Page images

Give us, O thou Parent of all knowledge, a love of learning, and a taste for the pure and sublime pleasures of the understanding. Improve our memory, quicken our apprehension, and grant that we may lay up such a store of learning, as may fit us for the station to which it shall please thee to call us, and enable us to make great advances in virtue and religion, and shine as lights in the world, by the influence of a good example.

Give us grace to be diligent in our studies, and that whatever we read we may strongly mark, and inwardly digest it.

Bless our parents, guardians and instructors; and grant that we may make them the best return in our power, for giving us opportunities of improvement, and for all their care and attention to our welfare. They ask no return, but that we should make use of those opportunities, and co-operate with their endeavoursO grant that we may not disappoint their anxious expectations.



Arm for the hour is drawing nigh
When thou must strive in fight:
The word inspires thy kindling eye,
And thy young heart bounds light.

Yet little, little dost thou know
What foes await thee there;
A moment listen, while I show
The dangers thou must dare.

First, Pleasure's gay and lovely throng
Will tempt thee on the way,
Where stands, all terrible and strong,
Fierce Passion's dark array.


And Falsehood, bold, yet cowering foe,
Will take thee for his mark,

And Slander, whose assassin blow,

Strikes only in the dark.

And Scepticism, wild and free,
And Error's daring mien,
Led on by false Philosophy
Will in that field be seen.

Alas! this is a fearful view,
Of the wild War of Life;

But thou, dear boy, are brave and true
And will not shun the strife.

Yet be thou cautious, as thou'rt brave;
Choose well thy battle-gear;
For, once set on-shame to the slave
Would hesitate or fear!

The buckler of Integrity

Throw broadly over thy breast;
Thy helmet let bright Honour be,
And Truth thy stainless crest.

And be thy right-hand weapon, boy,
A calm inquiring mind,
Where prejudice's dull alloy
Foes seek in vain to find.

Let kind and gentle courtesy
Be burnish to thy mail;
"Twill turn many a stroke from thee
When rougher arms would fail.

Accoutred thus, go forth in joy,

While rings thy battle-cheer;

On-on-fear God, my gallant boy,
But know no other fear !*


Two school-fellows of equal age
Were 'prenticed in one day;
The one was studiously inclined,
The other boy was gay.

The pocket-money each received,
Was just the same amount;
And how they both expended it,
I briefly shall recount.

Whilst George was smoking his cigars,
And sauntering about,

With youths as idle as himself,

Shutting all knowledge out,

At the Mechanic's Institute,

And with his books at home,
Tom wisely spent his leisure hours,
Nor cared the streets to roam.

One eve, when their apprenticeship
Had nearly passed away,

George at his friend Tom's lodgings called,

An hour or two to stay.

He entered smoking his cigar

Ill-mannerly enough,

And staring round the room he blew

A most portentous puff.

From Chambers's Poems for Young People.

[ocr errors]


'Why Tom!" he cried, with much surprise,

"Is your old uncle dead,

And left you cash to buy these books
That round the walls are spread?"

"Oh no," said Tom, "I bought these books
With what my friends allowed:
Had you not smoked away your cash,


You might the same have showed."

Why, my Havannahs only cost

Me three pence every day!"

"Just so," said Tom, "You've only smok'd
A library away!

"Now reckon up three pence a day

For seven long years to come,
And you will find that it will count
A very handsome sum!"

"Why that," said George, with humble look,
"Full Thirty Pounds would be;

How foolishly I've smoked away

A handsome library!"



A monkey, seeing some boys enter a school-house, thought they were going after something very good, and therefore he went in and sat down as they did.

When they took up their books, he also picked up one, and began to turn over the leaves, as he saw them do. All the children began to laugh; and the monkey thinking this was part of the treat, bagan to grin and chatter.

One boy then threw something at him, and the monkey threw it back again. Then one Then one of the boys pulled the monkey's tail, and the monkey in return pulled the boy's hair, till the boy screamed for help.


Just at this moment the teacher came in, and took off the monkey. Some of the boys cried out, "Beat him." No," said the teacher, "he has only done what he saw you do. If you had set him a good example, he would have behaved as well as the best of you.'

From Picture Fables, Madras,

« PreviousContinue »