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THE NAME IN THE BARK.
The self of so long ago,
And the self I struggle to know,
To-day the shadow I am
Comes back in the sweet summer calm
Once more in the dewy morn
I trod through the whispering corn,
The ribboned and tasselled grass
Leaned over the flattering glass,
To the gray old birch I came,
Where I whittled my school-boy name :
The blackbirds down among
The alders noisily sung,
I came, remembering well
How my little shadow fell,
There, stooping a little, I found
A half-healed, curious wound,
Then the wise old boughs overhead
Took counsel together, and said, And the buzz of their leafy lips like a murmur of prophecy passed, –
“ He is busily carving a name
In the tough old wrinkles of fame; But, cut he as deep as he may, the lines will close over at last!”
Sadly I pondered awhile,
Then I lifted my soul with a smile,
Still hurting ourselves with the knife,
As we toil at the letters of life, Just marring a little the rind, never piercing the heart of the tree.”
And now by the rivulet's brink
I leisurely saunter, and think
If then the real I am
Descend from the heavenly calm, To trace where the shadow I seem once flitted awhile in the sun.
AGNES OF SORRENTO.
had never known before. She passed
the little moist grotto, which in former PERPLEXITIES.
times she never failed to visit to see if AGNES returned from the confessional there were any new-blown cyclamen, with more sadness than her simple life had without giving it even a thought. A crimever known before. The agitation of her son spray of gladiolus leaned from the confessor, the tremulous eagerness of his rock and seemed softly to kiss her cheek, words, the alternations of severity and ten- yet she regarded it not; and once stopderness in his manner to her, all struck her ping and gazing abstractedly upward on only as indications of the very grave dan the flower-tapestried walls of the gorge, ger in which she was placed, and the aw as they rose in wreath and garland and fulness of the sin and condemnation which festoon above her, she felt as if the briloppressed the soul of one for whom she liant yellow of the broom and the crimwas conscious of a deep and strange in son of the gillyflowers, and all the flutterest.
tering, nodding armies of brightness that She had the undoubting, uninquiring were dancing in the sunlight, were too reverence which a Christianly educated gay for such a world as this, where morchild of those times might entertain for tal sins and sorrows made such havoc the visible head of the Christian Church, with all that seemed brightest and best, all whose doings were to be regarded with and she longed to fly away and be at an awful veneration which never even rest. raised a question.
Just then she heard the cheerful voice That the Papal throne was now filled of her uncle in the little garden above, as by a man who had bought his election he was singing at his painting. The words with the wages of iniquity, and dispensed were those of that old Latin hymn of Saint its powers and offices with sole reference Bernard, which, in its English dress, has to the aggrandizement of a family pro- thrilled many a Methodist class-meeting verbial for brutality and obscenity, was a and many a Puritan conference, telling, fact well known to the reasoning and en in the welcome they meet in each Chrislightened orders of society at this time; tian soul, that there is a unity in Christ's but it did not penetrate into those lowly Church which is not outward, — a secret, valleys where the sheep of the Lord hum invisible bond, by which, under warring bly pastured, innocently unconscious of
names and badges of opposition, His true the frauds and violence by which their followers have yet been one in Him, even dearest interests were bought and sold. though they discerned it not.
The Christian faith we now hold, who boast our enlightened Protestantism, has "Jesu dulcis memoria, been transmitted to us through the hearts
Dans vera cordi gaudia: and bands of such, - who, while princes
Sed super mel et omnia wrangled with Pope, and Pope with prin
Ejus dulcis præsentia. ces, knew nothing of it all, but, in lowly
“Nil canitur suavius, ways of prayer and patient labor, were
Nil auditur jocundius, one with us of modern times in the
Nil cogitatur dulcius, great central belief of the Christian heart,
Quam Jesus Dei Filius. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”
"Jesu, spes pænitentibus, As Agnes came slowly up the path to
Quam pius es petentibus, wards the little garden, she was conscious
Quam bonus te quærentibus, of a burden and weariness of spirit she
Sed quis invenientibus ! 29
into her eyes.
“Nec lingua valet dicere,
“What, my little one!” said the monk, Nec littera exprimere:
looking over the wall; “I thought I heard Expertus potest credere
angels singing. Is it not a beautiful mornQuid sit Jesum diligere." . The old monk sang with all his heart; “Dear uncle, it is,” said Agnes. “And and his voice, which had been a fine one I have been so glad to hear your beautiin its day, had still that power which comes ful hymn!- it comforted me." from the expression of deep feeling. One “ Comforted you, little heart? What a often hears this peculiarity in the voices word is that! When you get as far along of persons of genius and sensibility, even
on your journey as your old uncle, then when destitute of any real critical merit. you may talk of comfort. But who thinks They seem to be so interfused with the of comforting birds or butterflies or young emotions of the soul, that they strike upon lambs?" the heart almost like the living touch of “ Ab, dear uncle, I am not so very a spirit.
happy,” said Agnes, the tears starting Agnes was soothed in listening to him. The Latin words, the sentiment of which “ Not happy ?” said the monk, looking had been traditional in the Church from up from his drawing. “Pray, what 's time immemorial, had to her a sacred fra the matter now ? Has a bee stung your grance and odor; they were words apart finger? or have you lost your nosegay over from all common usage, a sacramental lan a rock ? or what dreadful afliction bas guage, never heard but in moments of de
come upon you ?—hey, my little heart?” votion and aspiration, - and they stilled Agnes sat down on the corner of the the child's heart in its tossings and tem marble fountain, and, covering her face pest, as when of old the Jesus they spake with her apron, sobbed as if her heart of walked forth on the stormy sea.
would break. “Yes, He gave His life for us !" she " What has that old priest been saying said; “ He is ever reigning for us ! to her in the confession ?” said Father "Jesu dulcissime, e throno gloriæ
Antonio to himself. “I dare say he canOvem deperditam venisti quærere!
not understand her. She is as pure as a Jesu suavissime, pastor fidissime,
dew-drop on a cobweb, and as delicate ; Ad te O trahe me, ut semper sequar te!'"* and these priests, half of them don't know * Jesus, the very thought of theo
how to handle the Lord's lambs.- Come With sweetness fills my breast;
little Agnes,” he said, with a coaxBut sweeter far thy face to see,
ing tone, “what is its trouble ? - tell its And in thy presence rest!
old uncle, — there 's a dear!” Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
“ Ah, uncle, I can't!” said Agnes, beNor can the memory find
tween her sobs. A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Saviour of mankind!
“ Can't tell its uncle! - there's a pretO hope of every contrite heart,
ty go! Perhaps you will tell grandmamO joy of all the meek, To those who fall how kind thou art, “Oh, no, no, no! not for the world !” How good to those who seek!
said Agnes, sobbing still more bitterly. But what to those who find! Ah, this “Why, really, little heart of mine, this Nor tongue nor pen can show!
is getting serious," said the monk; "let The love of Jesus, what it is
your old uncle try to help you.” None but his loved ones know.
“ It is n't for myself,” said Agnes, en 1 Jesus most beautiful, from thrones in glory, deavoring to check her feelings, -"it is Secking thy lost sheep, thou didst descend!
not for myself, - it is for another, — for a Jesus most tender, shepherd most faithful,
soul lost. Ah, my Jesus, have mercy!” To thee, oh, draw thou me, that I may follow thee,
“A soul lost ? Our Mother forbid !” Follow thee faithfully world without end! said the monk, crossing himself. “Lost
in this Christian land, so overflowing with patent and manifest fact, that the actual the beauty of the Lord ? - lost out of this incumbent of the Holy See was not unfair sheepfold of Paradise ?”
der the guidance of any spirit, unless it "Yes, lost," said Agnes, despairingly, - were a diabolical one, with the theory “and if somebody do not save him, lost which supposed an infallible guidance of forever; and it is a brave and noble soul, the Holy Spirit to attend as a matter of too, — like one of the angels that fell.” course on that position. Some of the
“Who is it, dear? — tell me about it,” boldest of them did not hesitate to desaid the monk. “I am one of the shep- clare that the Holy City had suffered a herds whose place it is to go after that foul invasion, and that a false usurper which is lost, even till I find it.”
reigned in her sacred palaces in place of “Dear uncle, you remember the youth the Father of Christendom. The greater who suddenly appeared to us in the moon part did as people now do with the myslight here a few evenings ago ?"
teries and discrepancies of a faith which “Ah, indeed!" said the monk, -"what on the whole they revere: they turned of him ? "
their attention from the vexed question, “Father Francesco has told me dread- and sighed and longed for better days. ful things of him this morning."
Father Antonio did not, therefore, tell “ What things ?”
Agnes that the announcement which bad Uncle, he is excommunicated by our filled her with such distress was far less Holy Father the Pope.”
conclusive with himself of the ill desert Father Antonio, as a member of one of the individual to whom it related. of the most enlightened and cultivated “ My little heart,” he answered, gravereligious orders of the times, and as an ly, “ did you learn the sin for which this intimate companion and disciple of Sa- young man was excommunicated ?” vonarola, had a full understanding of the “Ah, me! my dear uncle, I fear he character of the reigning Pope, and there is an infidel, - an unbeliever. Indeed, fore had his own private opinion of how now I remember it, he confessed as much much his excommunication was likely to to me the other day." be worth in the invisible world.
" Where did he tell you this?" knew that the same doom had been threat “ You remember, my uncle, when you ened towards his saintly master, for op were sent for to the dying man? When posing and exposing the scandalous vices you were gone, I kneeled down to pray which disgraced the high places of the for his soul; and when I rose from prayer, Church; so that, on the whole, when he this young cavalier was sitting right here, heard that this young man was excom on this end of the fountain.
He was municated, so far from being impressed looking fixedly at me, with such sad eyes, with horror towards him, he conceived so full of longing and pain, that it was the idea that he might be a particularly quite piteous; and he spoke to me so sadhonest fellow and good Christian. But ly, I could not but pity him.” then he did not hold it wise to disturb “ What did he say to you, child ?” the faith of the simple-hearted by reveal " Ah, father, he said that he was all ing to them the truth about the head of alone in the world, without friends, and the Church on earth.
utterly desolate, with no one to love him; While the disorders in those elevated but worse than that, he said he had lost regions filled the minds of the intelligent his faith, that he could not believe." classes with apprehension and alarm, they “ What did you say to him ?” held it unwise to disturb the trustful sim “Uncle, I tried, as a poor girl might, plicity of the lower orders, whose faith in to do him some good. I prayed him to Christianity itself they supposed mightthus confess and take the sacrament; but he be shaken. In fact, they were themselves looked almost fierce when I said so. And somewhat puzzled how to reconcile the yet I cannot but think, after all, that he
has not lost all grace, because he begged speaks so humbly and gently, there is yet me so earnestly to pray for him; he said something princely that looks out of his his
prayers could do no good, and want- eyes, as if he were born to command; and ed mine. And then I began to tell him he wears strange jewels, the like of which about you,
dear uncle, and how you came I never saw, on his hands and at the hilt from that blessed convent in Florence, of his dagger, - yet he seems to make and about your master Savonarola; and nothing of them. But yet, I know not that seemed to interest him, for he look- wby, he spoke of himself as one utterly ed quite excited, and spoke the name desolate and forlorn. Father Francesco over, as if it were one he bad heard be
told me that he was captain of a band of fore. I wanted to urge him to come and robbers who live in the mountains. One open his case to you; and I think perhaps cannot think it is so.” I might have succeeded, but that just then “ Little heart," said the monk, tenderyou and grandmamma came up the path; ly, “ you can scarcely know what things and when I heard you coming, I begged befall men in these distracted times, when him to go, because you know grandmam- faction wages war with faction, and men ma would be very angry, if she knew that pillage and burn and imprison, first on I had given speech to a man, even for a this side, then on that. Many a son of few moments; she thinks men are so a noble house may find himself homedreadful.”
less and landless, and, chased by the ene“I must seek this youth," said the monk, my, may have no refuge but the fastnesses in a musing tone; "perhaps I may
find of the mountains. Thank God, our loveout what inward temptation hath driven ly Italy hath a noble backbone of these him away from the fold."
same mountains, which afford shelter to Oh, do, dear uncle ! do!” said Agnes, her children in their straits.” earnestly. “I am sure that he has been " Then you think it possible, dear ungrievously tempted and misled, for he cle, that this may not be a bad man, after seems to have a noble and gentle nature; all ?” and he spoke so feelingly of his mother, “Let us hope so, child. I will myself who is a saint in heaven; and he seemed seek him out; and if his mind have been 80 earnestly to long to return to the bos- chafed by violence or injustice, I will om of the Church.”
strive to bring him back into the good " The Church is a tender mother to all ways of the Lord. Take heart, my little her erring children,” said the monk. one, - all will yet be well. Come now,
“And don't you think that our dear little darling, wipe your bright eyes, and Holy Father the Pope will forgive him ?” look at these plans I have been making said Agnes. “Surely, he will have all the for the shrine we were talking of, in the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who gorge. See here, I have drawn a goodly would rejoice in one sheep found more arch with a pinnacle. Under the arch, than in all the ninety-and-nine who went you see, shall be the picture of our Lady not astray."
with the blessed Babe. The arch shall The monk could scarcely repress a be cunningly sculptured with vines of smile at imagining Alexander the Sixth ivy and passion-flower; and on one side in this character of a good shepherd, as of it shall stand Saint Agnes with her Agnes’s enthusiastic imagination painted lamb,— and on the other, Saint Cecilia, the head of the Church; and then he gave crowned with roses; and on this pinnacle, an inward sigh, and said, softly, “ Lord, above all, Saint Michael, all in armor, how long ?'
shall stand leaning, – one hand on his “I think,” said Agnes, " that this young sword, and holding a shield with the cross man is of noble birth, for his words and his bearing and his tones of voice are not “Ah, that will be beautiful!” said Agthose of common men; even though he