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Friar Anselmo.

Friar Anselmo (God's grace may he win!)
Committed one sad day a deadly sin;
 
Which being done he drew back, self-abhorred,
From the rebuking presence of the Lord,
 
And, kneeling down, besought, with bitter cry,
Since life was worthless grown, that he might die.
 
All night he knelt, and, when the morning broke,
In patience still he waits death's fatal stroke.
 
When all at once a cry of sharp distress
Aroused Anselmo from his wretchedness;
 
And, looking from the convent window high,
He saw a wounded traveller gasping lie
 
Just underneath, who, bruised and stricken sore,
Had crawled for aid unto the convent door.
 
The friar's heart with deep compassion stirred,
When the poor wretch's groans for help were heard
 
With gentle hands, and touched with love divine,
He bathed his wounds, and poured in oil and wine.
 
With tender foresight cared for all his needs,--
A blessed ministry of noble deeds.
 
In such devotion passed seven days. At length
The poor wayfarer gained his wonted strength.
 
With grateful thanks he left the convent walls,
And once again on death Anselmo calls.
 
When, lo! his cell was filled with sudden light,
And on the wall he saw an angel write,
 
(An angel in whose likeness he could trace,
More noble grown, the traveller's form and face),
 
"Courage, Anselmo, though thy sin be great,
God grants thee life that thou may'st expiate.
 
"Thy guilty stains shall be washed white again,
By noble service done thy fellow-men.
 
"His soul draws nearest unto God above,
Who to his brother ministers in love."
 
Meekly Anselmo rose, and, after prayer,
His soul was lightened of its past despair.
 
Henceforth he strove, obeying God's high will,
His heaven-appointed mission to fulfil.
 
And many a soul, oppressed with pain and grief,
Owed to the friar solace and relief.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Horatio Alger Jr

Horatio Alger Jr. (; January 13, 1832 – July 18, 1899) was an American writer of young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. His writings were characterized by the "rags-to-riches" narrative, which had a formative effect on the United States during the Gilded Age. All of Alger's juvenile novels share essentially the same theme, known as the "Horatio Alger myth": a teenage boy works hard to escape poverty. Often it is not hard work that rescues the boy from his fate but rather some extraordinary act of bravery or honesty. The boy might return a large sum of lost money or rescue someone from an overturned carriage. This brings the boy—and his plight—to the attention of a wealthy individual. Alger secured his literary niche in 1868 with the publication of his fourth book, Ragged Dick, the story of a poor bootblack's rise to middle-class respectability. This novel was a huge success. His many books that followed were essentially variations on Ragged Dick and featured stock characters: the valiant, hard-working, honest youth; the noble mysterious stranger; the snobbish youth; and the evil, greedy squire. In the 1870s, Alger's fiction was growing stale. His publisher suggested he tour the American West for fresh material to incorporate into his fiction. Alger took a trip to California, but the trip had little effect on his writing: he remained mired in the staid theme of "poor boy makes good." The backdrops of these novels, however, became the American West rather than the urban environments of the northeastern United States. In the last decades of the 19th century, Alger's moral tone coarsened with the change in boys' tastes. The public wanted sensational thrills. The Protestant work ethic was less prevalent in the United States, and violence, murder, and other sensational themes entered Alger's works. Public librarians questioned whether his books should be made available to the young. They were briefly successful, but interest in Alger's novels was renewed in the first decades of the 20th century, and they sold in the thousands. By the time he died in 1899, Alger had published around a hundred volumes. He is buried in Natick, Massachusetts. Since 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans has awarded scholarships and prizes to deserving individuals.  more…

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