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The pelting hail and the drizzling rain
Have tried to soften me, long, in vain;
And the tender dew has sought to melt
Or touch my heart; but it was not felt.
There's none that can teil about my birth,
For I'm as old as the big, round earth.
The children of men arise and pass
Out of the world, like the blades of grass ;
And many a foot on me has trod
That's gone from sight, and under the sod!
I am a Pebble! but who art thou,
Rattling along from the restless bough?”

The Acorn was shocked at this rude salute, And lay for a moment abashed and mute; She never before had been so near This gravelly ball, and mundane sphere; And she felt for a time at a loss to know How to answer a thing so coarse and low. But to give reproof of a nobler sort Than the angry look or the keen retort, At length she said, in a gentle tone: • Since it has happened that I am thrown From the lighter element, where I grew, Down to another, so hard and new, And beside a personage so august, Abased I will cover my head with dust, And quickly retire from the sight of one Whom time, nor season, nor storm, nor sin, Nor the gentle dew, nor the grinding heel, Has ever subdued or made to feel !" And soon in the earth she sunk away From the comfortless spot where the Pebble lay.

But it was not long ere the soil was broke By the peering head of an infant oak!

NIGHT.

And as it arose and its branches spread,
The Pebble looked up, and wondering said:-
“ A modest Acorn! never to tell
What was enclosed in its simple shell;
That the pride of the forest was folded up
In the narrow space of its little cup!
And meekly to sink in the darksome earth,
Which proves that nothing could hide her worth:
And, 0, how many will tread on me,
To come and admire the beautiful tree,
Whose head is towering toward the sky,
Above such a worthless thing as I!
Useless and vain, a cumberer here,
I have been idling from year to year.
But never from this shall a vaunting word
From the humbled Pebble again be heard,
Till something without me or within
Shall show the purpose for which I've been!"
The Pebble its vow could not forget,
And it lies there wrapt in silence yet.

NIGHT. - Blake.

The sun descending in the west,

The evening star doth shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine.

The moon, like a flower
In heaven's high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell green fields and happy groves,

Where flocks hare ta’en delight; Where lambs have nibbled, silent move The feet of angels bright; Unseen, they pour blessing, And joy without ceasing, On each bud and blossom, On each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest,

Where birds are covered warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
To keep them from all harm;

If they see any weeping
That should have been sleeping,
They pour sleep on their head,
And sit down on their bed.

When wolves and tigers howl for prey,

They pitying stand and weep,
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
And keep them from the sheep;

But if they rush dreadful,
The angels most heedful,
Receive each mild spirit,
New worlds to inherit.

CHILDHOOD. - Scott.

CHILDHOOD! happiest stage of life!
Free from care, and free from strife,
Free from memory's ruthless reign,
Fraught with scenes of former pain;

RANGER'S GRAVE.

Free from fancy's cruel skill,
Fabricating future ill;
Time when all that meets the view,
All can charm, for all is new;
How thy long-lost hours I mourn,
Never, never to return !

Then to toss the circling ball,
Caught rebounding from the wall;
Then the mimic ship to guide
Down the kennel's dirty tide;
Then the hoop's revolving pace
Through the dirty street to chase;
O what joy! it once was mine;
Childhood! matchless boon of thine!
How thy long-lost hours I mourn,
Never, never to return!

RANGER'S GRAVE. – Mrs. Southey.

He's dead and gone! he's dead and gone!
And the lime-tree branches wave,

And the daisy blows,
And the green grass grows,

Upon his grave.

He's dead and gone! he's dead and gone!
And he sleeps by the flowering lime,

Where he loved to lie,
When the sun was high,

In summer time.

We've laid him there, where the blessed air
Disports with the lovely light,

And raineth showers
Of those sweet flowers,

So silver white;

Where the blackbird sings, and the wild bee's wings
Make music all day long,

And the cricket at night
(A dusky sprite!)

Takes up the song.

He loved to lie where his wakeful eye
Could keep me still in sight,

Whence a word or a sign,
Or a look of mine,

Brought him like light.

Nor word, nor sign, nor look of mine,
From under the lime-tree bough,

With bark and bound,
And frolic round,

Shall bring him now.

But he taketh his rest, where he loved best
In the days of his life to be,

And that place will not
Be a common spot

Of earth to me.

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