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Are spread o'er land and sea;

And wouldst thou hack it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke !

Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Oh, spare that aged oak,

Now towering to the skies.

When but an idle boy,

I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy,

Here, too, my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my hand:
Forgive this foolish tear,-

But let that old oak stand!


My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend !
Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,

Thy ax shall harm it not.


Notes and Questions To whom is the poet speaking in How will the poet protec. the these verses

tree? What does he wish to prevent? Where do you think the treo Why is the tree dear to him? Whom does he remember seeing For what was this tree remark. under the tree!

able What did they do there?

By whom was it planted ?


Words and Phrases for Study PRONUNCIATION: få-mil'-iar (yår)


för-beâr' (bâr) VOCABULARY:

få-mil'-iar-well known; well understood.

grāte’-ful-pleasing; welcome; thankful. WORDS AND PHRASES: forefather's

"earth-bound" "forbear thy stroke"

grateful shade" "gushing joy"




John Howard Payne (1792-1852) was born in New York City. He became an actor and also a writer of plays and operas. His song "Home, Sweet Home,'' was first sung in one of his operas in a London theater. He died at Tunis, Africa, to which place he had been sent as United States consul.

1 MID pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home! A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there, Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.

Home, home, sweet, sweet home!

There's no place like home!


An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh! give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds, singing gayly, that came at my call-
Give me them !—and the peace of mind dearer than all.

Home, home, sweet, sweet home!

There's no place like home!


Historical: "Home, Sweet Home” has made the name of John Howard Payne famous all over the world. The complete song had originally four stanzas, but the two given here are the finest and best known.

When Jenny Lind, the celebrated Swedish singer, visited the United States in 1850, she sang in Washington before a large audience. John Howard Payne sat in one of the boxes and at the close of a wonderful concert, the singer turned toward the box in which the poet sat and sang “Home, Sweet Home' with so much sweetness and power that many in the audience cried like children.

Notes and Questions

What words in the first stanza

are repeated in the refrain or

chorus What is it that the poet says "hal

lows” or blesses us when we are

in our homes? With what word in the same

stanza is the word cottage con

trasted ? With what word in the first

stanza is the word cottage con.

trasted? What does the second stanza tell

us that the poet had at home

and missed afterwards Of whom do you suppose he

thinks when he remembers his

childhood's home What is it that really makes

home beautiful

Words and Phrases for Study PRONUNCIATION: păl'-åce hăl'-low


hum'-ble (hům'-b'l)

cot’-tāge-small house.
dăz'-zle—to confuse or bewilder with intense brightness.

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MARY HOWITT Mary Howitt (1804-1888) was an English poet. She was the wife of William Howiit, who was also a poet and author. Her poems are widely read.

1 “WILL you walk into my parlor ?" said the Spider to the Fly; « 'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy. The way into my parlor is up a winding stair, And I have many curious things to show when you are there." “Oh no, no," said the little Fly; "to ask me is in vain, For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again.


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2 SI'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high; Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly. “There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine

and thin, And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!” “Oh no, no," said the little Fly, “for I've often heard it said, They never, never wake again who sleep upon your bed !”

3 Said the cunning Spider to the Fly: "Dear friend, what can I do To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you? I have within my pantry good store of all that's nice; I'm sure you're very welcome—will you please to take a slice ?" "Oh no, no," said the little Fly; "kind sir, that can not be: I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see !"

4 “Sweet creature !” said the Spider, “you're witty and you're wise; How handsome are your gauzy wings ! how brilliant are your

eyes !

I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf; If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.” “I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, "for what you're pleased

to say,

And, bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day.”

5 The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den, For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again: So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly, And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly; Then came out to his door again, and merrily did sing: “Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing; Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head ; Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead !”

6 Alas, alas ! how very soon this silly little Fly, Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly fitting by; With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, Thinking only of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue, Thinking only of her crested head. Poor, foolish thing! At last Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast;

ny He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den, Within his little parlor-but she ne'er came out again! And now, dear little children, who may this story read, To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you, ne'er give heed; Unto an evil counselor close heart and ear and eye, And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.


Notes and Questions How did the spider first try to After his first invitation had

attract the fly into his web? failed, what did the spider then Read the fly's answer.

invite the fly to do?

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