Page images

What is that, Mother ?—The eagle, boy !--
Proudly careering his course of joy ;
Firm, on his own mountain vigour relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying,
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.

Boy, may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward, and upward, and true to the line.

What is that, Mother?—The swan, my

love !
He is floating down from his native grove,
No loved one now, no nestling nigh,
He is floating down, by himself to die;
Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,
Yet his sweetest song is the last he sings.

Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home.



The dawn has broke, the morn is up,

Another day begun;
And there thy poised and gilded spear

Is flashing in the sun.
Upon that steep and lofty tower

Where thou thy watch hast kept,
A true and faithful sentinel,

While all around thee slept.

For years, upon thee, there has pour'd

The summer's noon-day heat,
And through the long, dark, starless night,

The winter storms have beat;

But yet thy duty has been done,

By day and night the same,
Still thou hast met and faced the storm,

Whichever way it came.
No chilling blast in wrath has swept

Along the distant heaven,
But thou hast watch'd its onward course,

And distant warning given;
And when mid-summer's sultry beams

Oppress all living things,
Thou dost foretell each breeze that comes

With health upon its wings.
How oft I've seen, at early dawn,

Or twilight's quiet hour,
The swallows, in their joyous glee,

Come darting round thy tower,
As if, with thee, to hail the sun

And catch his earliest light, And offer


the morn's salute, Or bid ye both,—good-night. And when, around thee, or above,

No breath of air has stirr'd,
Thou seem'st to watch the circling flight

Of each free, happy bird,
Till, after twittering round thy head

In many a mazy track,
The whole delighted company

Have settled on thy back.
Then, if, perchance, amidst their mirtlı,

A gentle breeze has sprung,
And, prompt to mark its first approach,

Thy eager form hath swung,
I've thought I almost heard thee say,

As far aloft they flew,“Now all away!-here ends our play,

For I have work to do!"

Men slander thee, my honest friend,

And call thee, in their pride,
An emblem of their fickleness,

Thou ever-faithful guide.
Each weak, unstable human mind

A “ weathercock” they call ;
And thus, unthinkingly, mankind

Abuse thee, one and all.
They have no right to make thy name

A by-word for their deeds :
They change their friends, their principles,

Their fashions, and their creeds ;
Whilst thou hast ne'er, like them, been known

Thus causelessly to range;
But when thou changest sides, canst give

Good reason for the change.
Thou, like some lofty soul, whose course

The thoughtless oft condemn,
Art touch'd by many airs from heaven

Which never breathe on them,-
And moved by many impulses

Which they do never know,
Who, round their earth-bound circles, plod

The dusty paths below.
Through one more dark and cheerless night

Thou well hast kept thy trust;
And now in glory o'er thy head

The morning light has burst.
And unto earth's true watcher, thus,

When his dark hours have pass'd,
Will come “the day-spring from on high,”

To cheer his path at last.
Bright symbol of fidelity,

I think of thee : And may

the lesson thou dost teach Be never lost on me:

But still, in sunshine or in storm,

Whatever task is mine,
May I be faithful to my trust,

As thou hast been to thine.



I will remember, when I was very young, possessing for the first time a guinea. I remember, too, that this circumstance cost me no little perplexity and anxiety. As I passed along the streets, the fear of losing my guinea induced me frequently to take it out of my pocket to look at it. First I put it in one pocket, and then I took it out and put it in another; after a while I took it out of the second pocket and placed it in another, really perplexed what to do with it.

At length my attention was arrested by a book auction. I stepped in, and looked about me.

First one lot was put up, and then another, and sold to the highest bidder. At last I ventured to the table, just as the auctioneer was putting up the “ ' History of the World,” in two large folio volumes. I instantly thrust my hand into my pocket, and began turning over my guinea, considering all the while whether I had money enough to buy this lot. The biddings proceeded; at last I ventured to bid too. “Halloo, my little man !" said the auctioneer; 16 what! not content with less than the world ?” This remark greatly confused me, and drew the attention of the whole company toward me, who, seeing me anxious to possess the books, refrained from bidding against me; and so the “World” was knocked down to me at a very moderate price.

How to get these huge books home was the next consideration. The auctioneer offered to send them; but I, not knowing what sort of creatures auctioneers were, determined to take them myself; so, after the assistant had tied them up, I marched out of the room with these huge books upon my shoulder, like Samson with the gates of Gaza, amidst the smiles of all present.

When I reached my home, after the servant had opened the door, the first person I met was my now sainted mother. “My dear boy,” said she, “what have you got there? I thought you would not keep your guinea long." "Do not be angry, mother," said I, throwing them down upon the table: “I have bought the world for nine shillings!” This was on Saturday; and I well remember sitting up till it was well-nigh midnight, turning over this “ History of the World.” These books became my delight, and were carefully read through and through.

As I grew older, I at length became a Christian, and my love of books naturally led me to desire to be a Christian minister. To the possession of these books I attribute, in a great measure, any honours in connexion with literature that have been added to my name. I have not mentioned this anecdote to gratify any foolish feeling, but to encourage in those young persons I see before me that love of literature which has afforded me such unspeakable pleasure-pleasure which I would not have been without for all the riches of the Indies.


Mrs. Hannah MORE.

BECAUSE I'm but poor,

And slender's my store,
That I've nothing to lose is the cry,

Let who will declare it,

I vow I can't bear it,
I give all such praters the lie, Sir.

« PreviousContinue »