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Aslant the wooded slope at evening goes ;
Groves, through whose broken roof the sky looks in ;
Mountain, and shattered cliff, and sunny vale,

The distant lake, fountains, and mighty trees,
5 In many a lazy syllable, repeating
Their old poetical legends to the wind.

And this is the sweet spirit that doth fill
The world; and, in these wayward days of youth,

My busy fancy oft embodies it,
10 As the bright image of the light and beauty

That dwell in nature, of the heavenly forms
We worship in our dreams, and the soft hues
That stain the wild bird's wing, and flush the clor
When the sun sets.

Within her eye
15 The heaven of April, with its changing light,

And when it wears the blue of May, is hung,
And on her lip the rich red rose. Her hair
Is like the summer tresses of the trees,

When twilight makes them brown, and on her cheek 20 Blushes the richness of an autumn sky,

With ever-shifting beauty. Then her breath,
It is so like the gentle air of Spring,
As, from the morning's dewy flowers, it comes

Full of their fragrance, that it is a joy
25 To have it round us, and her silver voice

Is the rich music of a summer bird,
Heard in the still night, with its passionate cadence.

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LESSON LXVIII.-THE SOLDIER'S WIDOW.-N. P. WILLY.

Woe! for my vine-clad home!
That it should ever be so dark to me,
With its bright threshold, and its whispering tree'

That I should ever come,
Fearing the lonely echo of a tread,
Beneath the roof-tree of my glorious dead!

Lead on! my orphan boy!
Thy home is not so desolate to thee,
And the low shiver in the linden tree

May bring to thee a joy ;
But, oh! how dark is the bright home before thee
To her who with a joyous spirit bore thee!

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Lead on! for thou art now
My sole remaining helper. God hath spoken,
And the strong beart I leaned upon is broken ;

And I have seen his brow,
The forehead of my upright one, and just,
Trod by the hoof of battle to the dust.

He will not meet thee there
Who blessed thee at the eventide, my son!
And when the shadows of the night steal on,

He will not call to prayer.
The lips that melted, giving thee to God,
Are in the icy keeping of the sod!

Ay, my own boy! thy sire
Is with the sleepers of the valley cast,
And the proud glory of my life hath past,

With his high glance of fire.
Woe! that the linden and the vine should bloom,
And a just man be gathered to the tomb!

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LESSON LXIX.- THE SICILIAN VESPERS.-J. G. WHITTIER.
Silence o'er sea and earth

With the veil of evening fell,
Till the convent tower sent deeply forth

The chime of its vesper-bell.*
5 One moment, and that solemn sound

Fell heavily on the ear;
But a sterner echo passed around,

Which the boldest shook to hear.

The startled monks thronged up, 10 In the torchlight cold and dim ;

And the priest let fall his incense cup,

And the virgin hushed her hymn;
For a boding clash, and a clanging tramp,

And a summoning voice were heard, 15 And fretted wall, and tombstone damp,

To the fearful echo stirred.
The peasant heard the sound,

As he sat beside his hearth;

And the song and the dance were hushed around, 20 With the fireside tale of mirth.

* The signal adopted by the Sicilians, for commencing the massacre of their French conquerors.

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The chieftain shook in his bannered hall,

As the sound of war drew nigh;
And the warder shrank from the castle wall,

As the gleam of spears went by.
Woe, woe, to the stranger then,

At the feast and flow of wine,
In the red array of mailed men,

Or bowed at the holy shrine !
For the wakened pride of an injured land

Had burst its iron thrall;
From the plumed chief to the pilgrim band ;

Woe, woe, to the sons of Gaul !
Proud beings fell that hour,

With the young and passing fair ;
And the flame went up from dome and tower

The avenger's arm was there !
The stranger priest at the altar stood,

And clasped his beads in prayer,
But the holy shrine grew dim with blood,

The avenger found him there !
Woe, woe, to the sons of Gaul,

To the serf and mailed lord !
They were gathered darkly, one and all,

To the harvest of the sword ;
And the morning sun, with a quiet smile,

Shone out o'er hill and glen,
On ruined temple and mouldering pile,

And the ghastly forms of men.
Ay, the sunshine sweetly smiled,

As its early glance came forth ;
It had no sympathy with the wild

And terrible things of earth;
And the man of blood that day might read,

In a language freely given,
How ill his dark and midnight deed

Became the light of heaven.

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LESSON LXX.-MEXICAN MYTHOLOGY.-WM. H. PRESCOTT.

The Aztecs, or ancient Mexicans, had no adequate conception of the true God. The idea of unity,-of a being, with whom volition is action, who has no need of inferior

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ministers to execute his purposes,—was too simple, or too vast, for their understandings; and they sought relief, as usual, in a plurality of deities, who presided over the ele

ments, the changes of the seasons, and the various occu5 pations of man. Of these, there were thirteen principal

deities, and more than two hundred inferior; to each of whom some special day, or appropriate festival, was consecrated.

At the head of all stood the terrible Mexican Mars ;* 10 although it is doing injustice to the heroic war-god of an

tiquity, to identify him with this sanguinary monster. This was the patron deity of the nation. His fantastic image was loaded with costly ornaments. His temples

were the most stately and august of the public edifices; 15 and his altars reeked with the blood of human hecatombs,

in every city of the empire. Disastrous, indeed, must have been the influence of such a superstition on the character of the people.

A far more interesting personage in their mythology 20 was the godt of the air, a divinity who, during his resi

dence on earth, instructed the natives in the use of metals,
in agriculture, and in the arts of government.
one of those benefactors of their species, doubtless, who

have been deified by the gratitude of posterity. Under 25 him, the earth teemed with fruits and flowers, without the

pains of culture. An ear of Indian corn was as much as a single man could carry. The cotton, as it grew, took, of its own accord, the rich dyes of human art. The air

was filled with intoxicating perfumes, and the sweet 30 melody of birds. In short, these were the halcyon days,

which find a place in the mythic systems of so many na. tions of the Old World. It was the golden age of Anahuac.

From some cause, not explained, this god incurred the 35 wrath of one of the principal gods, and was compelled to

abandon the country. On his way, he stopped at the city of Cholula, where a temple was dedicated to his worship, the massy ruins of which still form one of the most inter

esting relics of antiquity in Mexico. When he reached 40 the shores of the Mexican Gulf, he took leave of his fol

lowers, promising, that he and his descendants would revisit them hereafter, and then, entering his wizard skiff,

He was

* Huitzilopotchli.

| Quetzalcoatl.

made of serpents' skins, embarked on the great ocean for the fabled land of Tlapallan. He was said to have been tall in stature, with a white skin, long, dark hair, and a

flowing beard. The Mexicans looked confidently to the 5 return of the benevolent deity; and this remarkable tra

dition, deeply cherished in their hearts, prepared the way for the future success of the Spaniards.

LESSON LXXI.--ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF LANGUAGE.

SAMUEL G. HOWE.

It is not an unprofitable question to ask, what was the origin and progress of language ? And the answer must be, that it is the gradual work of the human race, carried

on through long ages, and not yet finished and perfected. 5 There is no good reason to suppose, that God made any

departure, in the case of language, from that course by which He governs the universe, and which we call the laws of nature ; He never gives us anything outright; He

endows us with capacities, powers, and desires, and then 10 placing certain desirable objects before us, bids us work to obtain them.

To say, as some divines do, that it would have been impossible for man to commence and perfect language, is

to say, that God could not have endowed him with capaci15 ties for doing so.

God has so endowed the human race; He has given them both the desire and capacity of forming language : the result of their neglecting these capacities would have

been, and is still, in some cases, that they tarry long in a 20 state of barbarism ; the result of their exercising and im

proving them in other cases, has been advancement in every thing which improves and elevates humanity.

If it be said, we are positively told, in the second chapter of Genesis, that, in the very beginning, Adam used 25 language, and named the beasts of the field, I answer, we

must consider the second chapter metaphorical, as we do the first, where we are told that light, and day and night, were established on the first day, while the sun and moon

were not brought into existence until the fourth day; or, 30 if people will insist on rendering some parts literally and

others metaphorically, just as suits them, then I say the first language was probably very imperfect and merely elementary; and that one may prove, even from Scripture,

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