THE PRAYER OF THE SOUTH.
rt? RKV. ABRAM 3. RTAI<.
My brow ip bf ntbeneath a heavy rod!
My face ifc wan and white with many woes.
But I will lift my poor, chained hande to Goa,
Vnd for my children pray, and for my foes.
Beside the graves where thousands lowly lie
I kneel, and weeping for each slaughtered son.
I turn my gaze to my own sunny sky,
And pray , oh! Father, Thy will be done!
My heart is filled with anguish, deep and vast:
My hopes are buried with ray children’s dust:
My joys have lied, ray tears are flowing fast—
In whom, save Thee, our Father, shall I trust V
Ah! I forgot Thee, Father, long and oft,
When T was happy, rich, and proud, and free :
But conquered now, and crushed, I look aloft.
And sorrow leads me, Father, back to Thee.
Amid the wrecks that mark the foeman’s path
1 kneel, and wailing o’er my glories gone,
I Btill each thought of hate, each throb of wrath.
And whisper, Father, let Thy will be done!
Pity me. Father of the Desolate !
Alas! ray burdens are so bard to bear:
Look down in mercy on my wretched fate.
And keep me, guard me, with thy loving care.
Pity me, Father, for His holy sake,
Whose broken heart bled at the feet of grief,
That hearts of earth, wherever they shall break.
Might go to His and hnd a sure relief.
Ah, me, how dark! Is this a brief eclipse V
Or is it night with no tomorrow’s sun ?
Oh! Father! Father! with my pale, sad lips.
And gadder heart, I pray, Thy will be done.
My homes ar# joyless, and a million mourn
Where many met in ,lovh forever flown;
Whose hearts were light, are burdened now and torn ;
Where many smiled, but one is left to moan.
And, ah! the widow’s wails, the orphan’s cries,
Are morniDg hymn and vesper chant to me;
And groans of men and sounds of women’s sighs
Commingle, Father, with my prayer to thee.
Beneath my feet ten thousand children dead—
Oh! how I loved each known and nameless one.!
Above their dust I bow my crownless head.
And murmur—Father, still Thy will be done,
\h! Father, Thou didst deck my own loved land
With all bright charms, and beautiful and fair:
But foemeu came, ami, with a ruthless hand.
Spread ruin, wreck, and desolation there.
Girdled with gloom, of all my brightness shovu.
And garmented with grief, I kiss Thy rod.
And turn my face, with tears all wet and worn.
To catch one smile of pity from my God.
Around me blight, where all before was bloom.
And so much lost, alas! and nothing won!
Save this—that I can lean on wreck and tomb
And ween, and weeping, pray, Thy will be don*.
And oh ! 'tis hard to say, but said, ’tin sweet:
The words are bitter, but they hold a balm—
A balm that heals the wounds of my defeat.
And lulls my sorrows into holy calm.
It is tlu prayer ol prayers, and how it brings.
When heard in Heaven, peace and hope to me!
When Jesus prayed it. did not angels’ wings
Gleam 'mid the darkness of Gethsemane V
iiy children, Father, Thy forgiveness need:
Alas ! their hearts have only place for tears '
Forgive them. Father, ev’ry wrongful deed
And ev'ry sin ot those four bloody years,
And give them strength to bear their boundless loss,
And from their hearts take every thought of hate;
And while they climb their Calvary with their Cross.
Oh 1 help them. Father, to endure its weight.
And for my dead, my Father, may I pray V
Ah! sighs may soothe, but prayer shall soothe me
1 keep eternal watch above their clay.
Oh I rest their souls, ray Father, l implore !
Forgive my foe*—they know not what they do—
Forgive, them ail the tears they made me shed;
Forgive them, though my noblest sons they slew,
And them, though they curse my poor, dear
Oil! may my wot s he >;:u*h a carrier-dove,
\Aifh swilt, whit.- wings, that, bathing in my tears.
Yt ill boar Thee. Father, all my prayers of love,
And bring me peace in nil my doubts and fears.
Father, I kneel, 'mid ruin, wreck, and grave -
A desert waste, where all was erst so fair—
And for my children an*l my foes I crave
Pity and pardon—Father, hear my prayer!
Granville Perkins, who has been re
siding* in Cuba, exhibits in his New
York studio a number of picturesque
scenes of the tropics, which are new and
pleasing. One is a view of the Cienfue
iros river, with mountains in the dis
tance. Others, of sunset on the coast,
have a sentiment of solitary grandeur,
which is unique and effective.
From the Month.
PIERRE PREVOST'S STORY:
Or, True to the Last,
lu one of my summer rambles through
the north of France, I carne across a little
seaside village which possessed so many
charms that it was the greatest difficulty
in the world to tear myself away from it..
It was indeed a lovely spot .’ The vil
lage, situated on a noble cliff, was en
closed almost in a semi-circle of richly
wooded hills, which stretched, as far as
the eye could see, into the very heart of
At your feet the glorious sea came
dashing in to a shore over which great
masses of bold rock were liberally scat
tered, anil round which the waves used
to play in the summer-time, however little
obstacle was afforded to their fury when
fierce winds blew up a storm in the cruel
But perhaps the most attractive fea
ture of the place to me was a splendid
river, within a mile’s walk of the village,
which was plentifully supplied with fish,
and afforded me many and many a day’s
amusement, and not a little’excellent
My time was pretty well my own, and
I had made up my mind for a tolerably
long spell of idle enjoyment; so, under
these circumstances, it may not appear
strange that! resolved to take up mv
quarters at .
The inhabitants of the place were
mostly poor fishermen, who used to ply
their trade nearly the whole of the week,
and by great g*ood luck frequently g*ot
back to their wives and families towards
Avery pretty cottage, with a bay
window commanding a splendid view of
the sea, took my fancy immensely, and
though it was rather a humble sort of
place, I determined, if possible, to make
an impression on its possessors, in order
to secure two rooms for mv use during
my stay. AJphonsinc was certainly not
the most sweet-tempered woman 1 ever
met, in fact rather the contrary : at the
same time I. fully persuaded myself that
a great many disagreeables would be
counteracted bv the possession of my
much coveted bay-window.
Alpbonsine evidently ruled the estab
lishment with a rod of iron. She was
a tall, thin, ill-favored woman, who was
always prepared for a wrangle, and who
looked uncommonly sharp after her own
interests. However, by paying pretty
liberally and in advance, I soon won her
heart, and flatter myself that it was by
excellent generalship on my part that I
contrived very soon to be entirely in her
good books. Her hard face used some
times to actually to relax into a grim
kind of smile in my presence, and I fan
cied her harsh voice used almost imper
ceptibly to soften in addressing me. Be
sides, she was accustomed to hustle about
in a rough kind of way in order io get
things straight and comfortable, and I
really think tried to do her host to make
me feel at home. What more could I
want than this ? And then she had two
delightful children, a hoy and a girl, with
whom I was very soon especially friendly,
and who tended to enliven' me up a bit
whenever I chanced to he at all dull
The boy was about thirteen years old,
and his sister, who looked a year or so
younger, was indeed a lovely child. She
was as fair as a lily, and had that sweet
expression of countenance which is so
often found among the peasants in Nor
mandy ; her eyes were large and exquis
itely blue, and with all this she had a
decided will of her own. But then she
was the daughter of Alpbonsine.
It was some little time before l made
the acquaintance of the master of the es
tablishment ; for he was always busy
AUGUSTA, CA., MARCH 28, 1868.
fishing, and, as I have said before, the
fishermen who lived in the village seldom
got home before Saturday evening, and
had to be oft' again either on Sunday
evening or by day-break on Monday.
However. Saturday soon canie round,
and with it Pierre Prevost.
He was about five-and-thirty years
old. very dark and singularly handsome.
His hair, which was thick, fell about
his head in ringlets; he was short and
had most expressive eyes. I was not
long in perceiving that he was in every
way a great contrast to Alpbonsine. His
expression was sad, and he seldom or
never smiled; and I noticed he seemed
to shrink rather nervously from the
piercing look with which he was very
frequently favored by “ la belle Alphon
sine.” His sweet and handsome face
soon disposed me favorably towards him,
notwithstanding that there were circum
stances which occurred on our first ac
quaintance which would otherwise have
tended to prejudice me entirely against
I was smoking h pipe and chatting
quietly to Alpbonsine in the chimney
corner on the evening l allude to. when
all at once the two children came tear
ing in from school with their hooks under
“He is cornel” cried they, in their
shrill treble voices. “We saw his boat
just coming near the shore. He will he
on the sand almost in a moment . We
may go and meet him ; may we not,
“ What’s the use V said she, in rather
a more disagreeable tone than usual. “I
am sure he would much prefer to come
alone. Besides,-1 want you both. Go
into the garden to get me something to
make a salad of. Come now 1"
These last two words settled the mat
ter, and the children were soon off, with
out another word about the expedition
to the sea shore.
“ That’s strange,” thought 1 to myself;
“ I wonder if this Pierre can be a bad
father, or at any rate a bad husband V
A few minutes afterwards he came in.
As if to strengthen this had impres
sion of mine, 1 noticed that Aiphonsine
never moved when he entered, and did
not attempt to offer her hand or cheek
to him. She did not even welcome him
with a smile.
No, she contented herself with taking
a slate down from the wall, the pencil
belonging to which was already in her
“ How much?"’ said she coolly.
Pierre Prevost pulled out of his pocket
a great leather purse, and detailed, day
by day, how much he bad made by the
sale of his fish. After which, he put
down the money upon the corner of tlu*
All this time the woman was eagerly
dotting down the various sums on the
slate. Then she gravely added them all
up. and determinedly counted out every
By great good luck the figures tallied
with the money. Then Alpbonsine shut
up the money in a drawer, and locked it
Meanwhile, Pierre repocketed his leath
er purse, which ho had just emptied,
never attempting to grumble in the least,
and going through tin* task as methodi
cally as possible.
“ 1 was quite wrong hi forming* so
hasty an opinion,’ thought 1 to myself, as
I witnessed this peculiar scene ; “ Pierre
is not such a bad fellow, after all.”
It was not Ion; before the young ones
made a second burst into the room,
making rather more noise than they did
on the first occasion.
They were not long in scrambling on
to Pierre’s knees, and smothering him
with kisses, and it was all done so hearti
ly, with such warmth, and so naturally,
that I could not help exclaiming to my
self. “ Why, he’s a capital father, after
But, judge of my astonishment when I
heard their pretty voices call out,
“Oh 1 we’re so glad to see you back
again, dear uncle Pierre !”
Then he was their uncle, after all, and
he was not married to Aiphonsine. But
was lie her brother, or merely a brother
in-law t And yet she seemed so entirely
to have the upper hand over him. It
certainly was a very remarkable coin
But what surprised me most of ail was
the fatherly affectum that Pierre Prevost
seemed to have for the two children.
He took them on bis knees, and played
with them, and appeared to make so
much of them, that I, who was a silent
spectator ol this little scene, became
really quite interested.
This lasted for about five minutes, and
then all at once it seemed as if the old
pain came over him, for he turned quite
sad again, and became} deathly pale,
and I could see the tears starting to his
eyes. And then he got up, and look
ing steadily into the young innocent
faces of his nephew and niece, said, in an
extremely soft voice.
“Go and play on the sand. Go
along* mv pretty ones !”
The poor children, who seemed quite
astonished at the sudden change in his
demeanor, hesitated for a moment How
ever, another beseeching* look from their
uncle, and an angry word or so from
Aiphonsine, soon persuaded them what
to do ; whereupon, they set out very slow
ly for the sea shore.
“They know perfectly well how little
you care for them,” said Aiphonsine,
very bitterly : “and it would he just as
well if you would not go out of your
way to show* it.”
Pierre made no answer. He shut his
eyes, and put his hand to his heart
as if to express the pain he was suffer
Then, taking a spade from the corner,
“I am going u* work in the garden,”
said he, gently.
And then he went out, looking very
Things seemed to be taking quite a
dramatic turn, and 1 made up my mind
to try hard and unravel the plot.
I followed Pierre, and having secured
myself in a convenient- hiding place, de
termined to watch.
He walked quietly on but soon stopped
at a little vegetable garden, quite at the
end of the village. At first, he pretended
lo set to work vigorously, but his eyes
kept wandering to a little rose-covered
cottage within a. stone’s throw of the
garden. He soon left off working, and
leaning listlessly on his spade, lie kept
his eyes firmly fixed on one of the win
dows, which was almost covered with
the luxuriant growth of roses;and honey
As the wind played fitfully with the
curtain of green which darkened the
window, I fancied 1 recognized theshadow
of a woman.
Immovable an ;i statue, Pierre Pre
vost remained where lie was, and though
night drew on, lie did not leave his post
till the heavens were bright with myriads
of stars ; and then swinging his spade
over his shoulder, lie began to retrace
his steps to the village.
But, just be tore he left the garden, I
thought I hoard a bitter sigh borne on
the wind from the cottage window.
The next dav, when 1 was coming
away from early Mass, 1 saw Pierre
standing in the porch of the church. The
two children were clinging to one of his
hands, while the other, still wet with,
holy water, was gently extended to a
young woman who was in t lie act ol j
passing before him. She was a lovely j
creature, with golden hair, large expres
sive blue eyes, and a face like one!
of Fra Angelico’s angels. Although
.she could not have been less titan thirty
years old, she appeared to have all the
lightness aud vivacity of a girl of eigh
When their fingers met, an almost
imperceptible thrill seemed to affect them
both, and as they gazed into one another's
faces they both turned deathly pale.
Could it have been the shadow that I
recognized through the roses the evening
The tide came up very early that even
ing, and necessitated the departure of all
the fishermen before night came on.
Pierre Prevost was one of the first to
start, hut he went a long way round to
get to the sea shore, and passed before
the windows of the rose-covered cottage.
A flower fell at his feet. He picked
it up eagerly, and kissing it passionately,
thrust it into his bosom and hastened
As the evening wore on, and while the
little boats were just fading away in the
distance, 1 watched again, and distinctly
saw a white handkerchief waving from
the window of the pretty cottage.
I was naturally anxious to find out
about this little romance, and was con
tinually puzzling my poor brains to dis
cover the truth of the story.
There were hundreds of people I might
have asked, and, of course, Alphonse
would have been only too happy to have
enlightened me. But I determined, if
possible, to hear it all from Pierre’s own
lips, and accordingly made up mv mind
to stifle my idle curiosity.
Pierre and I soon became firm friends,
and I persuaded him on one occasion to
take me on one of his fishing expeditions.
It was a lovely night, the heavens were
ablaze with stars, and the little boat tossed
idly on the waves which scarcely rippled
against its keel. Pierre’s companions
were asleep down in the cabin, waiting
for a breeze to spring up before they
could throw* in their nets. As for myself,
I was smoking quietly on deck, having
my back against a coil of rope, and revel
ing in the delicious quiet which reigned
around, when Pierre joined me, and
having lighted his pipe, sat down by my
side, and spoke, as far as l can remember,
as follows :
“Ibelieve, monsieur, you areanxiousto
know why 1 am such a sad looking fellow '(
Perhaps you will laugh at me, hut that
can’t be helped. lam sure you are sin
cere, and wish me well, and, therefore, I
have no hesitation in opening my heart to
“I love Marie! There is hardly any
need, perhaps, to tell you That. And yet
this love is the foundation of all mv sor
row. But 1 firmly believe that the good
God willed that we should love one an
other, and so lam content. Ever since
our earliest childhood we have gone
through life hand in hand. When we
were little ones we always played together
on the sand ; and there has hardly been a
pang of sorrow or a feeling of joy which
has not been felt by both alike. I used to
think once that we were one both in body
and sou), and there are old folks in the
village who have said it over and over
again. We made our first communion on
the same clay, and at the same hour, side
by side; and these little matters are
bonds of union indeed, ami are not easily
forgotten. Wheu I first began to seek
my bread on the sea. she always offered up
a little prayer for me at the cross in the
village, and she was ever the first to rush
waist-deep into the sea to greet ine on my
return. And then l used to carry her on
my shoulders hack again, and kiss off
the tears of joy which (lowed down her
pretty cheeks. Ah', we were happy in
deed in those childish days, which are
passed and gone. Why are not we al
ways children !
“Aud the years that followed were hard
ly less happy for either of us. In the
cold winter-time we were always side by
side in the chimney-corner. Spring saw