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and quiet life, for, though she is no longer
young,  Time has not touched her roughly.
She has lived in the sunshine "which gives
birth to leaves and flowers: not in the
blight which withers, or the lightning which
sears.  It is pleasant to notice the chivalrous
antique gallantries of the two old
men, and her watchful care of them both:
a gentle, courteous merriment underlying
the decorum of the whole party withal.
The lady, exquisitely dressed, sits as a
queen between her two admirers, who seem
to render equal homage to her. One is thin
and wasted: possibly a laborious scholar,
bowed by weighty thoughts and grave
study.  His clothes are worn, but are not
shabby, and there is a visible dignity about
him. The other is more robust.  He has
been a successful soldier, and has prospered
better than his companion.  The strong-
handed often push their way upward in
the world, higher than the strong-brained.
He is the host: a generous, open-handed,
free-living man.  He is also the lady's
husband, and there are still traces of a
cavalier grace which might well have left
him the power of pleasing, long after duller
men grow old. So theirs was a love match,
not an uncommon one, when he was forty-
nine and she was seventeen.  Now, he is
fall seventy, and she is still in the flush of
a ripe and goodly autumn.  As they sit
together, they form a noble picture of a
bygone society of which the thoughts and
manners are fast departing: a society
somewhat more genial and gracious, more
refined and polite, than that uppermost
today in Paris.


    MY tender thoughts go forth, beloved,
    Upon the pleasant morning hours,
   "With songs of mated birds, and sighs
   From virgin hearts of opening flowers.

   Full-laden with love's daintiest store,
   Each smallest thought should come to thee,
   As from the jasmine's hidden cell
   Flies home the richly-burdened bee.

   My joyous thoughts go forth, beloved,
   Upon the golden airs of noon,
   "With languid sweets from roses rare
   That flush and faint through ardent June.

   With all the swiftness of the streams,
   That fling out laughter as they run;
   With all the brightness of the day,
   With all the passion of the sun.

   But when, along the cloud-hung west,
   The purple lights grow pale and die;
   When waves of sunshine roll no more,
   And all one shade the cornfields lie;

   When twilight veils the hills, and gives
   A deeper mystery to the sea;
   Then, O beloved! my saddened heart
   Yearns through the distance unto thee.

   And when the winds come o'er the sands,
   To sweep my lonely garden through,
   To bow the saintly lily's head,
   And spill the violet's cup of dew;

   And when they higher mount, and beat
   The elm's long arms against the eaves,
   Troubling the robin in its nest,
   And making tumult in the leaves;

   Then, in the dusk, I seem to hear
   Strange sounds and whisperings of dread,
   And every murmur in the grass
   Seems some unfriendly spirit's tread.

   I shrink within the shadowed porch;
   A nameless fear oppresseth me;
   And then my heart, like some lost child,
   Calls through the darkness unto thee!

   So, dear, of all my life of love,
   Choose thou the best and sweetest part:
   The glow of day, or gloom of night,
   The pride, or terror, of my heart;

   The glad exultant hope, that fills
   The morning with its joyous strain;
   Or twilight's haunted loneliness,
   That stretches out its arms in vain.

   Would sigh or carol move thee most?
   And were thy tenderest kiss bestowed
   On eyes that droop with tears, or lips
   With careless laughter overflowed?


WHEN the present writer was a boy of
twelve or thirteen, he first made the
acquaintance of Miss Anne Baily, of Lough
Guir, in the county Limerick.  She and her
sister were the last representatives at that
place, of an extremely good old name in the
county.  They were both what is termed
"old maids," and at that time past sixty.
But never were old ladies more hospitable,
lively, and kind, especially to young people.
They were both remarkably agreeable and
clever.  Like all old county ladies of their
time, they were great genealogists, and
could recount the origin, generations, and
intermarriages, of every county family of

These ladies were visited at their house
at Lough Guir by Mr. Crofton Croker; and
are, I think, mentioned, by name, in the
second series of his fairy legends; the series
in which (probably communicated by Miss
Anne Baily), he recounts some of the
picturesque traditions of those beautiful lakes
lakes, I should no longer say, for the
smaller and prettier has since been drained,
and gave up from its depths some long lost
and very interesting relics.

In their drawing-room stood a curious
relic of another sort: old enough, too,
though belonging to a much more modern
period.  It was the ancient stirrup cup
of the hospitable house of Lough Guir.
Crofton Croker has preserved a sketch of
this curious glass.  I have often had it in