Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

100

CHOICE SELECTIONS

No. 31.

THE CURRENT OF LIFE.
Don't look for the flaws as you go through life;

And even when you find them
It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind

And look for the virtue behind them.
For the cloudiest night has a hint of light

Somewhere in its shadows hiding;
It is better by far to hunt for a star

Than the spots on the sun abiding.
The current of life runs ever away

To the bosom of God's great ocean.
Don't set your force 'gainst the river's course

And think to alter its motion.
Don't waste a curse on the universe-

Remember it lived before you.
Don't butt at the storm with your puny form-

But bend and let it go o'er you.
The world will never adjust itself

To suit your whim to the letter,
Some things must go wrong your whole life long,

And the sooner you know it the better.
It is folly to fight with the Infinite,

And go under at last in the wrestle,
The wiser man shapes into God's plan

As the water shapes into a vessel.

Till it came like a flash to his active mind,
He'd left his sermon and spec's behind.
Now the parson was old and his eyes were dim
And he couldn't have read a line or a hymn
Without his spec's for a mint of gold;
And his head turned hot while his toes turned cold;
And right in the midst of his mental shock,
The parson deceived his trusting flock,
And gave them eternal life and a crown,
From the book he was holding upside down.
Tom, the rascal, five minutes before,
Like an arrow, had shot from the chancel door.
The horses he frightened I never can tell,
Nor how the old church folks were shocked, as well,
And they said they feared that the parson's lad
“ Was a-gettin' wild" and would "go to the bad ;"
For 'twas wicked enough to set folks in a craze
Without “ridin' sech races on Sabbath days;”
And they thought the length of the parson's prayer
Had something to do with his fatherly care-
While the truth of it was, which he afterwards dropped,
He didn't know what he could do when he stopped.
Of course you know how the story will end;
The prayer was finished and duly “Amen’d,”
When Tom, all dust, to the pulpit flew
And laid down the specs and the sermon too.
Then the parson preached in a timid way
Of sinful pleasure on Sabbath-day;
And he added a postscript, not in the text,
Saying that, when they were sore perplexed,
Each must decide as he chanced to feel.
And Tom chuckled: “Sundays, I'll ride my wheel."

Part Thirty-First

LA TOUR D'AUVERGNE.-Malva Buon. La Tour D'Auvergne was a French soldier noted for his bravery. Napoleon, et one time, by order of the directory, sent him a sword with an inscription declaring him to be "First grenadier of the Armies of the Republic.” This he refused to accept, saying: “Anjong soldiers there is neither first nor last.” He steadily refused advancement in military rank, and was killed, a simple Captain, June 28, 1800. When he died the whole French nation mourned for him three days, Rod until 1814 his name continued to be called at the muster-rolt ween the oldest serguant answered: “Died on the field of honor.

Once at eve a soldier brave

Hastened up a stony way;
Rocks and shrubs and tangled vines

Failed his struggling steps to stay,
Leaping swift from crag to crag,
Not a moment did he lag,
Till he reached a wild ravine
Where a sheltered fort was seen.
Then he shouted loud and clear,

“Guard, what ho!

Lo! the foe
Gathers round the lowland merel
Man the guns and bar the gate!
Make all ready ;-watch and wait.
Keep the pass a single day;
Hold the Austrian foe at bay

This brief space,
Then our army, van and rear
Calling troops from far and near,

Will apace

March to certain victory.
Ho! awake; arouse, ye dolts!
Turn the keys and draw the bolts!"
All amazed, the grenadier
Lists, in vain, response to hear.
On he wends through open door;

Guard and garrison are fled !
All their arms upon the floor

Tell of fright and senseless dread.
Filled with shame and shocked surpri. I
At the sight before his eyes,
Wrathfully the soldier cries:
“Poltroons! cowards ! knew ye not,
One brave Frenchman in this spot

Might a thousand foeman rout?

Single file they must deploy
Through the narrow pass. Oh, joy:
I will guard the fort!” A shout

Leaps to the soldier's lips,

As hurriedly he slips
All the bolts within their sockets,
Loads the guns and mounts the rockets,

Makes all ready for the foe.
Then he waits; and list! a rustling;
'Tis the breeze? No, 'tis the bustling

Of stealthy footsteps creeping slow. Whiz! a rocket shoots in air. "At your peril come! Beware!”

Shouts, in tone defiant,

This hero self-reliant.
Halts the foe, his plan betrayed;
Now he'll wait for daylight's aid

To attack the fort.
While within, the grenadier
Patient bides, with weapons near,

And courage high upwrought.
Bang! the first shot cleaves the air,
Just as Phoebus rises fair,

And smites the silent tower.
Bang, bang, bang, bang! the shots fly fast.
And BANG! the fort replies at last,

And strikes with telling power.
At every shot a foeman falls,
Though singly come the musket balls,

Whereat the Austrian wonders.
No heads above the ramparts rise,
No mark the enemy descries ;

He blindly shoots and blunders.
Hour by hour until the eve,
Fought the foe with slight reprieve,

Charging the grim redoubt.
Each time there fell some comrades dead;
No wasted shot passed overhead;

And still the fort held out. At length a herald drawing near Confronts a simple grenadier,

To treat of terms of peace.

« AnteriorContinuar »