came to America, and continued his labors, both as pastor of a church in Kingston, Ontario, his daughter's birthplace, and as the efficient principal of Queen's University. Although a busy man, he found time to attend to his daughter's education, and instructed her in both the ancient and modern languages. That his instruction was not wasted was shown when his pupil trans: lated, at the age of twelve, a story from Ovid into English rhyme, and later made a poetical translation of a portion of Antigone and Electra. From this beginning she has never ceased writing, but has worked incessantly, both in Canada under the nom de plume of "Fidelis," which no longer conceals her identity, and under her own name in the United States and England, to do something to uplift man and make him happier.
Her first real literary venture was a juvenile story, entitled "Katie Johnstone's Cross," which was written in six weeks, and which won a first prize offered by a Canadian publisher in Toronto. "Lucy Raymond," a story published in New York and Edinburgh, several religious books, besides two cleverly written novels, "For King and Country," and "Lost and Won," appeared in rapid succession. Miss Machar has been an energetic magazine writer. Poems by her have now and then appeared in The Century, St. Nicholas and Wide Awake.
It is a natural impulse with her to help the weak and suffering, and she has done what she could, by her pen and otherwise, to ameliorate the condition of the poor, and to foster humanity towards the dumb brute.
Miss Machar, like Professor Roberts, is heart and soul for Canada's "fronting the world alone.” However, she pays but little attention to this question, as she wisely recognizes the fact that time alone can solve it.
She lives in the historic city of Kingston during the winter months. Her summers are spent among the pleasant haunts of the Thousand Islands, which have had a good deal of influence on poetic_work. T. J. M.
CHRISTMAS IN THE HOSPITAL.
AN' is it Christmas mornin'? I've lost my count of time,
But I thought it must be Christmas,-by the bells' sweet, solemn chime;
An' I had a dream o' the home folks, just as the mornin' broke,
May be 't was the bells that brought it,-ringin' before I woke!
An' is it Christmas mornin'? An' while I'm lyin' here, The folks to church are goin'—the bells do ring so clear!
Fathers an' mothers an' children, merrily over the snow,
Just as we used to go,-on Christmas long ago! Oh, yes! I know you 're good, nurse, an' I do try not to fret,
But at Christmas-time,-no wonder if my eyes with tears are wet,
For I saw so plain, in my dream, the brown house by the mill,
An' my father an' my mother,―ah, me! are they there still?
An', as they go to church to-day, perchance they think o' me,
An' wonder where poor Katie is,-across the great blue sea.
An' well it is they cannot tell! an' may they never know,
For sure 't would only break their hearts, to hear my tale o' woe!
My mother must be gettin' old, and she was never strong;
But then, her spirit was so bright, an' sweet her daily song.
She sings no more about the house, but sure she prays for me,
An' wipes away the droppin' tears,-for the child she ne'er may see!
My father's bent with honest toil, an' trouble bravely borne;
But never has he had to bear a word or look of scorn, An' never shall it come through me; for all I have been wild,
I'd rather die a thousand deaths, than shame him for his child!
I know I have been sinful, but some were more to blame,
Who never think-because of that to hang their heads for shame!
Ah, well! I must n't think of them, but of myself, an' pray
That He will take away the sin-who came on Christmas day!
An', thank you for the letter, nurse, you say the
'Twas kind o' them to think o' me; I thank them for the thought;
The print is easy read,-but, oh! what would I give to see
Just one small scrap o' writin' from the old homefolk to me!
But, nurse, those bells seem tellin' o' the better home above
Where sin and sorrow cannot come, but all is peace an' love;
Where broken hearts are healed at last, an' darkness passed away
An' He shall bid us welcome home-who died on Christmas Day!
WHERE close the curving mountains drew
The ploughman stops his team to watch
His glossy horses patient stand
With wonder in their gentle eyes,
The morning freshness lies on him
The fresh, delightful autumn day Among the hills! The ploughman there Must keep perpetual holiday!
And he, as, all day long, he guides
His steady plough, with patient hand, Thinks of the flying train that glides Into some new, enchanted land, Where, day by day, no plodding round Wearies the frame and dulls the mindWhere life thrills keen to sight and sound, With ploughs and furrows left behind.
Even so, to each, the untrod ways
Of life are touched by fancy's glow, That ever sheds its brightest rays Upon the path we do not know!
DRIFTING AMONG THE THOUSAND ISLANDS. NEVER a ripple on all the river
As it lies like a mirror beneath the moon;
'Neath the balmy breath of a night in June.
Dusky and grim, with its pine-trees crowned.
Gleam-living diamonds—the woods among; And the nighthawk flits o'er the bay's deep bosom, And the loon's laugh breaks through the midnight calm,
And the luscious breath of the wild pine's blossom
The screen of the present, however fair;
Than aimless drifting, however blest;
Nor North nor South it knows, nor East nor West,
-Funeral Day of President Garfield.
And never lips than his have plead
To leave the erring heart with Him
And yet,-it is not all a dream
That we have heard a voice from Heaven,
"Behold this heart hath loved much,
And much to it shall be forgiven!"
-A Night with Burns.
WILLIAM WYE SMITH.
EV. WILLIAM WYE SMITH was born in Jedburgh, Scotland, on the 18th of March, 1827. He was only three years of age when his parents and their young family left Scotland to better their circumstances in the New World. His father's intention was to sail for New York; but, on account of delays in shipping, he and his family took passage for Baltimore, where they arrived safely, and soon afterwards pushed forward to the southern part of Ohio. His father, finding the "rough and tumble" life of a new country somewhat distasteful, betook himself to his original destination, the city of New York, where he remained, doing business as a clothier, six years, and here the subject of our sketch received his first public-school tuition. His father's health somewhat failed, and having a fancy for farming, he removed his family to the neighborhood of Galt, Upper Canada, where he bought a cleared farm, and thus was brought about a break of eight years in the education of our young aspirant for learning. With the exception of about six months in a country school, Mr. Smith had no means of practical education other than his own untiring diligence after working-hours on his father's farm. How successful he was may be judged by the fact that he "passed" and obtained a position as school teacher in the village of St. George, which position he held for a year, and thus earned funds for future travels in search of a higher education. He went to New York, and was greatly benefited by industrious application during two terms in the classical department of the University Grammar School of that city.
His first volume of poems was published in Toronto in 1850. The following year he married, and started business as a general storekeeper in St. George. In the spring of 1855 he removed his business to Owen Sound, on the Georgian Bay, then a very isolated part of the country. A couple of years afterward, on being appointed to a clerkship of one of the courts, he gave up his business as storekeeper, and devoted himself for the next six or seven years to the duties of his office. During these years his spare time was spent in courting the Muse, and as editor and publisher of the Sunday School Dial, a monthly publication, the first illustrated Sunday school paper in Upper Canada. The year 1862 was spent in re-visiting the land of his birth. In 1863 he bought out the Owen Sound Times, and continued to edit and publish it for a period of two years; but in 1865, being invited to become the pastor of the Congregational church in Listowel, Ontario, he sold out
the Times to the present proprietor. For about twelve years he was the Canadian correspondent of the Edinburgh Daily Review, and acted as their special correspondent at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. After a pastorate of four years in Listowel, he accepted a call to the congregation of Pine Grove, near Toronto, which position he held for nine years. Afterwards he served a Congregational church for three years in the eastern townships of Quebec, near the Vermont border. Returning to Ontario he became a resident of Newmarket. He now devotes his time to editorial work in connection with the Canadian Independent, the organ of the Congregational body in the Dominion. His last volume of poems, from which the following selections are taken, was published in Toronto in 1888, and has met with a kindly reception. J. I.
I WOULD that I were a floweret fair,
So, many might come and as many might go,
How soon she forgot them, I'd care not, nor know,
But I'd know that she thought upon me!
I would that I were a warbling bird,
That she needs must pause on the banks of
My caroling voice to hear!
So, lovers could talk or lovers be mute,
That she turned from them all with a weary look,
I would that I were a murmuring stream,
So, who for a glance of love might sue,
I'd mirror myself in Leila's eyes,
And dwell in contentment there! But neither a flower, a bird, nor stream, Am I; nor ever can be;— I'm but a herd-boy, in a coat of gray, And she 's like a Queen to see! But if it could be it were hearts alone That made us to be or to do, Fair Leila might yet be all my own, And all my dreams be true!
My heart is glad to-night
Too glad for a wink of sleep!
For Jenny has promised to be my bride
But some way, I do n't half like it
It may come either late or soon;
And a raw cold spring may put off the thing Away till the middle of June!
I wish she had set a day
That we could delight to keep!
Some old Saint's day, or the First of May,
But she set down her foot so firmly:
"There was so much work to do;
And my father," she knew, "could n't spare the team
Till all the spring-work was through!" That I could n't say much to her,
To shorten my heart's suspense, — Especially as I lost my hold
Of the stake-and-rider fence!
And then, as I gained my feet
(And she didn't seem a bit scared; She said, "She knew I'd fall soft,
And the damage was easy repaired!") She got the idea of wool-picking,
Perhaps, from the clay in my hair;
And she said, "When ours was ready to sort,
To tell the girls she 'd be there!"
I can't change Jenny, I warrant;
But you who have weddings in prospect,
I'll make my father believe
He's losing half of his wool;
That the bushes have all begun to thieve,
And the thorns are hanging full !
I'll hurry the matter up,
And give the cotswolds a steep!
The hardy fellows-they'll stand it well!
LUELLA DOWD SMITH.
LUELLA DOWD, the eldest of the four chil
dren of Almeron and Emily Curtiss Dowd, was born in Sheffield, Mass., a beautiful village that rests in the shadow of the Berkshire Hills. When she was two years of age her parents removed to West Virginia, where they remained nine years. Both of them were teachers, and she was instructed at home and in their schools.
On their return to Massachusetts, her education was continued in the South Egremont Academywhere she afterward taught,-in the High and Normal Schools of Westfield, and in Charles F. Dowd's Seminary, now known as Temple Grove Seminary, of Saratoga Springs, N. Y. From this last institution she graduated with the highest honor.
For several years she was a successful teacher. She has always been an earnest worker in Sunday schools and in the cause of temperance.
In 1875 she married Henry Hadley Smith, M. D., a physician whose practice has been marked with unusual success. For nearly ten years they resided in Sheffield, Mass. In the autumn of 1884 they went abroad. On their return Dr. Smith re-commenced practice in Hudson, N. Y., where they now live.
From an early age Mrs. Smith has been a frequent writer of verse and prose, contributing to many papers and magazines. In 1879 she made a collection of her scattered writings and published them under the title of "Wayside Leaves." In 1887 her second volume appeared, entitled "Wind Flowers."
Though her life has been a busy one, the impulse to write has been strong enough to overcome all obstacles, and in the crowded walks of life she hears and heeds the voices of the muses. She has written many temperance stories for children, and the aim of all her writing, as of all her life, is to do good-to cheer and comfort and help those who are in need.
OH, REST not now, thou toiler bold,
A. M. D.
Thou who hast climbed all day with pain,
To pause to-night makes labor vain.
One step, the summit to attain!
Thou toiler bold,
Pause not for ease or gold.
Oh, rest not now, thou student deep,
Thou who hast studied through the night,
Thou student deep, Pause not for idle sleep.
Oh, rest not now, thou valiant knight,
Then seize thine arms and string thy bow. Thou valiant knight,
Pause not, but win the fight.
Oh, rest not now, thou pilgrim gray-
Pause not, but keep thy way.
Oh, toiler, student, knight and pilgrim gray—
For such achievement pray!
WHEN wilt thou rest, O Sea! Thou of the restless heart, Grand in thy majesty, Wailing thy lost, apart?
Thy sorrows will not cease,
There is no rest for thee, No one to speak thee peace, As Christ to Galilee.
Ah! thou hast heard, when time
Thou, who art now so fair,
With crested wave in sun, Thou, with the heart of care, Forever more undone!
Mighty, and grand, and strong,
GAIN WITH LOSS.
For every door