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KING BRUCE of Scotland flung himself down
In a lonely mood to think;

"Tis true he was monarch and wore a crown,
But his heart was beginning to sink.

For he had been trying to do a great deed
To make his people glad :

He had tried and tried, but couldn't succeed:
And so he became quite sad.

He flung himself down in low despair,
As grieved as man could be:

And after a while, as he pondered there,
"I'll give it all up," said he.

Now just at the moment a spider dropped,
With its silken cobweb clue;

And the king in the midst of his thinking stopped
To see what the spider would do.

'Twas a long way up to the ceiling dome,
And it hung by a rope so fine;
That how it would get to its cobweb home
King Bruce could not divine.

It soon began to cling and crawl

Straight up with strong endeavour;
But down it came with a slippery sprawl,
As near to the ground as ever.

Up, up it ran, not a second it stayed
To utter the least complaint,
Till it fell still lower, and there it laid,
A little dizzy and faint.

Its head grew steady-again it went,
And travelled a half-yard higher;
'Twas a delicate thread it had to tread,

And a road where its feet would tire.

*Inserted, together with "The Old Arm-chair," p. 69, and "Home for the Holidays," by permission of Miss Eliza Cook,



Again it fell and swung below,
But again it quickly mounted;
Till up and down, now fast, now slow,
Nine brave attempts were counted.

"Sure," cried the king, “ that foolish thing
Will strive no more to climb :

When it toils so hard to reach and cling,
And tumbles every time."

But up the insect went once more.
Ah me! 'tis an anxious minute :
He's only a foot from his cobweb door-
Oh! say, will he lose or win it?

Steadily, steadily, inch by inch,

Higher and higher he got;

And a bold little run at the very last pinch,
Put him into his native cot.

"Bravo! bravo!" the king cried out, "All honour to those who try! The spider up there defied despair;

He conquered, and why shouldn't I?"

And Bruce of Scotland braced his mind,
And gossips tell the tale,

That he tried once more as he tried before,
And that time did not fail.

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Pay goodly heed, all ye who read,
And beware of saying, “I can't."
'Tis a cowardly word, and apt to lead
To idleness, folly, and want.

Whenever you find your heart despair
Of doing some goodly thing;
Con over this strain, try bravely again,
And remember the spider and king!


UNDER a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;

His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,

And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;

You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;

They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,

And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a thrashing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice
Singing in the village choir,

And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in paradise!

He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;

And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.


Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!
H. W.



So here hath been dawning
Another blue day:
Think, wilt thou let it

Slip useless away?

Out of Eternity

This new day is born;
Into Eternity

At night doth return.

Behold it aforetime

No eyes ever did :
So soon it for ever
From all eyes is hid.

Here hath been dawning
Another blue day:
Think, wilt thou let it

Slip useless away?



YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND. YE mariners of England!

That guard our native seas;

Whose flag has braved a thousand years
The battle and the breeze!
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe!
And sweep through the deep,

While the stormy winds do blow;
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.
The spirits of your fathers

Shall start from every wave,
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And ocean was their grave.
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell,
Your manly hearts shall glow ;
As ye sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow;
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o'er the mountain wave,
Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak,
She quells the floods below,-

As they roar on the shore,

When the stormy winds do blow;
When the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn;

Till danger's troubled night depart,
And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors,
Our song and feast shall flow

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