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Jane Reed

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BY BAYABX TAYLOR. ' ïf I could forget," she said, " forget, and begin agaiu ! We Bee so dull at the timo, and, looking back, so j plain. There 's a qulet that's worse, I think, than many a spoken Btrifo, And it's wrong th:it one mietake should chango the whole of a life. 1 There's John, forcver tbc same, bo steady, sober, and mild ; He never storms e a man who never cricd as a child. Perhaps niy ways are harsb, but if he would seein to care, I There'd be fewer swallowed words and lignter load to bear. " Ilere, Chorry! - ehe's found me out, the calf I raised in the spring, And a likely heiier she's grown, the foolisb, j 'wed thing ! Just the even color I like, without a Capple or a speek, - Oh, Cherry, bend down your head, and let iue cry on your neck ! " The poor duxnb beaBt ehe is, sho never can know nor teil, And it aeems to do me good, the very shanie of the spell : So oíd a woman and hard, and Joel po oíd a man - 13ut the tboughts of the oldgo on as the thoughts of young began ! 11 It's gueEsing that vastes the heart, far worse than the eurest fate ; If I knew be had tbought of me, I could quietly work and wait ; And then when either, at last, on a bed of death should lie, Why, one might speak the trath, and the other hear and die!" Che leaned on the beifer's neck ; the dry leaves feil irom the boughs, And over the sweet late grass of the meadow strayed the cowfi : The golden dodder meshed the cardinal flower by the rill ; There was autunin haze in the air, and sunlight low on the hill. I've somehow missed mytime,"Bhe said to herself, and aighed ; " What girls are free to hope, a steady woman must hide, But tho need outBtays the chance ; it makes me cry ! &y.& laugh To think that the only thing I can talk to now is a calf." step carne down froni the hill : she did not turn or rise ; There was something in her heart that saw without the eyes. She lieard the f oot delay, as doubting to stay or go : "Is tho heifer for sale?" he said. She Bternly answered, "No!" She lifted her head aR Bhe spoke ; their eyes a moment met, And her heart repeated the words, " If I oould ouly forget!" He turned a little away, but her lowere,d eyes could eee His hand, as he picked the bark from the trunk of a hickory tree. Why can't we be friendly, Jane ?" his words carne, strange and bIow; "Youseem to bear me a grudge, bo long, and so long ago ! Yon were gay and free with the rest, but always bo Bhy of me, That, bef ore myfreedomcame, I saw that itcouldn't be." "Joel!" was all Bhe cried, as their glances met j again. And a sudden rose effaced her pallor of age and pain. He picked at the hickory bark "It's a curions thing to say : But I'm lonely since Phebe died and the girls are married away. " That's why these thoughts coine back : I'm a little too oíd for pride, And I never could understand how love should be all one sido. 'Twould answer itself, I thouglit, and time would show me how; But it didn't come so then, and it doesn't seem so uow !" " Joel,it cameso then!"- and her voice was thick with tears ; " A hope for a single day, and a bitter shaiae for years ! " He snapped the ribbon of bark ; he turned from the hickory tree : " Jane, look me once in the face, and say that you tbought of me !" j She looked, and feeb'y laughed : " It's a comfort to know the truth, { Though the chance was thrown away in the blind mistake of youth." 41 And a greater comfort, Jane," he said with a tender smile, " To find the chance you have lost, and keep it a little while." Sho rose as he spake the words ; the petted heifer thrust Her muzzle between the twain, with an animal's ttrange mistrust; But over the creature's neck he drew her to his breas t : Ahorse is never so old but it pulls with another best 1" "It's enough to know," she said, "to remember, not forget !" lLNay,nay: for the rest of Ufe weil pay each other's debt!" She had no will to rosist, so kindly was she drawn, And she sadly said, at last, "But what will become of John?"


Old News
Michigan Argus