have given them time to hide the 'wheel' we'll go in. Oh,

 people involved | time:2023-12-04 21:36:40

He had now been absent several months, and his father had not heard from him. But the news of the lately lost battle had reached the village, and it was said that the Prince Royal of Brunswick, in whose corps Charles Henry was, had been defeated. The old shepherd remembered this as he sat in the meadow this bright summer morning. His thoughts were with his distant son, and when he raised his eyes to heaven it was not to admire its dazzling blue, or its immeasurable depth, but to pray to the Almighty to spare his son. The peaceful tranquillity of Nature alarmed the old man--she speaks alone to those who have an ear attuned to her voice--she says nothing to those who listen with a divided heart. Buschman could endure it no longer; he arose and started toward the village. He longed to see some human being--to encounter some look of love--to receive sympathy from some one who understood his grief, who suffered as he did, and who did not wear the eternal smile that Nature wore.

have given them time to hide the 'wheel' we'll go in. Oh,

He went to the village, therefore, and left the care of his flock to Phylax. It comforted his heart as he passed through the principal street of Brunen and received kind greetings from every hut he passed. He felt consoled and almost happy when here and there the peasants hurried toward him as he passed their huts, and begged him to come in and join them at their simple mid-day meal, and were quite hurt when he refused because his own dinner was prepared for him at home. These men loved him--they pitied his loneliness--they told him of their own cares, their own fears--and as he endeavored to console and encourage them, he felt his strength increase--he was more hopeful, more able to bear whatever God might send.

have given them time to hide the 'wheel' we'll go in. Oh,

"We must be united in love," said Buschman; "we will help each other to bear the sorrows that may come upon us. To-morrow is Sunday; in the morning we will go to the house of God, and after we have whispered to Him the prayers which He alone must hear, we will assemble together under the linden-tree in the square and talk of the old times and those who have left us. Do you not remember that it was under the linden-tree we heard of the first victory that our king gained in this fearful war? It was there that Anna Sophia Detzloff read the news to us, and we rejoiced over the battle of Losovitz, And I also rejoiced and thanked God, although the victory had cost me the lives of two of my sons. But they perished as heroes. I could glory in such a death; and Anna Sophia read their praises from the paper. Ah, if Anna lived, I would at least have a daughter."

have given them time to hide the 'wheel' we'll go in. Oh,

He could speak no more, emotion arrested the words on his lips; he bowed to his friends and passed on to his lonely hut. His little table was spread, and the young girl who served him, and who slept in his hut at night, was just placing a dish of steaming potatoes before his plate. The old man sat down to his solitary meal; he ate only to sustain his body; his thoughts were far away; he took no pleasure in his food. In the middle of his meal he started up; a shadow had fallen across the window, and two loving, well-known eyes had seemed to look in on him. Buschman, as if paralyzed with delight, let fall his spoon and looked toward the door. Yes, the bolt moved, the door opened, and there stood the tall figure of a Prussian soldier.

The old man uttered a cry and extended his arms. "Oh, my son, my beloved son, do I indeed see you once more?"

"Yes, father, I am here; and God willing, we will never again be parted." And Charles Henry hastened to the outstretched arms of his father, and kissing him tenderly, pressed him to his heart.

"The thought of you, dear father, has led me here," he said; "but for you I would not have returned to Brunen; I should have wandered forth into the world--the world which is so much greater and more beautiful than I ever dreamed. But your dear old eyes were before me; I heard your loved voice, which called to me, and I returned to you."

"God be praised!" said his father, folding his hands, and raising his eyes gratefully toward heaven. "Oh how kind and merciful is God, to give me back my last, my only son, the support of my old age, the delight of my eyes! You will not leave me again. This is not merely a leave of absence; you have obtained your release, the war is ended, the king has declared peace."

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