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Incidents In The Life Of A Blind Girl

Creator: Mary L. Day (author)
Date: 1859
Publisher: James Young, Baltimore
Source: Available at selected libraries
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 2

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Jinnie, notwithstanding her long jaunt, prepared our supper from the store she had brought with her, sent by the kind friend from the village.




"STILL when the prayer is said,
For thee kind bosoms yearn,
For thee fond tears are shed:
Oh! when wilt thou return?" -- HEMANS.


"DEATH found strange beauty on that infant brow,
And dashed it out." -- HEMANS.


WE had scarcely seated ourselves at the table, Mrs. Smith occupying our mother's wonted place, when our attention was arrested by a familiar footstep. "Did you hear that?" exclaimed my brother Charles, looking towards the door. "'Tis some drunken Indian," responded Mrs. Smith -- but we knew better, our hearts told us who it was. The door opened, and there, instead of the dark form of an Indian, stood our father, pale and emaciated. "Father, dear father!" burst from the lips of every one, and in another instant we were clasped to his bosom. Releasing us and looking about him, he exclaimed: "Oh! where is your mother?" Mrs. Smith quietly took him to her room. I will not attempt to describe the scene there enacted; the meeting was indeed one of mingled pain and pleasure.


He soon rejoined us, and we once more sat down to our evening repast, after which he explained his long absence. He had been confined to a sick bed five weeks, during which time he had sent us letters and money, neither of which we had received. We were all happy now, for father was not to leave us again that winter. He immediately ordered a plentiful supply of provision for the remainder of the cold season.


My mother's health rapidly improved, but my father had contracted fever and ague, and was quite sick for several weeks. One day, while lying upon a lounge near the fire, and rocking the cradle wherein the babe lay, mother called to him, saying it had slept long enough. He rose to see if it was still sleeping, when he found its little eyelids closed in that slumber which knows no awaking, save in the arms of Him who hath said: "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." Our baby brother was dead! This was a terrible shock to my mother. We were sent immediately for good kind Mrs. Smith; she robed it first in life, and then in death draped its little limbs in the garments of the tomb. The next day we bore our angel treasure to the lonely graveyard, and placed him beneath the soil opposite the gently murmuring waters of the lake. The little mound was visible from our, door; methinks I see it now, a mere speck amid the snow-banks; ere the morning came it was hid beneath a fleecy mantle; for my mother's sake I was glad of this, for she sat gazing upon it from her window, till the snow had quite concealed it from her view.


Her health still continuing to improve, it was not long ere we had the pleasure of once more seeing her about the house. My father, also, had quite recovered, and things bade fair to assume a brighter aspect.


It was now the first of March, and the snow was rapidly disappearing; we were very thankful for this, for the winter had indeed been a trying one to us. My father's health being entirely restored, he resolved upon returning to Jonesville to resume his work -- he took me with him. His employer was a minister, one of those true souls we find here and there, in passing through the world. His family consisted of himself, wife, and two children. Little Mary North was indeed a lovely creature. We were the same age. The whole family welcomed father and myself heartily; I enjoyed my visit of three or four weeks very much, still at times was very home-sick.


My father was a beautiful singer, and of an evening numbers of persons would collect to hear him, while at his work. He would set me beside him and sing for me till nine o'clock, when he would kiss me and send me to bed. This was a delightful way in which to spend my evenings.


A few years previous to this time Mr. North had found a pot of money buried in his garden. Mary and I would search daily, that we might find one also; but our search was vain, and our golden dreams, like certain fabrics built in air were doomed to prove visions, airy nothings only. How oft is happiness in life sought with as ill success as was sought by us the buried golden treasure; too oft is it but a cheating "ignis fatuus," deluding still and still deluding!


The day for my return home arrived; Mary had become very dear to me, we were much attached to each other, and it seemed Very hard we should have to part!


We never met again; in hearing from and of her I thank God to have learned her life thus far has been a brighter and more fortunate one than mine.


It was a beautiful April day when we took the stage for homeward travel. The birds were singing gayly, the sky was bright; all earth was redolent with loveliness, the air, laden as it was with freshness, seemed fraught with joyousness. I too, with earth, and air, and sky, felt exuberant and cheerful, though I had just parted from my sweet friend Mary -- for was I not seeking "home again?" place than all others most dear, and was I not soon to greet the loved ones there? Mother, sister, brothers! My very soul was filled with ecstasy!

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