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LESSON 18.-THE ROSE.
WILLIAM COWPER, the poet, was the son of the rector of Berkhampstead, in Hertfordskire, and was born at this place in 1731. He was of quiet and retiring disposition, and though he was a man of earnest piety, he was subject to fits of melancholy, which rendered his later years very unhappy. He died in 1800.
His writings are distinguished for playfulness, good sense, fidelity to nature, patriotism, and for the spirit of piety that pervades them.
His principal poems are “The Task,” " Table Talk,” and “The Progress of Error.” Many of his shorter poems are well-known, such as the “Lines on Receipt of my Mother's Picture” and the inimitable “John Gilpin." He is also the author of many of our best hymns.
THE rose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a shower,
Which Mary to Anna convey'd,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
And it seem'd, to a fanciful view,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd,
I snapp'd it, it fell to the ground.
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resign'd.
Might have bloom'd with its owner a while ;
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.-Couper.
LESSON 19.-LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform ;
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
And works His sovereign will.
The clouds ye so much dread
In blessings on your head.
But trust Him for His grace:
He hides a smiling face.
Unfolding every hour;
But sweet will be the flower.
And scan His work in vain :
And He will make it plain.—Cowper.
LESSON 20.-FALSE SYMPATHY.
A YOUNGSTER at school, more sedate than the rest,
go; Besides, the man's poor, his orchard's his bread,
Then think of his children, for they must be fed.” “ You speak very fine,
very grave, But apples we want, and apples we'll have; If you will
go with us, you shall have a share, If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear.”
They spoke, and Tom ponder'd—“I see they will go ;
But staying behind will do him no good. “If the matter depended alone upon me,
His apples might hang till they dropp'd from the tree;
LESSON 21.—THE FIRST CAUSE.
He calls for Famine, and the meagre
LESSON 22.-ON RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S
O THAT those lips had language ! Life has pass'd
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? Hover'd thy spirit o'er the sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun ? Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in blissAh, that maternal smile! it answers—Yes. I heard the bell toll’d on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adien ! But was it such ?-It was.- - Where thou art gone, Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more ! Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern, Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. What ardently I wish’d, I long believed, And, disappointed still, was still deceived. By expectation every day beguiled, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Till, all my stock of infant sorrows spent, I learn'd at last submission to my lot, But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd In 'scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capp'd 'Tis now become a history little known, That once we call’d the pastoral house our own.