페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

My hand I'll lay,-and dedicate them there,
Even in those hallowed courts, to Israel's God,
Two spotless lambs, well pleasing in his sight.
-But yet, methinks, thou 'rt paler grown, my love!-
And the pure sapphire of thine eye looks dim,
As though 't were washed with tears.

-Faintly she smiled,—
'One doubt, my lord, I fain would have thee solve.-
Gems of rich lustre and of countless cost
Were to my keeping trusted.-Now, alas!

They are demanded.-Must they be restored?-
Or may
I not a little longer gaze

Upon their dazzling hues?'-His eye grew stern,
And on his lip there lurked a sudden curl
Of indignation. Doth my wife propose
Such doubt?-as if a master might not claim
His own again!' - Nay, Rabbi, come, behold
These priceless jewels ere I yield them back.'-
So to their spousal chamber with soft hand
Her lord she led.—There, on a snow-white couch,
Lay his two sons, pale, pale and motionless,
Like fair twin-lilies, which some grazing kid

In wantonness had cropped. My sons!-my sons!—
Light of my eyes!' the astonished father cried,—
My teachers in the law!-whose guileless hearts

6

And prompt obedience warned me oft to be

More perfect with my God!'

[ocr errors]

To earth he fell,
Like Lebanon's rent cedar; while his breast
Heaved with such groans as when the laboring soul
Breaks from its clay companion's close embrace.-
-The mourning mother turned away and wept,
Till the first storm of passionate grief was still.
Then, pressing to his ear her faded lip,

She sighed in tone of tremulous tenderness,
Thou didst instruct me, Rabbi, how to yield
The summoned jewels-See! the Lord did give,
The Lord hath taken away.'

'Yea!' said the sire,
'And blessed be his name. Even for thy sake
Thrice blessed be Jehovah.'-Long he pressed
On those cold, beautiful brows his quivering lip,
While from his eye the burning anguish rolled;
Then, kneeling low, those chastened spirits poured
Their mighty homage.

LESSON LIV.

Weep not for the Dead.-B. B. THATCHER. OH, lightly, lightly tread

Upon these early ashes, ye that weep

For her that slumbers in the dreamless sleep,
Of this eternal bed?

Hallow her humble tomb

With your kind sorrow, ye that knew her well, And climbed with her youth's brief but brilliant dell, 'Mid sunlight and fair bloom.

Glad voices whispered round,

As from the stars, bewildering harmonies,
And visions of sweet beauty filled the skies.
And the wide vernal ground

With hopes like blossoms shone:

Oh, vainly these shall glow, and vainly wreathe
Verdure for the veiled bosom, that may breathe
No joy-no answering tone.

Yet

weep not for the dead

That in the glory of green youth do fall,
Ere frenzied passion or foul sin one thrall
Upon their souls hath spread.

Weep not! They are at rest
From misery, and madness, and all strife,
That makes but night of day, and death of life,
In the grave's peaceful breast:

Nor evermore shall come

To them the breath of envy, nor the rankling eye, Shall follow them, where side by side they lie Defenceless, noiseless, dumb.

Ay-though their memory's green,

In the fond heart, where love for them was born, With sorrow's silent dews, each eve, each morn, Be freshly kept, unseen―

Yet, weep not! They shall soar

As the freed eagle of the skies, that pined,
But pines no more, for his own mountain wind,
And the old ocean-shore.

Rejoice! rejoice! How long

Should the faint spirit wrestle with its clay,
Fluttering in vain for the far cloudless day,
And for the angel's song?

It mounts! It mounts! Oh, spread
The banner of gay victory-and sing

For the enfranchised-and bright garlands bringBut weep not for the dead!

LESSON LV.

Night.-MONTGOMERY.

NIGHT is the time for rest;
How sweet, when labors close,
To gather round an aching breast
The curtain of repose;

Stretch the tired limbs and lay the head

Upon our own delightful bed!

Night is the time for dreams,

The gay romance of life;

When truth that is, and truth that seems,

Blend in fantastic strife;

Ah! visions less beguiling far,

Than waking dreams by daylight are!

Night is the time for toil;

To plough the classic field,
Intent to find the buried spoil

Its wealthy furrows yield;
Till all is ours that sages taught,
That poets sang, or heroes wrought.

Night is the time to weep;
To wet with unseen tears

Those graves

of

memory, where sleep The joys of other years;

Hopes that were angels in their birth, But perished young, like things of earth!

Night is the time to watch;

Ön ocean's dark expanse, To hail the Pleiades, or catch

The full moon's earliest glance, That brings unto the homesick mind All we have loved and left behind.

Night is the time for care;
Brooding on hours mispent,
To see the spectre of despair
Come to our lonely tent;

Like Brutus midst his slumbering host
Startled by Cæsar's stalworth ghost,

Night is the time to muse;

Then from the eye the soul

Takes flight, and with expanding views
Beyond the starry pole;

Descries, athwart the abyss of night,

The dawn of uncreated light.

Night is the time to pray;

Our Savior oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away,

So will his followers do;

Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.

Night is the time for death;

When all around is peace,

Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease;

Think of Heaven's bliss, and give the sign,
To parting friends:-such death be mine!

11

LESSON LVI.

Escape from a Panther.-COOPER.

ELIZABETH TEMPLE and LOUISA had gained the summit of the mountain, where they left the highway, and pursued their course, under the shade of the stately trees that crowned the eminence. The day was becoming warm; and the girls plunged more deeply into the forest, as they found its invigorating coolness agreeably contrasted to the excessive heat they had experienced in their ascent. The conversation, as if by mutual consent, was entirely changed to the little incidents and scenes of their walk; and every tall pine, and every shrub or flower, called forth some simple expression of admiration.

In this manner they proceeded along the margin of the precipice, catching occasional glimpses of the placid Otsego, or pausing to listen to the rattling of wheels and the sounds of hammers, that rose from the valley, to mingle the signs of men with the scenes of nature, when Elizabeth suddenly startled, and exclaimed--' Listen! there are the cries of a child on this mountain! Is there a clearing near us? or can some little one have strayed from its parents?'

'Such things frequently happen,' returned Louisa. 'Let us follow the sounds; it may be a wanderer, starving on the hill.'

Urged by this consideration, the females pursued the low, mournful sounds, that proceeded from the forest, with quick and impatient steps. More than once the ardent Elizabeth was on the point of announcing that she saw the sufferer, when Louisa caught her by the arm, and, pointing behind them, cried-Look at the dog!'

The advanced age of Brave had long before deprived him of his activity; and when his companions stopped to view the scenery, or to add to their bouquets, the mastiff would lay his huge frame on the ground, and await their movements, with his eyes closed, and a listlessness in his air that ill accorded with the character of a protector. But when, aroused by this cry from Louisa, Miss Temple turned, she saw the dog with his eyes keenly set on some distant object, his head bent near the ground, and his hair actually rising on his body, either through fright or anger. It was most probably the latter; for he was growling in a low key, and occasionally

« 이전계속 »