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THE SOLDIERS' JOURML,
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KJBNDEEVOUS OF DISTRIBUTION, VA.
OONVALKBCENT CAMP, VA.,
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" M 7 SAVIOUR IS THE BBANCH OF THE
BY MAY MORRIS.
Forth sprang from God in heaven, divine,
A thrifty shoot, a lovely vine,
Entwined itself around my form,
My Saviour did my brow adorn I
" A tender plant from off dry ground,"
A balm it has for every wound!
It shields the soul from Satan's dart,
While Faith binds up the broken heart.
If, like the dove, we find no rest
In earth, 'tis on the Saviour's breast t
Tho' thunders shake from pole to pole,
In sweet repose, there, rests the soul!
" Branch of the Lord!" thy leaves shall spread
A graceful shadow o'er my head!
All nations 'neath the soft blue sky
Shall own thy power to thee shall fly I
When Death's cold hand shall touch my brow,
May I In meek submission bow,
Free from this tenement of clay
To thy blest throne I'll wing my way.
When Gabriel with his trump shall sound
" Awake ye nations under ground!"
" Ye seas, yield from your watery grave!"
" And burst, ye chains from off the slave!"
Then all shall know—the bond and free
He bare their sins upon the tree—
This " Branch " rich store to Heaven will yield,
Watered by blood on Calvary'sfleld.
Hkn dhzvous of Distribution, March 25th, 1861.
BY MRS. 0. H. FORD.
"How shrilly the storm whistles around the
corners of the streets, or howls down the chim
ney ; and hark to the sleet pattering furiously
against the casement! Oh! the poor—what suf
ferings must he theirs on such a night as this!"
The speaker was one in whom such language
would have seemed, to common ears, strange.—
He was attired with great nicety, almost amoun
ting to foppishness, and his broad forehead and
handsome face betrayed none of the furrows of
care. Rich, courted, and as yet a stranger to
sorrow, Judson Lawton had still a heart open to
the miseries of his less favored beings, and now,
as he sat before the cheery fire in that luxurious
parlor, his thoughts involuntarily turned to the
houseless outcasts who might be wandering in
the streets. His words were partly to a lady
who sat opposite to him on the sofa. She was
dressed fashionably, and with exquisite taste.—
Her face was lovely, surpassingly lovely, with
regular features and, eyes, eyebrows, and fore
head of unrivalled beauty. It was evident from
the look with which Layton turned toward her,
that his heart had been touched, if not overcome
by her beauty. She returned his fond look and
" Yes, poor wretches! I fear enough has not
been done for them this winter. You don't know
Mr. Layton, how my heart has bled, during the
explorations I have lately been making among
the lanes and alleys of the suburbs. Such scenes
of destitution and sickness! Oh! I shudder even
to recur to them," and she covered her face with
her hands, as if to shutout some disagreeable ob
ject. Layton's fine eyes expressed deeper admi
ration at this evidence of her sympathy; and
had they been alone, perhaps his feelings would
have hurried him into the declaration he had
long been meditating, but there was a third per
son in the room, whom we have hitherto forgot
ten, though to be thus put away for her cousin,
was the usual fate of Ellen Clifford. And yet,
when one came to look at her, the cause of her
neglect seemed doubtful. True, she was not as
splendidly beautiful as Lucy, but her soft, dove
like eyes shone with an expression which seemed
more angelic than earthly; and her whole coun
tenance impressed the beholder with purity and
awe. She was sitting at a table, a little apart,
busily plying r her needle, and seemed to take no
part in the conversation, though when her cous
in answered Layton, she started and looked up,
first at her, then at him, and catching the expres
sion on his face, she turned deadly pale. Bend
ing over her work to hide her feelings, she re
mained silent, and almost unconscious of what
was going on, until Layton rose to take his leave.
" You have been quite still to-night, Ellen,"
ho said ; " but I attribute it all to that beautiful
pair of slippers you are working. I never knew
before that you loved embroidery."
Ellen blushed, and without raising her eyes,
" They are not for myself."
Layton colored, and it was evident from his
manner, that w hat he heard was, from some cause,
disagreeable to him. He looked enquiringly at
Lucy, and then answered:
" Whoever the person is, Miss Ellen, he has
great reason to be proud, and would be even
more so if he knew how devoted you have been
to your work," and without waiting for a reply,
he bowed to both the ladies, and left the room,
without noticing the flash of triumph in Lucy's
The instant the door closed on him, Ellen
sprang from her seat, and left the parlor by the
opposite entrance, while Lucy flung herself again
on the sofa, and following her cousin with her
looks, burst, when she had departed, into a clear
■ ringing, exulting laugh. Ellen, the instant she
left the parlor, burst into tears, and hurrying up
stairs, locked herself in her room. Then fling
ing herself passionately on her bed, she wept as
if her heart would break.
" Oh! cruel, cruel," she added, "to tell me 1
am working the slippers for another, when only
he is in my heart. He little knows that lam em
broidering them to raise a few dollars to assist
nurse in her poverty. And Lucy, heartless Lu
cy ! to talk about her sympathy for the destitute,
when she will do nothing for our almost second
mother, who is now sick and in poverty. Could
Judson only know the truth!" and she wept
Ellen, unlike her cousin, was not an heiress;
for the little pittance left her by her deceased pa
rent barely sufficed for her most necessary wants;
and had not her uncle offered her a home, her
scanty annuity would have been insufficient even
for these. Thus, though her heart was open as
day to charity, she had no means of relieving the
necessitous, unless by the manufacture and sale
of such articles as the embroidered slippers, on
which she had been working that evening. These
were intended, as her words implied, to relieve
the wants of a sick, and perhaps dying old ser
vant, who had formerly been a nurse in her fath
er's family, and who was now in the lowest
depths of poverty. She had applied to her friends
for assistance, and Ellen was anxious to supply
her with every comfort that her limited means
Our readers have already suspected the Btate
of Ellen's heart. Her love for Lay ton had grown
up insensibly to herself. He had long been in
the habit of visiting at her Uncle's, and for some
time his attentions had been equally divided be
tween Lucy and herself; and his warm heart,
high intellect and extensive acquirements, ren
dered him just the person to 'yin the heart of
such a girl as Ellen. She would sit whole even
ings listening to his eloquent conversation, nev
er speaking unless spoken to, but busily plying
her needle. Then she strove against her passion,
but alas! it had become so interwoven with her
gentle heart that only death could remove it.
Lucy had long desired to become tho wife of
Justin Layton. for his standing in society was
high, and his fortune that of a millionare. She
had early seen that he had wavered between her
cousin and herself, and all her arts had been ex
erted to win the prize. Shej therefore, assumed
feelings she did not entertain, as in the conver
sation we have just recorded; and at length, by
such duplicity, united to her extraordinary beau
ty, she succeeded so far as to regard her ultimate
triumph certain. The consciousness of this caus
ed the exulting laugh with which she saw Ellen
depart from the parlor.
The next day Mr. Layton called, and invited
the cousins to go with him to a beneficial concert
that evening. Ellen would have declined but
had not sufficient plea; besides, her uncle, wbo