Harper's Young People, December 30, 1879 An Illustrated Weekly

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Excerpt From the quaint old farm-house, nestling warmly'Neath its overhanging thatch of snow,Out into the moonlight troop the children,Filling all the air with music as they go,Gliding, sliding,Down the hill,Never mindingCold nor chill,O'er the silveredMoon-lit snow,Swift as arrowFrom the bow,With a rushOf mad delightThrough the crisp airOf the night,Speeding far outO'er the plain,Trudging gaylyUp againTo where the firelight'sRuddy glowTurns to goldThe silver snow.Finer sport who can conceiveThan that of coasting New-Year's Eve?Half the fun lies in the fireThat seems to brighter blaze and higherThan any other of the year,As though his dying hour to cheer,And at the same time greeting giveTo him who has a year to live.'Tis built of logs of oak and pine,Filled in with branches broken fine;It roars and crackles merrily;The children round it dance with glee;They sing and shout and welcome inThe new year with a joyous dinThat rings far out o'er hill and dale,And warns the watchers in the vale'Tis time the church bells to employTo spread the universal joy.Then the hill is left in silenceAs the coasters homeward go,And the crimson of the fire-lightFades from off the trodden snow.So the years glide by as swiftlyAs the sleds rush down the hill,And each new one as it comethBringeth more of good than ill. THE FAIRY'S TOKEN. Ethelreda, the Fairy of Northland,Was singing a song to herself,As she swung from a wreath of soft snow-flakes,And smiled to another bright elf.What token shall we send to our darling,Our name-child, fair Ethel, belowIn the house which is down in the valleyAll covered and calm in the snow?Shall we gather our glorious jewels,And wind them about her lithe form?They would glitter and glance in the sunshine,And merrily gleam in the storm.Shall we clothe her in whitest of ermine,And robe her as grand as a queen;Weave her laces of ice and of frost-work,A mantle of glistening sheen?She would shudder and cry at the clasping,She would moan aloud in her woe,And think the gay robes had been fashionedBy cruelest, bitterest foe.I will none of these gifts for my darling,Neither jewels nor laces rare,Neither diamonds nor pearls of cold anguish—My gift shall be tender and fair.Early Ethel awoke Christmas morning,And found on her pillow that dayA bunch of bright little snow-drops,From kind Ethelreda, the Fay! [Begun in No. 1 of Harper's Young People, November 4.] THE BRAVE SWISS BOY. VIII.—THE REWARD OF FIDELITY. Walter met with a friendly reception from General De Bougy—a brave old warrior who had served under Napoleon, and fought at Waterloo, where he had been severely wounded, and had lost his right foot by a cannon-ball. His hair was gray, and his countenance weather-beaten; but in spite of his age and infirmities he enjoyed tolerably good health, and was always in good humor. Having from long experience become a keen observer of those around him, it was not long before he recognized the merits of his new servant, to whom he soon became as much attached as his nephew had been....
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