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BORN, 1608; DIED, 1674. Principal Works.- Comus, Lycidas, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Para
dise Lost, Paradise Regained, Sonnets, various Prose Writings, and State Papers.
HYMN TO THE CREATOR. THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty! Thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then! Unspeakable ! who sitt'st above these heavens To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divino. Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven: On earth join, all ye creatures, to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater ; sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fall'st. Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fliest, With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies; And ye five other wandering fires, that move In mystic dance, not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call’d up light.
THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM.
An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer's morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped. Upon this, the dial-plate, (if we may credit the fable,) changed countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise ; the weights hung speechless : each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the others. At length the dial instituted an inquiry as to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, with one voice, protested their innocence. But now a faint tick was heard below from the
pen. dulum, who thus spoke:-“I confess myself to be the sole cause of the present stoppage: and I am willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking." Upon hearing this, the old clock became so enraged, that it was on the very point of striking.
“Lazy wire !” exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hands.
“ Very good !” replied the pendulum, “it is vastly easy for you, Mistress Dial, who have always, as everybody knows, set yourself up above me,-it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness! You, who have had nothing to do all the
THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM.
days of your life, but to stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself with watching all that goes on in the kitchen! Think how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backwards and forwards year after year, as I do.”
“As to that,” said the dial, “is there not a window in your house, for you to look through?"
“For all that," resumed the pendulum, “it is very dark here; and, although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to look out at it. Besides, I am really tired of my way of life; and if you wish, I'll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. I happened this morning to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you above there can give me the exact sum.”
The minute-hand, being quick at figures, replied, "Eighty-six thousand four hundred times.”
Exactly so," replied the pendulum; "well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really it is no wonder if I felt discouraged at the prospect; so, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I'll stop.”
The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue; but resuming its gravity, thus replied: • Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself, should have been overcome by this sudden action. It is true,
THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM.
you have done a great deal of work in your time; so have we all; and are likely to do ; which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Will you now give about half a dozen strokes, to illustrate my argument ?"
The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual pace. “Now,” resumed the dial, “ may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you ?”
"Not in the least," replied the pendulum, “it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions.”
“Very good,” replied the dial; "but recollect, that though you may think of a million strokes in an instant, you are required to execute but one ; and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be given to swing in."
“I hope,” resumed the dial-plate, “we shall all immediately return to our duty; for the maids will lie in bed if we stand idling thus.”
Upon this the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed ; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, and the pendulum began to swing; while a red beam of the rising sun that streamed through a hole in the kitchen, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up, as if nothing had been the matter. When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.--Jane Taylor.