Imágenes de página



Work is the appointed calling of man on earth, the end for which his various faculties were given, the element in which his nature is ordained to develop itself, and in which his progressive advance towards heaven is to lie.--Arnold.

WELCOME, red and roundy sun,

Drooping lowly in the west;
Now my hard day's work is done,

I'm as happy as the best.

Joyful are the thoughts of home,

Now I'm ready for my chair,
So, till to-morrow morning's come,

Bill and mittens, lie ye there!
Though to leave your pretty song,

Little birds, it gives me pain,
Yet to-morrow is not long,

Then I'm with you all again.

If I stop, and stand about,

Well I know how things will be,
Judy will be looking out

Every now and then for me.
So fare-ye-well! and hold your tongues ;

Sing no more until I come;
They're not worthy of your songs,

That never care to drop a crumb.
All day long I love the oaks,

But, at nights, yon little cot,
Where I see the chimney smokes,

Is by far the prettiest spot!
Wife and children all are there,

To revive with pleasant looks,
Table ready set, and chair,

Supper hanging on the hooks.
Soon as ever I get in,

When my fagot down I fling,
Little prattlers they begin

Teasing me to talk and sing.
Welcome, red and roundy sun,

Drooping lowly in the west;
Now my hard day's work is done,

I'm as happy as the best.

Joyful are the thoughts of home,

Now I'm ready for my chair,
So, till to-morrow morning's come,

Bill and mittens, lie ye there!

1. How does the woodcutter address 6. Name the woodman's wife. the sun ?

7. Does the woodcutter grumble at his 2. What has made him ready for his lowly sta on? chair?

8. Tell me the prettiest spot to him at 3. What are the bill and mittens ? night. 4. What is the woodcutter sorry to leave? 9. In what state are matters at home?

5. If he spend his time speaking to the 10. What carries he home on his shoulbirds, what will be taking place at home? der ?


THOMAS AIRD. "The Swallow," says Sir Humphry Davy in his Salmonia, " is one of my favourite birds, and a rival of the Nightingale, for he cheers my sense of seeing as much as the other does my sense of hearing. He is the glad prophet of the year-the harbinger of the best season; he lives a life of enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature; winter is unknown to him; and he leaves the green meadows of England in autumn for the myrtle and orange groves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa." The bird does not winter in Italy, leaving it in autumn, and going off in the direction of Egypt, and has been seen in Egypt going still further south; but, in other respects, “this is in truth,” to use the words of Mr Yarrell, "a brief but perfect sketch of the history of the Swallow."-Patterson's Zoology. THE swallow is a bonnie bird, comes twitt'ring o'er the sea, And gladly is her carol heard for the sunny days to be; She shares not with us wintry glooms, but yet, no faithless thing, Sho hunts the summer o'er the earth with little wearied wing. The lambs like snow all nibbling go upon the ferny bills, The gladsome voice of gushing streams the leafy forest fills, Then welcome, little swallow, by our morning lattice heard, Because thou comest when nature bids bright days be thy reward. Thine be sweet mornings with the bee that's out for honey-dew; And glowing be the noontide for the grasshopper and you : And mellow shine, o'er day's decline, the sun to light thee home; What can molest thy airy nest ? sleep till the day-spring come. The river blue that rushes through the valley hears thee sing, It murmurs much beneath the touch of thy light dipping wing ; The thunder-cloud above us bow'd in deeper gloom is seen, When quick relieved it glances to thy bosom's silvery sheen. Tlie silent power that brought thee back, with leading strings of love, To haunts where first the summer sun fell on thee from above, Shall bind thee more to come aye to the music of our leaves, For here thy young, where thou hast sprung, shall glad thee in our eaves. Oh! all thy life's one pleasant hymn to God who sits on high, And gives to thee o'er land and sea the sunshine of the sky; And aye the summer shall come round, because it is His word, And aye will welcome back again its little travelling bird !


1. When does the swallow arrive in our country?

2. How long does she remain with us? 3. Where is she supposed to winter? 4. Where does she build her nest? 5. What constitutes her food? 6. Why do we hear her twittering with gladness?

7. Repeat the kind wishes in verse 3d.

8. Illustrate the two last lines of verse 4th,

9. Does the swallow not come here to build a nest, and rear its young ?

10. What silent power brings the swallow back to its former nest?

11. Why are we sure that summer and winter, seed-time and harvest, shall al

ways be ?


G. W. DOANE. The Swan which is domesticated is termed the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor); yet it is respecting this bird that the fable became current, that it foretold its own death, and sung with peculiar sweetness at its approach. Thus Shakspeare:

"I will play the swan,

And die in music." But, although the voice of the Swan is but little noticed, the bird is not really mute, as its name wonld imply; the notes are soft and low, and are described by Yarrell as " plaintive, and with little variety, but not disagreeable." What is that, mother?

The lark, my child !
The morn has but just look'd out, and smiled,
When he starts from his humble grassy nest,
And is up and away with the dew on his breast,
And a hymn in his heart to yon pure bright sphere,
To warble it out in his Maker's ear.

Ever, my child! be thy morn's first lays

Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.
What is that, mother?

The dove, my son!
And that low, sweet voice, like a widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure by that lonely nest,
As the wave is pour'd from some crystal urn,
For her constant dear one's quick return.

Ever, my son, be thou like the dove

In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.
What is that, mother?

The eagle, boy!
Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm on his own mountain vigour relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying,
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.

Boy! may the eagle's flight ever be thine,

Onward and upward, true to the line.
What is that, mother?

The swan, my love!
He is floating down from his native grove

No loved one now, no nestling nigh,
He is floating down by himself to die ;
Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings.

Live so, my love, that when death shall come,

Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home! 1. What does the lark do the moment 8. Name to me the king of birds. he leaves his nest?

9. Describe him in his flight. 2. In what way should each of you imi- 10. What lesson does the eagle give you tate the lark?

all? 3. As what has the dove been ever re- 11. What bird is said to sing for the garded by mankind ?

first time just before its death? 4. Who will quote me Matt. x. 16?

12. What does Mr Yarrell say about the 5. What does the low sweet voice of the swan singing ? dove resemble?

13. What do you understand by “dying 6. For whom is she ever calling?

like the swan? 7. What lesson should you all learn 14. Who can only use the triumphant from the dove?

words of 1 Cor. xv. 55, at their death?


C. BRYANT. Let us paint a summer in the Arctic regions. It is very short—but short as it is, it sees the birth of thousands of most interesting beings, and every islet and every promontory is thronged by a dense population. As if by magic, the snows of winter have dissolved, and coarse herbage has covered the land. Every small pool, every lake, every inlet, is garlanded with vegetation. Driving onwards from the south (our temperate latitudes), arrive myriads of wild-fowl, water birds of various species, scoter ducks, widgeons, eider ducks, king ducks, pochards, &c., and also several species of wading birds. The work of incubation now commences. The ground is converted into a city of nests, rarely intruded upon by the foot of man. Here myriads of wild-fowl are reared. The water supplies them with food, and the reeds bend over their nests. But the summer is, as we have said, short. It passes not into winter by the transition of a mellowed autumn. As it sprang almost of a sudden out of winter, so it retires; but the wild birds, instinct-taught,

anticipate the time when river and lake, pond and inlet, will be locked up with ice. Their young are fledged, strong on the wing, and now they commence their southern journey-not to seek a breeding home, but open lakes, open creeks, and seas wherein the ice-floe is never witnessed, and from which they may derive their sustenance.—Tract Society's Monthly Volume.

WHITHER, 'midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue

Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,

Thy figure floats along.

Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink

On the chafed ocean's side ?

There is a power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast
The desert and illimitable air-

Lone-wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fann'd
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere;
Yet, stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,

Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end :
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows ; reeds shall bend,

Soon o'er thy shelter'd nest.

Thou 'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallow'd up thy form; yet on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,

And shall not soon depart.

He, who from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,

Will lead my steps aright. 1. At what time in the day did the poet 6. What does the adjective weary agree see this waterfowl?

with? 2. The rosy depths of what?

7. Where would the waterfowl find rest? 3. Could a fowler injure it! Why not? 8. Explain these words: “the abyss of

4. Name the places it might be seeking heaven hath swallowed up thy form." for its nest.

9. What important lesson had the poet 5. What call you the principle which learned from the wild fowl? guides the actions of irrational creatures ?


LONGFELLOW. No poet (says the Rev. G. Gilfillan) has more beautifully expressed the depth of his conviction that life is an earnest reality, a something with eternal issues and dependencies; that this earth is no scene of revelry, or market of sale, but an arena of contest, and a hall of doom. This is the inspiration of his “Psalm of Life,” than which we have few things finer, in moral tone, since those odes by which the millions of Israel tuned their march across the wilderness, and to which the fiery pillar seemed to listen with complacency, and to glow out a deeper crimson in silent praise. To man's now wilder, more straggling, but still God-guided and hopeful progress towards a land of fairer promise, Longfellow's Psalm is a noble accompaniment.

TELL me not, in mournful numbers,

“Life is but an empty dream !”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal ;
“ Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"

Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

« AnteriorContinuar »