Page images


And when he trotted off to school,
The children all about would cry,
"There goes the curly-headed boy,
The boy who never tells a lie."

And everybody loved him so,

Because he always told the truth, That every day, as he grew up,

"Twas said, "There goes the honest youth."

And when the people that stood near
Would turn to ask the reason why,
The answer would be always this,—
"Because he never tells a lie."


LITTLE drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.

Thus our little errors

Lead the soul away
From the path of virtue,
Off in sin to stray.

Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,

Like the heaven above.



How fair is the rose! what a beautiful flower!
The glory of April and May!

But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour,
And they wither and die in a day.

Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast
Above all the flowers of the field;

When its leaves are all dead and its fine colours lost,
Still, how sweet a perfume it will yield!

So frail is the youth and the beauty of men, Though they bloom and look gay like the rose; But all our fond care to preserve them is vain— Time kills them as fast as he goes.

Then I'll not be proud of my youth nor my beauty,
Since both of them wither and fade;

But gain a good name by well doing my duty;
This will scent like a rose when I'm dead.

DR. WATTS, 1674-1748.


THE squirrel hastens to and fro,
With acorn, nut, and corn,
His hall to fill-he's much to do,
For winter's coming on.

He does not stop for friends or foes,
Until his work is done;

He needs no telling, well he knows
Cold winter's coming on.


His storehouse, filled with all that's good,
His eye looks proudly on;

Then chatters forth throughout the wood,
"Now let cold winter come. "

Come, children, like the squirrel, try

In life's bright sunny morn

To seek a good, a wise supply

Before old age comes on.



Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew ;

Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colour bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower
Instead of hiding there.

Yet there it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused a sweet perfume
Within the silent shade.

Then let me to the valley go
This pretty flower to see,
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.

JANE TAYLOR, 1783-1824.



OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray;
And when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see, at break of day,
The solitary child.


No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,-
The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a cottage door.

You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

"To-night will be a stormy night—
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, child, to light
Your mother through the snow."

"That, father, will I gladly do ;
'Tis scarcely afternoon-
The minster clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon."

At this the father raised his hook,
And snapped a fagot-band;
He plied his work ;-and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe:
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:
She wandered up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb,
But never reached the town.

[merged small][ocr errors]

BREATHES there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned

From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go mark him well :
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth, as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.
O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!

Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band

That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now and what hath been,
Seems as to me, of all bereft,

Sole friends thy woods and streams are left;
And thus I love them better still,

Even in extremity of ill.

By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my withered cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The bard may draw his parting groan.

SIR W. SCOTT, 1771-1832.

« PreviousContinue »