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I knew them pure, and fit for life,
If earthly life were given;
And O! I knew if they should die,
They were as fit for Heaven.

Our childhood was a merry time;
And griefif grief we knew
Seemed only sent, like rain, to make
The flowers spring up anew.

We parted; one to lordly halls
In foreign climes was led;
Where love each day some new delight
O'er her life's pathway shed.

The other chose a lowlier lot;
A poor man's home to share,
To cheer him at his daily toil,
And soothe his daily care.

The last and youngest,—where is she?—
I thought she would have stayed
To talk with me of other days
Beneath the mulberry's shade.

I loved her, as a mother loves;
And nightly, on my breast
She laid her fair and gentle head,
And sung herself to rest.

I knew she could not find her peer
Among the sons of clay;
Yet how I wept, when Angels came
To take my flower away!

And years have passedlong silent years
Since first I dwelt alone
Within the old deserted house,
Whence so much love was gone.

I was not, like my sisters, fair,
Nor light of heart as they;
I always knew that mine would be
A lowly, lonely way.

But they who deem my portion hard,
Know not that wells are found
In deserts wild, whose silent streams
Make green the parch├Ęd ground.

There's not a blade of grassa leaf
A breath of summer air
But stirs my heart with love for Him
Who made this earth so fair.

And many a lowly friend have I,
Or sick, or sad of heart,
Who hails my coming steps with joy,
And sighs when I depart.

No day is ever long; and night
Some gentle spirit brings,
To whisper thoughts of other worlds
And of diviner things.

And if, when evening shadows fall,
I sad or lonely feel,
I kneel me down in that same room
Where we four used to kneel.

And there I say the evening prayer
We four were wont to say:
The very place hath power to charm
All gloomier thoughts away.

I have a thousand memories dear,
And quiet joys untold;
For God but takes his gifts away,
To give them back tenfold.



THE Ischvostchik is not necessarily an
adult. Though many of the class are men
advanced in years, with beards quite snowy
and venerable to look at (terrible old rogues
are these to cheat), there are, on the other
hand, numerous droschky-drivers who are
ladsnay, mere children. It is desperately
ludicrous to see a brat, some half-score years
old, in full Ischvostchik accoutrement; for
they will not bate an inch of the time-
honoured costume; and adhere rigidly to the
long caftan and the gaudy sash. As large
men's size appears to be the only pattern
recognised for Ischvostchik boots and hats in
Russia, the diminutive heads and spare
little legs of these juvenile drivers are lost
in a forest of felt and an abyss of boot-leather.
I can recall now more than one of those little
pale, weazened, frightened faces bonneted in a
big hat, precisely like the man who is taking his
wife's hand in that strange mirror picture of
John Van Eyck's, in the National Gallery
the Alpha and Omega of art mechanism, as
it seems to me; for if Van Eyck were the
inventor of oil-painting, he has surely in this
dawn-picture attained the highest degree of
perfection in the nicety of manipulation to
which that vehicle lends itself.

A plague on John Van Eyck, that he
should make me unmindful of my
Ischvostchik! I want an excuse, too, for returning
to him, for I have something to say about
the vehicle he gains his livelihood by driving
the Droschky. There is the same amount
of despairing uncertainty prevalent concerning
the orthography of this attelagein plain
English, a one-horse shayas about its
conductor. In half-a-dozen books and prints I
find Droschky spelt in as many different
ways: it appears as Droschka, Droski,
Drotchki, Droskoi, and Drusschka; I am
perfectly ignorant as to the proper method
of writing the word; but I have elected
Droschky as the most generally accepted, and
I intend to abide by it.

The real Russian, or Moscow droschky, is
simply a cloth-covered bench upon clumsy C
springs on four wheels, with a little perch
in front, which the driver bestrides. You,
the passenger, may seat youself astride, or
sideways, on the bench. It may, perhaps, serve
to give a more definite and pictorial idea of
the droschky, if I describe it as a combination
of elongated side-saddle (such as are provided
for the rising generation, and endured by
long-suffering donkeys in the vicinity of the
Spaniard Tavern at Harnpstead), and an Irish
outside car. The abominable jolting, dirt, and
discomfort of the whole crazy vehicle, forcibly
recall, too, that Hibernian institution. There

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