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SCENES OF CHILDHOOD.
2. I thought of the friends who had roam'd with me there,
When the sky was so blue, and the flowers were so fairAll scatter'd !-all sunder'd' by mountain and wave,
And some in the silent embrace of the grave! 3. I thought of the green banks, that circled šround,
With wild-flowers, and sweet-brier, and églantīne' crown'd I thought of the river, all quiet and bright
As the face of the sky on a blue summer night. 4. And I thought of the trees, under which we had stray'd,
Of the broad leafy boughs, with their coolnèss of shade; And I hoped, though disfigured, some token to find
Of the names and the carvings impress’d on the rind. 5. All eager, I hasten'd the scene to behold,
Render'd sacred and dear by the feelings of old ;
This refuge, this haunt, this Elysium of yore.
Of the names that I loved, of the trees that I knew :
“ Like a tale that is told,” they had vanish'd ăway.
Was more dull in its motion, more sad in its song,
Had all fled from its banks, at the fall of the grove.
Our visions are baseless ; our hopes but a gleam;
Our staff but a reed ; and our life but a dream. 9. Then, oh, let us look_let our prospects allure —
To scenes that can fade not, to realms that endure,
1 Săn' dered, separated.
3 Al lūre', entice; draw: attract. ? Eg lan tine, a species of rose, Rěalm, that which is under the the sweet-brier; according to Milcontrol of a king; kingdom; prov. ton, the honeysuckle.
ince; region; country.
PART FIRST. TN my school-boy days, there lived an agèd widów near the
church-yard. She had an only child. I have öften observed that the delicate and the weak receive more than a common share of affection from a mother. Such a feeling was shown by this widow toward her sickly and unshapely boy.
2. There are faces and forms which, once seen, are impressed upon our brain ; and they will come, again and again, upon the tablet of our memory, in the quiet of night, and even flit ăround us in our daily walks. Many years have gone by since I first saw this boy ; and his delicate form, and quiet manner, and his gentle and virtuous conduct, are often before me.
3. I shall never forgět,-in the saucinèss of youth, and fancying it would give importance to my bluff outside, —swearing in his presence. The boy was sitting in a high-backed easy-chair, reading his Bible. He turned round, as if a signal for dying had sounded in his ear, and fixed upon me his clear, gray eye : that look! it made my little heart almost choke me.
4. I gave some foolish excuse for gětting out of the cottage : and, as I met a playmate on the road, who jeered' me for my blank countenance, I rushed past him, hid myself in an adjoining corn-field, and cried bitterly.
5. I tried to conciliate the widow's son, and show my sorrow for having so far forgotten the innocence of boyhood, as to have my Maker's name sounded in an unhăllowed' manner from my lips. My spring flowers he accepted; but, when my back was turned, he flung them away. The toys and books I offered to him were put aside for his Bible. 1 Often, (8f' n,) many times.
Blank, (blångk), of a white or * Tăb' let, a little table or flat pale color; hence, pale from fear or surfaca; something flat on which to terror; confused. write, paint, or draw.
o Con cil'i āte, to win over; to 3 Bluff, rude or coarse in manner gain from a state of indifference or or appearance; blustering.
dislike. Jēered, made a mock of; flouted; Un hål’lowed, profane; unholy; ridiculed.
THE DEFORMED CHILD.
6. His only occupations were the feeding of ă favorite hen, which would come to his chair and look up for the crums that he would let fall, with a noiseless action, from his thin fingers, watching the pendulum and hands of the wooden clock, and reading
7. Although I could not, at that time, fully appreciate the beauty of a mother's love, still I venerated the widow for the unobtrusive, but intense attention she displayed' to her son. I never entered her dwelling without seeing her engaged in some kind offices toward him.
8. If the sumbeam came through the leaves of the geraniums, placed in the window, with too strong a glare, she moved the high-backed chair with as much care as if she had been putting ăsīde a crystal' temple. When he slept, she festooned her silk handkerchief around his place of rest. She placed the earliest violets upon her mantel-piece for him to look at; and the roughness of her own meal, and the delicacy of the child's, sufficiently displayed her sacrifices.
9. Easy and satisfied, the widow moved about. I never saw her but once unhappy. She was then walking thoughtfully in her garden. I beheld a tear. I did not dare to intrude upon her grief, and ask her the cause of it; but I found the reason in her cottage : her boy had been spitting blood.
10. I have often envied him these endearments; for I was åway from a par'ent' who humored me, even when I was stubborn and unkind. My poor mother is in her grave. I have often regretted having been her pet, her favorite ; for the coldness of the world makes me wretched ; and, perhaps, if I had not drunk at the věry spring of a mother's affection, I might have let scorn and con'tumelyo pass by me as the idle wind.
* Appreciate, (ap pré' shi dt), to 'Fes tooned', formed in a festoon: set a price or value on; to value arranged like a suspended wreath fully, justly, or truly.
or garland. 2 Věn' er āt ed, regarded with Parent, (pår' ent), see Note 2, respect and affection.
p. 16. Unobtrusive, (ún ob tro' siv), ? Scorn, very great and passion. modest ; not forward.
ate dislike. * In těnse', very close; earnest; Cón' tu mē lý, rudeness or redevoted.
proach, founded upon the assump5 Crys' tal, made of grass; re- tion or belief that the object of it is sembling glass.
inferior, vile, and worthless.
11. Yět I have afterward asked myself, what I, a thoughtless, though not a heartless boy, should have come to, if I had not had such a comforter. I have asked myself this, felt satisfied and grateful, and wished that her spirit might watch around her child, who often met her kindness with passion, and received her gifts as if he expected homage from her.
33. THE DEFORMED CHILD,
PART SECOND. D VERYBODY experiences how quickly school years pass
1 ăway.” My father's residence was not situated in the village where I was educated ; so that when I left school, I left its scenes also. After several years had passed away, accident took me again to the well-known place.
2. The stable, into which I led my horse, was dear to me; for I had often listened to the echo that danced within it, when the bells were ringing. The face of the landlord was strānge; but I could not forget the in-kneed, red-whiskered höstler : he had given me a hearty thrashing as a return for a hearty jest.
3. I had reserved ă broad piece of silver for the old widow. But I first ran toward the river, and walked upon the mill-bank. I was surprised at the apparent nărrowness of the stream ; and, although the willows still fringed the margin, and appeared to stoop in homage to the water-lilies, yět they were diminutive!" Every thing was but a miniatures of the picture in my mind. It proved to me that my faculties had grown with my growth, and strengthened with my strength.
4. With something like disappointment, I left the river side, and strolled toward the church. My hand was in my pocket, grasping the broad piece of silver. I imagined to myself the kind look of recognition' I should receive. I determined on
* Hom' āge, act of submission; representation on a much smaller respect showed by an inferior. scale than the object represented.
· Away, (ă wā'), see Note 1, p. 24. Făc' ul ties, talents or gifts ; THE AUTHOR OF “SWEET HOME.'
3 In-knēed, having the knees bent powers of the body or the mind. inward.
? Recognition, (rék og nish' un), * Dimỉn'utive of small size; little. the act of knowing again ; remem. * Min' ï a tūre, a painting or other brance of a person or thing.
felt my airen, and at the hon
the way in which I should press the money into the widow's hand. But I felt my nerves slightly tremble, as I thought on the look her son had given, and again might give me.
5. Ah, there is the cottage ; but the honeysuckle is older, and it has lost many of its branches! The door was closed. A pet lamb was fastened to a loose cord under the window, and its melancholy bleating was the only sound that disturbed the silence.
6. In former years I used, at once, to pull the string that lifted the wooden latch ; but now I deliberately knocked. A strānge female form, with a child in her arms, opened the door. I asked for my old acquaintance. “Alas! poor Alice is in her coffin : look, sir, where the shadow of the spire ends : that is her grave.” I relaxed my grasp of my money. “And her deformed boy?" "He, too, is there!” I drew my hand from my pocket.
7. It was a hard task for me to thank the woman, but I did 80. I moved to the place where the mother and the child were buried. I stood for some minutes, in silence, beside the mound of grass. I thought of the consumptive lad, and as I did so, the lamb, at the cottage window, gave its anxious blēat.
8. And then all the affectionate attentions of my own mother ăröse on my soul, while my lips trembled out : "Mother! dear mother! would that I were as is the widow's son! would that I were sleeping in thy grave! I loved thee, mother! but I would not have thee living now, to view the worldly sorrows of thy ungrateful boy! My first step toward vice was thē bath which the deformed child heard me utter.”
9. But you, who rest here as quietly as you lived, shall receive the homage of the unworthy. I will protect this hillock from the steps of the heedless wanderer, and from the trampling of the village herd. I will raise up a tabernacle to purity and love. I will do it in secret ; and I look not to be rewarded openly.
34. THE AUTHOR OF "SWEET HOME.”
“ A S I sit at my window here in Washington, watching the
A course of great men, and the destiny of party, I meet öften with strange contradictions in this eventful life. The