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THE SNOW STORM.
“ 'Tis only from the belief of the goodness and wisdom of a Supreme Being, that our calamities can be borne in that manner which becomes a man.”-HENRY MACKENZIE. In Summer there is beauty in the that modify or constitute the existence wildest moors of Scotland, and the of the poor. wayfaring man who sits down for an I have a short and simple story to hour's rest beside some little spring tell of the winter-life of the moorland that flows unheard through the cottager--a story but of one evening brightened moss and water-cresses, -with few events and no signal catasfeels his weary heart revived by the trophe-but which may haply please silent, serene, and solitary prospect. those hearts whose delight it is to On every side sweet sunny spots of think on the humble under-plots that verdure smile towards him from a- are carrying on in the great Drama of mong the melancholy heather-unex- Life. pectedly in the solitude a stray sheep, Two cottagers, husband and wife, it may be with its lambs, starts half. were sitting by their cheerful peatalarmed at his motionless figure-in- fire one winter evening, in a small sects large, bright, and beautiful come lonely hut on the edge of a wide moor, careering by him through the desert at some miles distance from any other air-nor does the Wild want its own habitation. There had been, at one songsters, the grey linnet, fond of the time, several huts of the same kind blooming furze, and now and then the erected close together, and inhabited lark mounting up to heaven above the by families of the poorest class of daysummits of the green pastoral hills. labourers who found work among the During such a sunshiny hour, the distant farms, and at night returned lonely cottage on the waste seems to to dwellings which were rent-free, stand in a paradise ; and as he rises with their little gardens won from the to pursue his journey, the traveller waste. But one family after another looks back and blesses it with a had dwindled away, and the turf-built mingled emotion of delight and envy. huts had all fallen into ruins, except There, thinks he, abide the children one that had always stood in the cenof Innocence and Contentment, the tre of this little solitary village, with two most benign spirits that watch its summer-walls covered with the over human life.
richest honeysuckles, and in the midst But other thoughts arise in the of the brightest of all the gardens. It mind of him who may chance to jour- alone now sent up its smoke into the ney through the same scene in the de- clear winter sky—and its little endsolation of Winter. The cold bleak window, now lighted up, was the onsky girdles the moor as with a belt of ly ground star that shone towards the ice-life is frozen in air and on earth. belated traveller, if any such ventured The silence is not of repose but ex- to cross, on a winter night, a scene so tinction-and should a solitary human dreary and desolate. The affairs of dwelling catch his eye half-buried in the small household were all arranged the snow, he is sad for the sake of for the night. The little rough poney them whose destiny it is to abide far that had drawn in a sledge, from the from the cheerful haunts of men, heart of the Black-Moss, the fuel by shrouded up in melancholy, by po- whose blaze the cotters were now sitverty held in thrall, or pining away ting cheerily, and the little Highland in unvisited and untended disease. cow, whose milk enabled them to live,
But, in good truth, the heart of were standing amicably together, unhuman life is but imperfectly discove der cover of a rude shed, of which one ered from its countenance; and before side was formed by the peat-stack,
e we can know what the summer, or and which was at once byre, and stawhat the winter yields for enjoyment ble, and hen-roost. Within, the clock or trial to our country's. peasantry, ticked cheerfully, as the fire-light we must have conversed with them in reached its old oak-wood case across their fields and by their firesides ; and the yellow-sanded floor--and a small made ourselves acquainted with the round table stood between, covered powerful ministry of the Seasons, not with a snow-white cloth, on which over those objects alone that feed the were milk and oai-cakes, the morning, eye and the imagination, but over all mid-day, and evening meal of these the incidents, occupations, and events frugal and contented cotters. The
spades and the mattocks of the la- venerated. With gushing tenderness bourer were collected into one corner, was now mingled a holy fear and an and showed that the succeeding day awful reverence. She had discerned was the blessed Sabbath-while on the relation in which she an only the wooden chimney-piece was seen child stood to her poor parents now lying an open Bible ready for family that they were getting old, and there worship.
was not a passage in Scripture that The father and the mother were spake of parents or of children, from sitting together without opening Joseph sold into slavery, to Mary their lips, but with their hearts over- weeping below the Cross, that was not flowing with happiness, for on this written, never to be obliterated, on Saturday-night they were, every mi- her uncorrupted heart. nute, expecting to hear at the latch The father rose from his seat, and the hand of their only daughter, a went to the door to look out into the maiden of about fifteen years, who was night. The stars were in thousands at service with a farmer over the hills. --and the full moon was risen. It This dutiful child was, as they knew, was almost light as day, and the snow, to bring home to them “ her sair- that seemed encrusted with diamonds, worn penny fee," a pittance which, in was so hardened by the frost, that his the beauty of her girl-hood, she earn- daughter's homeward feet would leave ed singing her work, and which, in no mark on its surface. He had been the benignity of that sinless time, she toiling all day among the distant Caswould pour with tears into the bosoms tle-woods, and, stiff and wearied as he she so dearly loved. Forty shillings now was, he was almost tempted to go a-year were all the wages of sweet Han- to meet his child—but his wife's kind nah Lee-but though she wore at herla- voice dissuaded him, and returning to bour a tortoise-shell comb in her au- the fireside, they began to talk of her burn hair, and though in the kirk none whose image had been so long passing were more becomingly arrayed than before them in their silence. she, one half, at least, of her earnings “She is growing up to be a bonny were to be reserved for the holiest of lassie,” said the mother, “her long all purposes, and her kind innocent and weary attendance on me during heart was gladdened when she looked my fever last spring kept her down on the little purse that was, on the awhile-but now she is sprouting fast long-expected Saturday-night, to be and fair as a lily, and may the blesstaken from her bosom, and put, with ing of God be as dew and as sunshine a blessing, into the hand of her father, to our sweet flower all the days she now growing old at his daily toils. bloometh upon this earth.” Aye,
Of such a child the happy cotters Agnes," replied the father, were thinking in their silence. And not very old yet-though we are getwell indeed might they be called hap- ting older—and a few years will bring py. It is at that sweet season that her to woman's estate, and what thing filial piety is most beautiful. Their on this earth, think ye, human or own Hannah had just outgrown the brute, would ever think of injuring mere unthinking gladness of child- her Why, I was speaking about her hood, but had not yet reached that yesterday to the minister as he was time, when inevitable selfishness mixes riding by, and he told me that none with the pure current of love. She answered at the Examination in the had begun to think on what her af- Kirk so well as Hannah. Poor thingfectionate heart had felt so long; and I well think she has all the bible by when she looked on the pale face and heart—indeed, she has read but little bending frame of her mother, on the else-only some stories, too true ones, deepening wrinkles and whitening hairs of the blessed martyrs, and some o of her father, often would she lie the auld sangs o' Scotland, in which weeping for their sakes on
sakes on her there is nothing but what is good, and midnight bed--and wish that she which, to be sure, she sings, God bless were beside them as they slept, that her, sweeter than any laverock.” “ Aye she might kneel down and kiss -were we both to die this very night them, and mention their names over she would be happy. Not that she and over again in her prayer. The would forget us, all the days of her parents whom before she had only life. But have you not seen, husband, loved, her expanding heart now also that God always makes the orphan
happy? None so little lonesome as angry sky, As she kept gazing, it bethey! They come to make friends o' came still more terrible. The last all the bonny and sweet things in the shred of blue was extinguished—the world around them, and all the kind wind went whirling in roaring eddies, hearts in the world make friends o' and great flakes of snow circled about them. They come to know that God in the middle air, whether drifted up is more especially the father o' them from the ground, or driven down from on earth whose parents he has taken the clouds, the fear-stricken mother up to heaven and therefore it is knew not, but she at least knew, that that they for whom so many have it seemed a night of danger, despair, fears, fear not at all for themselves, and death. “ Lord have mercy on us, but go dancing and singing along like James, what will become of our poor children whose parents are both alive! bairn!” But her husband heard not Would it not be so with our dear her words, for he was already out of Hannah? So douce and thoughtful sight in the snow-storm, and she was a child-but never sad nor miserable left to the terror of her own soul in -ready it is true to shed tears for that lonesome cottage. little, but as ready to dry them up and
Little Hannah Lee had left her break out into smiles ! I know not master's house, soon as the rim of the why it is, husband, but this night great moon was seen by her eyes, that my heart warms toward her beyond had been long anxiously watching it usual. The moon and stars are at from the window, rising, like a joyful this moment looking down upon her, dream, over the gloomy mountain-tops ; and she looking up to them, as she and all by herself she tripped along beis glinting homewards over the snow. neath the beauty of the silent heaven. I wish she were but here, and taking Still as she kept ascending and descendthe comb out o' her bonny hair and ing the knolls that lay in the bosom of letting it all fall down in clusters the glen, she sung to herself a song, a before the fire, to melt away the cran- hymn, or a psalm, without the accomreuch !”
paniment of the streams, now all silent While the parents were thus speak, in the frost; and ever and anon she ing of their daughter, a loud sugh of stopped to try to count the stars that wind came suddenly over the cottage, lay in some more beautiful part of the and the leafless ash-tree under whose sky, or gazed on the constellations that shelter it stood, creaked and groaned she knew, and called them, in her joy, dismally as it passed by. The father by the names they bore among the started up, and going again to the door, shepherds. There were none to hear saw that a sudden change had come her
voice, or see her smiles, but the ear over the face of the night.
and eye of providence. As on she had nearly disappeared, and was just glided, and took her looks from heaven, visible in a dim, yellow, glimmering she saw her own little fireside
her den in the sky. All the remote stars parents waiting for her arrival—the were obscured, and only one or two bible opened for worship—her own faintly seemed in a sky that half-an- little room kept so neatly for her, with hour before was perfectly cloudless, its mirror hanging by the window, in but that was now driving with rack, which to braid her hair by the mornand mist, and sleet, the whole atmos- ing light-her bed prepared for her phere being in commotion. He stood by her mother's hand—the primroses for a single moment to observe the di- in her garden peeping through the rection of this unforeseen storm, and snow-old Tray, who ever welcomed then hastily asked for his staff. " I her home with his dim white eyes thought I had been more weather, the poney and the cow ;--friends all, wise-A storm is coming down from and inmates of that happy household. the Cairnbrae-hawse, and we shall have So stepped she along, while the snownothing but a wild night.” He then diamonds glittered around her feet, whistled on his dog--an old sheep- and the frost wove a wreath of lucid dog, too old for its former labours- pearls around her forehead. and set off to meet his daughter, who She had now reached the edge of might then, for ought he knew, be the Black-moss, which lay half way crossing the Black-moss. The mother between her master's and her father's accompanied her husband to the door, dwelling, when she heard a loud noise and took a long frightened look at the coming down Glen-Scrae, and in a few
Daughter of great Cybele.
Pluto. Oh! my love,
Proser. Away, away.
Pluto. By my burning throne !
Proser. Will you be true ?
Pluto. I swear it. By myself!
Proser. Speak thou again, my friend.
Pluto. Come, my bright queen!
Proser. Speak out, Cyane !
Pluto. But, above all, in my heart shall you reign
Proser. Away, away, away,
Pluto. No, by this kiss, and this :
[Forces off Proserpine.
They are gone-Afar, afar,
Cyane is gradually transformed.)
Is the fair Cyane gone?
To sing songs to her memory?