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Nursery Rhymes . . . for children.

Once upon a time . . . . .  from our fabulous collection of Fairy Tales for children . . .  they lived happily ever after . . .

In The Uttermost Parts Of The Sea

SOME years ago, large ships were sent towards the north
pole, to explore the distant coasts, and to try how far men
could penetrate into those unknown regions. For more than a
year one of these ships had been pushing its way northward,
amid snow and ice, and the sailors had endured many hardships;
till at length winter set in, and the sun entirely
disappeared; for many weeks there would be constant night. All
around, as far as the eye could reach, nothing could be seen
but fields of ice, in which the ship remained stuck fast. The
snow lay piled up in great heaps, and of these the sailors
made huts, in the form of bee-hives, some of them as large and
spacious as one of the 'Huns' graves,' and others only
containing room enough to hold three or four men. It was not
quite dark; the northern lights shot forth red and blue
flames, like continuous fireworks, and the snow glittered, and
reflected back the light, so that the night here was one long
twilight. When the moon was brightest, the natives came in
crowds to see the sailors. They had a very singular appearance
in their rough, hairy dresses of fur, and riding in sledges
over the ice. They brought with them furs and skins in great
abundance, so that the snow-houses were soon provided with
warm carpets, and the furs also served for the sailors to wrap
themselves in, when they slept under the roofs of snow, while
outside it was freezing with a cold far more severe than in
the winter with us. In our country it was still autumn, though
late in the season; and they thought of that in their distant
exile, and often pictured to themselves the yellow leaves on
the trees at home. Their watches pointed to the hours of
evening, and time to go to sleep, although in these regions it
was now always night.

In one of the huts, two of the men laid themselves down to
rest. The younger of these men had brought with him from home
his best, his dearest treasure- a Bible, which his grandmother
had given him on his departure. Every night the sacred volume
rested under his head, and he had known from his childhood
what was written in it. Every day he read in the book, and
while stretched on his cold couch, the holy words he had
learnt would come into his mind: 'If I take the wings of the
morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, even there
Thou art with me, and Thy right hand shall uphold me;' and
under the influence of that faith which these holy words
inspired, sleep came upon him, and dreams, which are the
manifestations of God to the spirit. The soul lives and acts,
while the body is at rest. He felt this life in him, and it
was as if he heard the sound of dear, well-known melodies, as
if the breezes of summer floated around him; and over his
couch shone a ray of brightness, as if it were shining through
the covering of his snow-roof. He lifted his head, and saw
that the bright gleaming was not the reflection of the
glittering snow, but the dazzling brightness of the pinions of
a mighty angel, into whose beaming face he was gazing. As from
the cup of a lily, the angel rose from amidst the leaves of
the Bible; and, stretching out his arm, the walls of the hut
sunk down, as though they had been formed of a light, airy
veil of mist, and the green hills and meadows of home, with
its ruddy woods, lay spread around him in the quiet sunshine
of a lovely autumn day. The nest of the stork was empty, but
ripe fruit still hung on the wild apple-tree, although the
leaves had fallen. The red hips gleamed on the hedges, and the
starling which hung in the green cage outside the window of
the peasant's hut, which was his home, whistled the tune which
he had taught him. His grandmother hung green birds'-food
around the cage, as he, her grandson, had been accustomed to
do. The daughter of the village blacksmith, who was young and
fair, stood at the well, drawing water. She nodded to the
grandmother, and the old woman nodded to her, and pointed to a
letter which had come from a long way off. That very morning
the letter had arrived from the cold regions of the north;
there, where the absent one was sweetly sleeping under the
protecting hand of God. They laughed and wept over the letter;
and he, far away, amid ice and snow, under the shadow of the
angel's wings, wept and smiled with them in spirit; for he saw
and heard it all in his dream. From the letter they read aloud
the words of Holy Writ: 'In the uttermost parts of the sea,
Thy right hand shall uphold me.' And as the angel spread his
wings like a veil over the sleeper, there was the sound of
beautiful music and a hymn. Then the vision fled. It was dark
again in the snow-hut: but the Bible still rested beneath his
head, and faith and hope dwelt in his heart. God was with him,
and he carried home in his heart, even 'in the uttermost parts
of the sea.

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