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Already in fancy its roof I descry,
And the smoke of its hearth curling up to the sky;
3. Hark! hark! what was that! Hark-hark to the shout
"Fire! fire!"- then a tramp and a rush and a
And an uproar of voices arose in the air,
And the mother knelt down, and the half-spoken
That she offered to God in her agony wild
Was "Father, have mercy! look down on my child!"
4. Fire! fire! it is raging above and below;
And the smoke and hot cinders all blindingly blow.
O Heaven! it is fearful to perish by fire!
5. They prayed for the light, and at noontide, about,
1. Give me the old songs, those exquisite bursts of melody which thrilled the lyres of the inspired poets and minstrels of long ago. Every note has borne on the air a tale of joy and rapture of sorrow and sadness! They tell of days gone by, and time hath given them a voice which speaks to us of those who once breathed these melodies of what they now are, and what we soon shall be.
2. My heart loves those melodies; may they be mine to hear till life shall end, and as I "launch my boat" upon the sea of eternity, may their echoes be wafted to my ear, to cheer me on my passage from the scenes of earth and earthland!
3. Give me the old paths, where we have wandered and culled the flowers of love and friendship, in the days of "Auld Lang Syne;" sweeter, far, the dells whose echoes have answered to our voices; whose turf is not a stranger to our footsteps, and whose rills have in childhood's days reflected back our forms, and those of our merry playfellows, from whom we have been parted, and meet no more in the old nooks we loved so well.
4. May the old paths be watered with heaven's own dew, and be green forever in my memory! Give me the old house, upon whose stairs we seem to hear light footsteps, and under whose porch a merry laugh seems to mingle with the winds that whistle through old trees, beneath whose branches lie the graves of those who once trod the halls and made the chambers ring with glee.
5. Above all, give me the old friends-hearts bound to mine in life's sunshiny hours, and a link so strong that all the storms of earth might not break it asunder spirits congenial, whose hearts through life have throbbed
in unison with our own!
When death shall still this
heart, I would not ask for aught more sacred to hallow my dust than the tear of an old friend.
XV. THE RAIN.
1. How blessed, how beautiful is the rain! whether it falls gently from heaven like the still, small voice of God, or comes dashing and dancing in wild glee down upon the thirsty earth, which drinks it gratefully, and pours out in return its beauty and abundance.
2. There can not live a soul so sordid as to wish the heavens to pour down even gold, instead of the balmy, liquid blessings of the clouds. God forbid the exchange. The heavens shower better than coined gold upon the parched earth.
3. From the vast ewer of his never-failing bounty, the Father of Mercies sends us fruit, and grain, and flowers, which will, all over the land, coin into the plenty that gives nourishment, and life, and joy to millions.
4. Such is the gold that best fills the purse of the country gold glinting in buttercups and roses, down in the valley meadows, and shimmering on all the hillsides.
5. Out on these covetous mortals, who would have the heavens shed mint drops instead of rains and dews. Let such delve in the dirt and darkness of the mine; slaves to the ignoble desire that refuses to accept the bounties of nature and nature's God, as better than any human coinage or device.
The great mind seizes the idea in the fact; while the small mind seizes the fact alone: one grows; the other fills.
XVI. THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET.
How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood When fond recollection presents them to view! The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild wood, And every loved spot which my infancy knew: The wide-spreading pond, and the mill which stood by it; The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell; The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it;
And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well! The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well!
That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure ;
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield.
The moss-covered bucket, arose from the well.
How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell,
And sighs for the bucket which hangs in the well: The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket which hangs in the well.
XVII.—THE IRON AGE.
1. It matters little what were the early modes of ironmaking. The Bible tells us that one Tubal Cain was "the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron”— a sort of blacksmith-general in his neighborhood.
2. Classic history points out Vulcan as the half-divine and half-human prodigy who made shields, chains, spears, swords—in short, nothing beyond the needs of a barbarous people; but to-day-mark the change!
3. Iron is the most valuable of the metals, because it is the most useful. While it is one of the lightest, it is by far the strongest, and has the widest range of application. It is also the most widely distributed, no part of the earth being without it.
4. In the mechanic arts it is the right hand, and indeed has furnished to every man a hundred hands; so that in modern days a person can be a Vulcan* and Briareus† at the same time. It combines a thousand uses, and has a vast residue latent, which will be easily evoked by the dexterous cunning of man.
5. It does any thing—every thing. It serves every whereany where. Let any one name, if he can, any implement or article of food or clothing that has not been fashioned with iron fingers. With iron plowshares we turn a soil, rich in iron, for food that must contain iron, or we die.
6. We walk upon iron pavements and sit upon iron chairs. We live in iron houses and sleep upon iron beds made soft with springs of steel. We travel on iron roads, in cars made of iron, drawn by iron steeds. We attend
*A god of the ancients who presided over fire, and was the patron of all artists who worked iron and metals.
A giant with a hundred arms and fifty heads; indicative of a general ability.