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CCVI

A CHILD'S FIRST IMPRESSION OF
A STAR

She had been told that God made all the stars
That twinkled up in heaven, and now she stood
Watching the coming of the twilight on,
As if it were a new and perfect world,
And this was its first eve. She stood alone
By the lone window, with the silken lash
Of her soft eye upraised, and her sweet mouth
Half-parted with the new and strange delight
Of beauty that she could not comprehend,
And had not seen before. The purple folds
Of the low sunset clouds, and the blue sky
That look'd so still and delicate above,
FilPd her young heart with gladness; and the eve
Stole on with its deep shadows, and she still
Stood looking at the west with that half-smile,
As if a pleasant dream were at her heart.
Presently, in the edge of the last tint
Of sunset, where the blue was melted in
To the faint golden mellowness, a star
Stood suddenly. A laugh of wild delight
Burst from her lips, and putting up her hands,
Her simple thought broke forth expressively—
"Father! dear father! God has made a star!"

N. P. Willis
S

CCVII

HYMN TO THE SEASONS

When Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil,

When Summer's balmy showers refresh the mower's toil,

When Winter binds in frosty chains the fallow and the flood,

In God the earth rejoiceth still, and owns its Maker good.

The birds that wake the morning, and those that

love the shade; The winds that sweep the mountain, or lull the

drowsy glade; The sun that from his amber bower rejoiceth on

his way; The moon, and stars, their Maker's name in silent

pomp display.

Shall man, the lord of nature, expectant of the

sky— Shall man, alone unthankful, his little praise deny? No ; let the year forsake his course, the seasons

cease to be, Thee, Master, must we always love, and, Saviour,

honour Thee.

The flowers of Spring may wither,—the hope of

Summer fade,— The Autumn droop in Winter,—the birds forsake

the shade,— The wind be lull'd,—the sun and moon forget their

old decree, But we in Nature's latest hour, O Lord! will cling

to Thee.

Bishop Heber

CCVIII

THE LONGEST DA Y.

Let us quit the leafy arbour,
And the torrent murmuring by;

For the sun is in his harbour,
Weary of the open sky.

Evening now unbinds the fetters
Fashion'd by the glowing light;

All that breathe are thankful debtors
To the harbinger of night.

Yet by some grave thoughts attended
Eve renews her calm career;

For the day that now is ended,
Is the longest of the year.

Summer ebbs; each day that follows

Is a reflux from on high,
Tending to the darksome hollows

Where the frosts of winter lie.

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He who governs the creation,

In His providence, assigned
Such a gradual declination

To the life of human kind.

Yet we mark it not; fruits redden,

Fresh flowers blow, as flowers have blown,

And the heart is loth to deaden
Hopes that she so long hath known.

Be thou wiser, youthful maiden!

And, when thy decline shall come,
Let not flowers, or bough fruit-laden,

Hide the knowledge of thy doom.

Now, e'en now, ere wrapp'd in slumber,

Fix thine eyes upon the sea
That absorbs time, space, and number,—

Look thou to eternity!

W. Wordsworth

ccix BUBBLES UNDER ICE

Hast thou seen with flash incessant

Bubbles gliding under ice,
Bodied forth, and evanescent,

No one knows by what device?

Such are thoughts—a wind-swept meadow

Mimicking a troubled sea,
Such is life; and death a shadow

From the rock Eternity!

W. Wordsworth

ccx

A-MA YING

Yes, surely there's a love abroad
Through every nerve of Nature playing;

And all between the sky and sod,
All, all the world has gone a-Maying.

O, wherefore do I sit and give

My fancy up to idle playing? Too well I know the half who live,

One half the world, is not a-Maying.

Where are the dwellers of the lanes,

The alleys of the stifled city? Where the waste forms whose sad remains

Woo death to come for very pity?

Where they who tend the busy loom,
With pallid cheek, and torn apparel?

The buds they weave will never bloom,
Their staring birds will never caroL

And where the young of every size

The factories draw from every bye-way;

Whose violets are each other's eyes,
But dull as by a dusty highway?

Whose cotton lilies only grow

'Mid whirring wheels, or jarring spindles? Their roses in the hectic glow

To tell how fast the small life dwindles.

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