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XXII.-THE LONG AGO.
B. F. TAYLOR.
As it runs through the realm of tears,
As it blends in the ocean of years !
2. How the winters are drifting like flakes of snow,
And the summers like birds between,
As it glides in the shadow and sheen !
3. There's a Magical Isle up the river Time,
Where the softest of airs are playing. There's a cloudless sky and tropical clime, And a song as sweet as a vesper chime,
And the Junes with the roses are straying.
4. And the name of this Isle is “the Long Ago,"
And we bury our treasures there ;
And there are trinkets and tresses of hair.
5. There arc fragments of songs that nobody sings,
There are parts of an infant's prayer,
And the garments our dead used to wear.
6. There are hands that are waved when the fairy shore
By the mirage is lifted in air, And we sometimes hear through the turbulent roar Sweet voices we heard in the days gone before,
When the wind down the river was fair.
7. Oh! remembered for aye be that blessed isle,
All the day of life until night;
May the greenwood of soul be in sight. (Let the pupil carefully study the similes in this selection, and show wherein the resemblance consists.] What is compared to a river, and why? to an ocean? to an island ? 5. What is meant by “songs that nobody sings”? Is this piece joyous or sad? Does it require abrupt or lengthened tones? What emotions are expressed in it ?
XXIII.-THINKING AND REVERIE NOT THE
J. G. HOLLAND. 1. It rained yesterday; and, though it is midsummer, it is unpleasantly cool to-day. The sky is clear, with almost a steel-blue tint, and the meadows are very deeply green. The shadows among the woods are black and massive, and the whole face of nature looks painfully clean, like that of a healthy little boy who has been bathed in a chilly room with very cold water. I notice that I am sensitive to a change like this, and that my mind goes very reluctantly to its task this morning. I look out from my window, and think how delightful it would be to take a seat in the sun, down under the fence, across the street.
2. It seems to me that if I could sit there awhile, and get warm, I could think better and write better. Toasting in the sunlight is conducive rather to reverie than thought, or I should be inclined to try it. This reluctance to commence labor, and this looking out of the window and longing for an accession of strength or warmth or inspiration or something or other not easily named, calls back to me an experience of childhood.
3. It was summer, and I was attending school. The seats were hard, and the lessons were dry, and the walls of the school-room were very cheerless. An indulgent, sweetfaced girl was my teacher; and I presume that she felt the irksomeness of the confinement quite as severely as I did. The weather was delightful, and the birds were singing every where; and the thought came to me, that if I could only stay out of doors, and lie down in the shadow of a tree, I could get my lesson.
4. I begged the privilege of trying the experiment. The kind heart that presided over the school-room could not resist my petition; so I was soon lying in the coveted shadow. I went to work very severely ; but the next moment found my eyes wandering; and heart, feeling, and fancy were going up and down the earth in the most vagrant fashion. It was hopeless dissipation to sit under the tree ; and discovering a huge rock on the hillside, I made my way to that, to try what virtue there might be in a shadow not produced by foliage.
5. Seated under the brow of the boulder, I again applied myself to the dim-looking text, but it had become utterly meaningless; and a musical cricket under the rock would have put me to sleep if I had permitted myself to remain. I found that neither tree nor rock would lend me help; but down in the meadow I saw the brook sparkling, and, spanning it, a little bridge where I had been accustomed to sit, hanging my feet over the water and angling for minnows. It seemed as if the bridge and the water might do something for me; and, in a few minutes, my feet were dangling from the accustomed seat.
6. There, almost under my nose, close to the bottom of the clear, cool stream, lay a huge speckled trout, fanning the sand with his slow fins, and minding nothing about me at all. What could a boy do with Colburn's First Lessons, when a living trout, as large and nearly as long as his arm, lay almost within the reach of his fingers ? How long I sat there I do not know, but the tinkle of a distant bell startled me, and I startled the trout, and fish and vision faded before the terrible consciousness that I knew less of my lesson than I did when I left the school-house.
XXIV.-ADDRESS TO A MUMMY.
1. And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)
In Thebes's streets, three thousand years ago,
And time had not begun to overthrow
2. Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dummy ;
Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune ; Thou’rt standing on thy legs above ground, mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon; Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones and flesh and limbs and features.
3. Tell us—for doubtless thou canst recollect
To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame?
Of either pyramid that bears his name?
4. Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden
By oath to tell the secrets of thy trade,
In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played ?
5. Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,
Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass;
Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass ;
6. I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,
Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
7. Since first thy form was in this box extended,
We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations :
New worlds have risen : we have lost old nations,
8. Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
9. If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,
The nature of thy private life unfold :
And tears adown that dusky cheek have rolled !
10. Statue of flesh! immortal of the dead !
Imperishable type of evanescence !
And standest undecayed within our presence !
11. Why should this worthless tegument endure,
If its undying guest be lost for ever?
In living virtue, that, when both must sever,