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XVI.—THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET.
How dear to
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 ;
For often, at noon, when returned from the field, I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure —
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield. How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing !
And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell: Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing,
And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well: The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket, arose from the well.
How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
As, poised on the curb, it inclined to my lips ! Not a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
Though filled with the nectar that Jupiter sips. And now, far removed from the loved situation,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell, As fancy reverts to my father's plantation,
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 Briareust 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 where — any 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.
an iron church and occupy iron pews, listen to a sermon written with a pen of iron, and return to our iron hearths and firesides.
7. From our domes and roofs an iron rod points heavenward, and renders harmless the fierce lightning of the passing storms. On the trackless ocean an iron needle points out the way like an unerring finger.
8. With iron wands we have annihilated both time and space, and made of all nations one neighborhood ; and with iron ships we have changed the art of warfare, and fought and won the greatest battles of history.
9. It would be instructive to show that labor is the chief element of value conferred upon iron. There is no material that can receive so high a degree of labor value and return its equivalent in usefulness.
10. A bar of iron worth $5.00 is worth $10.50 made into horse-shoes, $55.00 when made into needles, $3,285 into penknife blades, $29,480 into shirt-buttons, and $250,000 into hair springs. The iron ore used in a locomotive costs perhaps $100, but by the laying on of many hands it is worth $20,000.
Journal of Mines.
1. The homes of America will not become what they should be until a true idea of life shall become more widely implanted. The worship of the dollar does more to degrade American homes than any thing — than all things else.
2. The chief end of life is to gather gold, and that gold is counted lost which hangs a picture upon the wall, which purchases flowers for the yard, which buys a toy or a book for the eager hand of childhood.
3. Is this the whole of human life? Then it is a mean, meager, and most undesirable thing. A child will go forth from a stall, glad to find free air and wider pasture. The influence of such a home upon him in after-life will be just none at all, or nothing good. Thousands are rushing from homes like these every year.
4. They crowd into cities. They crowd into villages. They swarm into all places where life is clothed with a higher significance; and the old shell or home is deserted by every bird as soon as it can fly.
5. Ancestral homesteads and patrimonial acres have no sacredness; and when the father and mother die, the stranger's money and the stranger's presence obliterate associations that should be among the most sacred of all things.
6. I would have you build up for yourselves and for your children a home that will never be lightly parted with — a home which will be to all whose lives have been associated with it the most interesting, precious spot on earth.
7. I would have that home the abode of dignity, beauty, grace, love, genial fellowship, and happy associations. Out from such a home I would have good influ
. ences flow into neighborhoods. In such a home I would see ambition taking root and receiving generous culture.
8. And then I would see you young husbands, and you young wives, happy. Do not deprive yourselves of such influences as will come through an institution like this. No money can pay you for such a deprivation. No circumstances but those of utter poverty can justify you in denying these influences to your children.
JOSIAH GILBERT HOLLAND.
Sporting,” for mere pleasure, is not only wrong, but it tends to destroy the finer feelings of pity and sympathy. XIX.-HOME OF MY CHILDHOOD. 1. Home of my childhood! I can not forget thee,
Though here I am happy surrounded by friends; Deeply and warm in my heart have I set thee;
The holiest thought with thy memory blends. 2. Darling old homestead, quietly nestling
Under the tall trees that shelter thee o'er,
On the short greensward in front of thy door. 3. Shaggy old house-dog - playmate of childhood;
Oft have we wandered together away
And loitered beside the still water to play. 4. Gnarled old apple-tree, near to the window,
Maples that rise to the blue of the sky,
Still do ye toss your strong branches on high. 5. Still grows the damask rose in the old garden,
Fleur-de-lis mingles its blue and its white, Currants and raspberries bend with their burden,
Neighborly standing with peonies bright. 6. Lowly red school-house, close by the wayside,
Many a year hath it stood where it stands; Curly-haired girlhood, and stout, ruddy boyhood,
Throng its worn threshold in mischievous bands. 7. Church of our forefathers, silently pointing
Thy tapering spire to the infinite sky;
Laboring to teach us to live and to die.