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"He hath made every thing beautiful.”—Eccl. iii. 11.

"Immortals, guard our sylvan loves!" the village youths and maidens said

Encircling round a fallen tree whose doom the woodman's axe had sped:

"Thrice hallowed is the yew," cried one," which shadoweth the old church door

Our brother he is laid beneath, and there the green grass waveth o'er; At twilight hour our mother glides, where sleeps the unforgotten dead, Beside his grave to breathe a prayer, and mournful tears unseen to shed!"

“Kind fays, protect the silver birch that grows within the lonely dell, Where steep and stray a pathway winds adown unto the sparkling well; For when with pitchers poised we climb, sure pleasant faces seem to smile,

'Mid glancing leaves by soft winds stirred, the toilsome labour to beguile;

And ancients tell that elfin folk by glow-worm's mystic lamp of light, Count idler's steps-nor send them luck-nor waft the happy dreams of night."

"Yet three times three for hearts of oak!" out cried a gallant sailor boy;

"Our island's wooden planks I love-I love a sailor's life of joyO'er ocean wastes they bear me safe, to wander in far orient lands, Where stretch the mighty forest's arms to rivers rich with golden sands:

I'll build a barque of good tough oak! I'll reign a roving chieftain free

'Mid green savannahs-prairie wilds-then O! the noble oak for me!"

"Where gently glides a classic stream, and stately swans float slowly by

Where lotos lilies white repose amid the emerald greenerie―
Mark, drooping o'er the lucid water gracefully the willow tree,
As round its lichened stems creep ever little wavelets lazily:
It from the river margin spreadeth arbours o'er the sunny deep,
Where rest from toil the wearied boatmen who within their shallops

Then spake a maid with serious mien, her voice as music sad and sweet— "In haunted bowers the aspens thrive-those favoured trees which angels greet:

For when above shine moon and stars-when hushed the zephyr's sportive sigh,

And when prevails a peace profound, as of some solemn mystery-
The shivering aspen clearly tells-O list the vision fancy weaves-
Of many a wandering spirit's home among the trembling conscious

"The almond tree for trusting hearts," a timid whispering voice replied;

"On leafless boughs those blossoms show an emblem by true faith descried;

No verdure, harbinger of spring, heralds forth the peerless bloomWhich, like the joy in clouded scenes, shows brighter far amid the gloom :

The martyred saints shed sweets around in shorn and darkest wintry hours,

And we a lesson blest may learn from contemplating almond flowers."

The Children's Corner.


THE joyous festival of Whitsuntide had arrived! The valleys were blooming, and the hills were green and verdant, as well as the lovely quiet dales.

It is still the custom in many villages in Silesia, on the recurrence of this festival, to ornament the doors of the farm-houses, where the daughters of the family are grown up. The lads of the village usually procure for this purpose the slender silver birch, with its shining bark and small twigs, on which they hang bright ribbons, or even silk handkerchiefs; and in the night before Whitsunday, they place them in the court-yards of the farms where the chosen fair ones dwell. The more the May trees, as they are called, that adorn the door, the greater is the honour and distinction for the maiden, for she is generally the most modest, the most industrious, and the prettiest girl in the village, and you may believe it is no little triumph for the young peasant girls, when they go to Church in the morning, to see the beautifully ornamented trees, the first thing on crossing the threshold. Generally they have learned it before from their sisters or the servants, but they pretend to look bashful and

surprised, and blush like the full blown rose in their bouquet, while the Church goers remain standing before the door, admiring the gay ribbons floating so merrily in the morning breeze. The lasses anticipate with pleasure this festival through the year, all on account of these May trees, which are the pride and ambition of every one. "Who will have the best May tree this time ?" is a question asked many days beforehand in the village. The forest-keeper laid a fine on whoever should take a birch from the enclosure; and consequently the young men are doubly anxious to show their skill and courage by procuring a beautiful tree, in spite of the prohibition. Pentecost fell this time in the month of roses, and was favoured with most beautiful weather; no clouds were visible in the heavens. Under the porch of the best farm-house of the place, stood a handsome girl, with jetblack hair, her dress was neat and clean, and the red headband well became her; her lively eyes glanced towards the path down which the lads of the village were coming from the fields on their tired horses. In general Theresa was rather haughty, but to-day she returned every greeting in a friendly manner, nay, she would even speak first to one and then to the other, and ask after the clover, or how the shearing had succeeded, all on account of the Whitsuntide trees: for the proud maiden longed to have the greatest number at her door. It is true the youths had taken some notice of the pretty Theresa; they had liked to dance with her, only sometimes she cut them off short. It was indeed said of her, that she treated the servants harshly, nay, even the poor who came to her father's premises to ask an alms; and this did not much please the young men, though others thought she was only a thrifty hostess, and would make an excellent housewife.

The whole village took it for granted, that Theresa would have the best trees at Whitsuntide, she herself was not less sure, and the evening before, she swept with her own hand, the large space before the courtyard door, where the young trees would stand the next morning.

In the dark night, long before the sun rose, the lads were moving about the village, with their hatchets in

hand, and the May trees on their shoulders. It was still dark, when two youths met near the Church, and one of them would have certainly retreated, had it not been too late, for they had already perceived each other; for I should mention, the planting of the trees is always kept as a great secret, even the best friends do not betray their intention. And now two old friends ran up against each other.

"Dear me, Peter, my boy, is that you ?" cried one of them, a fine-looking lad, and who, in spite of his peasant's dress, still wore the soldier's cap, which he had put on with a knowing air; "why, are you too going to plant a May tree? I never could have dreamt that of grave, serious, Peter; but tell me, my dear fellow, to whom are you taking it? Surely you can trust your old comrade?"

"Well then, Ehrenfried, I'll tell you, though not very willingly, for I must honestly confess, that I think it is by no means fair upon me, that you should meet me just at this very time," answered the other frankly; “I am going to the mill; the pretty green tree will afford some pleasure to good Liesbeth, although unfortunately, I am not able to buy any ribbons to put on it."



"Do you mean the miller's foster-child ?" inquired his comrade; are you downright foolish, Peter? The girl is as ugly as (may I be forgiven)-as-well-what shall say ? and she is so timid and awkward, that one can't say a word to her, when one takes the corn to the mill. She never comes on the green to dance; how in all the world could you think of planting a May tree for her ?"

"How could I think of it!" said Peter, with some warmth; "believe me Liesbeth deserves it more than all the prettiest and richest maidens in the village put together. I thought like you once; last year when I came home on leave of absence, and the harvest-home was just being celebrated, I was wishing to dance, when I caught sight of Theresa, and thought (for I had my bright uniform on) that we should make a nice-looking couple. However, she was engaged for every dance. 'Ask Liesbeth,' said a neighbour; No, she is too ugly for me,' said I aloud, proudly twirling my moustache. As I turned round, I saw the maiden close behind me,

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so she must have heard every word. Then I was sorry for it, conceited as I was, and I could not help raising my hat to her, almost against my will. She thanked me gently, but I saw the tears standing in her eyes. The next day I returned to my regiment, and thought no more of the girl. And yet it was she who afterwards nursed my poor mother when she was so ill in the winter, when no one else asked after her; it was she who watched by her, cooked her soup, swept and cleaned her room, and many a time denied herself that she might bring her supper to the invalid. And she also read the Bible to my mother, till the old woman's heart was quite won by her gentle goodness. Yet I had behaved so shamefully to the poor girl! She alone did not fear the dangerous fever, from which my mother was suffering; 'I am of no use to any one,' she would say, 'and you do me a kindness in letting me nurse you.' My mother told me all this, when I returned from being a soldier; but she made me promise faithfully, that I would never let Liesbeth know she had mentioned the subject. Now I will just ask you, Ehrenfried, whether I ought not to think Liesbeth, with her pale face, and awkward manner, is the best maiden in the whole village? If I were not so poor, she should have as beautiful a May tree as yours there!"

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Ehrenfried, flattered at this remark, looked at his beautiful birch tree, in whose green branches hung long rosecoloured ribbons. "Now listen, my friend," said he, after a short pause, you are not much in the wrong ; Liesbeth does in truth deserve the most beautiful May tree, much more than Theresa, who has not shown much love or kindness to any one.. A little while ago, she praised my team of greys, as I rode them to water, which certainly pleased me; but in faith, Liesbeth, and none other, shall have my tree!"

"Are you in earnest, comrade ?" exclaimed Peter. "Well, you are a fine fellow, I will say ;" and he reached out his hand to Ehrenfried, who shook it heartily.

And now they turned into the road leading to the mill; Peter's heart beat almost audibly with joy at the thought that the good Liesbeth, who had so tenderly nursed his

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