Слике страница
PDF
ePub

a

And lo! she had changed; in a few short hours,
Her bouquet had become a garland of flowers,
That she held in her outstretched hands, and
This way and that, as she dancing swung,
In the fullness and grace of womanly pride,
That told me she soon was to be a bride;

Yet then, when expecting her happiest day,
In the same sweet voice I heard her say,

“Passing away! - passing away!” 4. While I gazed on that fair one's cheek, a shade

Of thought, or care, stole softly over,
Like that by a cloud in a summer's day made,

Looking down on a field of blossoming clover.
The rose yet lay on her cheek, but its flush
Had something lost of its brilliant blush ;
And the light in her eye, and the light on the

wheels
That marched so calmly round above her,

Was a little dimmed — as when evening steals
Upon noon's hot face: yet one couldn't but love

her; For she looked like a mother whose first babe

lay Rocked on her breast, as she swung all day; And she seemned in the same silver tone to say,

Passing away ! - passing away!” 5. While yet I looked, what a change there came!

Her eye was quenched, and her cheek was wan;
Stooping and staffed was her withered frame,

Yet just as busily swung she on.
The garland beneath her had fallen to dust ;
The wheels above her were eaten with rust;
The hands that over the dial swept
Grew crooked and tarnished, but on they kept;

66

And still there came that silvery tone
From the shriveled lips of the toothless avue

(Let me never forget, to my dying day,
The tone or the burden of that lay) -
“Passing away ! - passing away!”

Rev. J. PIEKFONT.

XCI.- CHOICE EXTRACTS.

1. 'Tis not the richest plant that folds

The sweetest breath of fragrance in; 'Tis not the fairest form that holds The mildest, purest soul within.

RUFUS DAWS.

2. No blessing of life is any way comparable to the enjoyment of a discreet and virtuous friend; it eases and unloads the mind, clears and improves the understanding, engenders thoughts and knowledge, aniinates virtue and good resolutions, soothes and allays passions, and finds employment for the most vacant hours of life.

SPECTATOR. 3. Good name in man or woman

Is the immediate jewel of the soul.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something

nothing; 'Twas mine—'tis his, and has been slave to thousands. But he that filches from me my good name, Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.

SHAKSPEARE.

4. I consider a human soul, without education, like marble in a quarry, which shows none of its inherent beauties till the skill of the polisher fetches out the colors, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot and vein that runs through the body of it.

SPECTATOR

5. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,

To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.

THOMPSON.

6. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason; how infinite in faculties; in form and movement, how express and admirable; in action, how like an angel; in apprehension, how like a God!

HAMLET.

7. He who through vast immensity can pierce,

See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied beings people every star,-
May tell why Heaven has made us what we are.

POPE.

8. Nothing is more pleasant to the fancy than to enlarge itself by degrees in its contemplation of the various proportions which objects bear to each other: as when it compares the body of a man to the bulk of the whole earth; the earth to the circle it describes around the sun; that circle to the sphere of the fixed stars; the sphere of the fixed stars to the circuit of the whole creation; the whole creation itself to the infinite space that is every where diffused around it.

SPECTATOR

9. Consult your whole nature. Consider yourselves not only as sensitive, but as rational, beings; not only as rational, but social; not only as social, but immortal.

BLAIR.

XCII.—THE BELL OF JUSTICE.

a

1. Once upon a time, a king, who wished justice to be done to all his people, had a bell put up, so that any one who was injured by another might ring it, when the king assembled the wise men, that justice might be done. From long use the lower end of the rope was worn away, and a piece of wild vine was fastened on to lengthen it.

2. It so happened that a knight had a noble horse, which had served him long and well, but having grown old and useless, was meanly and cruelly turned out on the common to take care of himself. Driven by hunger, the horse began biting at the vine, when the bell rang out loud and clear.

3. And lo! the wise men assembled, and finding that it was a poor, half-starved horse that was sounding the call, and thus asking for justice, though he knew it not, examined into his case, and decreed that the knight whom he had served in his youth should feed and care for him

in his old age.

4. The knight treated the matter as a pleasant jest, and said (in an undertone) that he should do what he pleased with his own. And thereupon the Syndic gravely read the proclamation of the king. 5. Then they said to the knight: “Pride goeth forth on horseback grand and gay, But cometh back on foot, and begs its way: Fame is the perfume of heroic deods,

Of flowers of chivalry and not of weeds !
These are familiar proverbs; but I fear

They never yet have reached your knightly ear. 6. “What fair renown, what honor, what repute

Can come to you from starving this poor brute?
He who serves well and speaks not, merits more
Than they who clamor loudest at the door.
Therefore the law decrees that, as this steed
Served you in youth, henceforth you shall take heed
To comfort his old age and to provide
Shelter in stall, and food and field beside."

[ocr errors]

7. And the king confirmed the decree, adding to it a heavy fine if the knight neglected his duty to the faithful animal. The knight withdrew abashed; and the people led the steed in triumph home to his stall. 8. The king heard and approved, and laughed in glee,

And cried aloud : “Right well it pleaseth me!
Church-bells at best but ring us to the door,
But go not in to mass. My bell doth more:
It cometh into court and pleads the cause
Of creatures dumb and unknown to the laws;
And this shall make, in every Christian clime,
The Bell of Atri famous for all time.”

9. If all the neglected and worn-out horses should thus make an appeal, there would be the most mournful tolling of bells ever heard.

10. That thinking, sensitive beings should be cruel, or even indifferent to the comforts and rights of all other sensitive creatures, is one of the greatest mysteries of life. The “Golden Rule” is broad and comprehensive in its application. “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

POETRY BY H. W. LONGFELLOW.

« ПретходнаНастави »