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"And my brave and steady Willy,
Like his father, slow of tongue, Says a word and keeps it, Neddy,
A good sailor though so young. 'Don't you fret for Jack, dear mother,'
Said he when he saw me cry; 'Rather than harm touch my brother,
Mother, I would sooner die.'
"It has been a weary waiting,
This six weeks has seemed a year j Every night I dreamed of drowning,
And waked up to shake with fear, And I seemed to have forgotten
Him who walked upon the wave, And who hears His children praying,
Ever near, and strong to save.
"For the sea is His, He made it,
I shall trust him as I ought, When He brings my treasure safely
To the calm and quiet port. With full hearts we all shall thank Him,
Kneeling hand in hand at home; Even little Ned can whisper,
'I thank God my father's come !'"
Nearer came the white sails, nearer,
Smaller boats put off to shore; Husbands greeted wives, and fathers
Kissed their little ones once more. "Where are father, Jack, and Willy?
I see nothing through this shine; Try if you can find them, Neddy,
You have younger eyes than mine."
As a dark cloud o'er the water,
Sudden fear came o'er her joy,
At the oars a man and boy.
And she could not stir for fear,
As the tiny craft drew near.
Till the weather-beaten sailor
Slowly, sadly crossed the sand, While one pale-faced boy was clinging
White and trembling to his hand. Cried the mother, "Where is Willy?
Why are you and Jack so white? Is some dreadful sorrow coming
On our hearts this awful night?"
"Will has kept his promise, Mary,
He has sent his brother back;
Dying he has rescued Jack.
Not a better sails the sea;
Better far, dear wife, than we.
"Now the long slow waves are washing
O'er our dear boy's shining head:
Till the sea gives up her dead.
And though we shall miss our son,
What God willeth must be done."
"Oh, my darling," moaned the mother,
"If I had but loved you more! Shall I never see you, Willy,
Never watch you come on shore? How I lingered for you, praying
Weary night and lonely day! Can I think that God has heard me
When he takes my boy away?
"If He loves us and can help us,
How should loss like this betide?
Surely Willy had not died!
'Peace, be still,' had spoken then;
Would have bi ought my son again."
Then the husband, drawing nearer,
On her trembling arm, and drew her
The great tears were slowly rolling
And his words were choked and broken, When at length he tried to speak.
"Listen now, dear wife, and heed me,
God has taught me what to say; Speaking to me tender, patient,
Through long night and weary day. He who walked upon the waters,
He has come to me at sea, Telling me our boy is anchored
In the port where He would be.
"Life we asked for our darling,
Now he knows long life in heaven, With the Saviour, whom he trusted,
And to whom his heart was given. There he looks on Him for ever,
And he hears the angels sing; Sees the far off happy country,
And the beauty of the King.
"We shall cry for Willy, mother,
In the long, long winter night; We shall miss him sore and sharply,
When the summer moon is bright; When the boat must sail without him,
Yet from home his step is gone; When you miss his arm on Sunday,
And must walk to church alone.
"Yet, though we are tried and troubled,
On life's billows tossed about, Let us thank God he is anchored,
Sheltered where they go not out.
Over land and over sea;
Where we, too, would also be."
% WLatis in Season.
It was a very simple incident which resulted in the conversion of Madame Beauvais from being a rigid Roman Catholic into an earnest Protestant. In the French city in which she resided, there was not a lady of greater beauty or more accomplished manners. Her position gave her the right to enter the best society; but it was a privilege she seldom claimed. It was the joy of her life to attend to the duties of her church; and there were many times when she would gladly have renounced what she called the world, for the quiet of the convent. As this was impossible, however, she devoted herself earnestly to the duties imposed upon her by the priests from morning to night. Wet or dry, she was the first in the chapel and the last to leave. On every festival she attended with reverence and delight; and the tourist might often have seen her kneeling in profound devotion by the stone crosses which dotted the roadside.
It was Corpus Christi day in her city when an English tourist first saw her. The Roman Catholics on that day were keeping the anniversary of the institution of the Holy Eucharist. There was great display on the occasion. The city was handsomely decorated, and its inhabitants were in holiday attire. No civic procession with which the English reader may be acquainted attracted a larger throng or excited a keener interest. Windows and balconies were filled with gaily-dressed persons; while flags, banners, and transparencies added brightness to the scene. Thousands were waiting for the moment when the car would pass by which concealed the consecrated wafer which, in their superstition, they believed to be God himself. Presently it came in much pomp and state, attended by priests in gorgeous vestments. It was no sooner in sight than the thousands who were awaiting its arrival dropped upon their knees, and a profound silence reigned as it passed by.
Madame Beauvais had been kneeling in the street long before the procession was in sight. She might have been in one of the brightest of the balconies, but she preferred being as near as possible to the car which, in her estimation, contained so holy a mystery. She was thus kneeling when the English tourist strolled up to see what was going on. Hundreds were kneeling; hundreds had their hats off; but he, without the slightest feeling of disrespect, remained erect and kept his hat on. Turning her eyes for a moment in his direction, Madame Beauvais saw him, and immediately became disturbed and irritated.
"You are irreverent, sir," she said, in good English.
"How, madame! I do not understand you."
"Take off your hat, sir."
There was no time for further conversation, for the procession was in sight, and madame prostrated herself as it passed, and continued kneeling until it was far on its way. The Englishman was hurt that he should have wounded the lady's religious feelings, and he lingered to express his regret if he had unconsciously done so. When she rose from her knees, he said, lifting his hat, "lam sorry, madame—"
"You should have lifted your hat to God, sir," she interrupted, in a sorrowful tone.
"Pardon me, madame: I am quite a stranger here. I hope I have lifted my heart to God this morning; but I did not see anything in that curious procession that called for my taking off my hat."
She looked at him for a moment, and then thought, with the enthusiasm which was natural to her, that she saw her way to make a proselyte.
"Do you not know, then, who passed by just now?"
"I saw, madame, a number of priests, a handsome car with images; and, taking it altogether, a pretty show."
"A pretty show!" she retorted, indignantly; "the priests were attending God, sir! He was being carried past us."
"Will you tell me how ?" asked the Englishman, who also wished to shed a ray of gospel light into this lady's mind.