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ye who never knew the joys
Of friendship, satisfied with noise,
Fandango,* ball, and rout;
Blush, when I tell you how a bird
A prison with a friend preferred
To liberty without.
WM. COWPER, 1731-1800.
SEE, see how the ices are melting away,
The rivers have burst from their chain!
The woods and the hedges with verdure look gay,
And daisies enamel the plain.
The sun rises high and shines warm o'er the dale,
The orchards with blossoms are white;
The voice of the woodlark is heard in the vale,
And the cuckoo returns from her flight.
Young lambs sport and frisk on the side of the hill;
The honey-bee wakes from her sleep;
The turtle-dove opens her soft-cooing bill,
And snowdrops and primroses peep.
All nature looks active, delightful, and gay,
The creatures begin their employ ;
Ah! let me not be less industrious than they,
An idle, an indolent boy.
Now, while in the spring of my vigour and bloom,
In the paths of fair learning I'll run ;
Nor let the best part of my being consume,
With nothing of consequence done.
Thus, if to my lessons with care I attend,
And store up the knowledge I gain,
When the winter of age shall upon me descend,
"Twill cheer the dark season of pain.
JANE TAYLOR, 1783-1824.
* The name of a lively dance.
A FORWARD hare of swiftness vain,
The genius of the neighb'ring plain,
Would oft deride the drudging crowd:
For geniuses are ever proud.
He'd boast his flight 'twere vain to follow,
For dog and horse he'd beat them hollow ;-
Nay, if he put forth all his strength,
Outstrip his brethren half a length,
A tortoise heard his vain oration,
And vented thus his indignation :
"O puss! it bodes thee dire disgrace
When I defy thee to the race.
Come, 'tis a match : nay, no denial,
I lay my shell upon the trial."
"Twas "done" and "done," all fair, "a bet," Judges prepared, and distance set.
The scampering hare outstripped the wind;
The creeping tortoise lagged behind,
And scarce had passed a single pole
When puss had almost reached the goal.
"Friend tortoise," quoth the jeering hare,
"Your burden's more than you can bear;
To help your speed it were as well
That I should ease you of your shell:
Jog on a little faster, prithee:
I'll take a nap, and then be with thee."
The tortoise heard his taunting jeer,
But still resolved to persevere;
On to the goal securely crept,
While puss unknowing soundly slept,
THE CHILD'S DESIRE.
The bets were won, the hare awoke,
When thus the victor tortoise spoke :—
"Puss, though I own thy quicker parts,
Things are not always done by starts,
deride my awkward pace,
But slow and steady wins the race.'
I THINK, when I read that sweet story of old,
When Jesus was here among men,
How He called little children as lambs to His fold,
I should like to have been with them then.
I wish that His hand had been placed on my head,
That His arms had been thrown around me,
And that I might have seen his kind look when He said,
"Let the little ones come unto Me."
But still to His footstool in prayer I may go,
And ask for a share in his love;
And if I thus earnestly seek Him below,
I shall see Him and hear Him above,
In that beautiful place He has gone to prepare
For all that are washed* and forgiven;
And many dear children are gathering there,
"For of such is the kingdom of heaven."
OFT has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before,
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travelled fool your mouth will stop :
"Sir, if my judgment you'll allow—
I've seen and sure I ought to know."
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and then of that;
Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter,
Of the Chameleon's form and nature.
"A stranger animal," cries one,
"Sure never lived beneath the sun :
A lizard's body lean and long,
A fish's head, a serpent's tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoined;
And what a length of tail behind!
How slow its pace! and then its hue-
Who ever saw so fine a blue?
"Hold there," the other quick replies, ""Tis green, I saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay, And warmed it in the sunny ray;
Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed,
And saw it eat the air for food."
"I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue;
At leisure I the beast surveyed,
Extended in the cooling shade."
""Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye."
"Green!" cried the other in a fury:
Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes?"
""Twere no great loss," the friend replies;
"For if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them but of little use."
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows:
When luckily came by a third;
To him the question they referred;
And begged he'd tell them, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.
"Sirs," cries the umpire, 66 cease your pother; The creature's neither one nor t'other. I caught the animal last night, And viewed it o'er by candlelight; I marked it well, 'twas black as jetYou stare-but, sirs, I've got it yet, And can produce it." Pray, sir, do; I'll lay my life the thing is blue."
"And I'll be sworn, that when you've seen The reptile, you'll pronounce it green."
Well, then, at once to ease the doubt," Replies the man, I'll turn him out; And when before your eyes I've set him, don't find him black I'll eat him."
He said; and full before their sight
Produced the beast, and lo! 'twas white.
Both stared; the man looked wondrous wise-