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snake still seemed desirous of retreating toward the ditch, its natural element. This was no sooner perceived by the keen-eyed black one, than twisting its tail twice round a stalk of hemp, and seizing its adversary by the throat, not by means of its jaws, but by twisting its own neck twice round that of the water snake, pulled it back from the ditch. To prevent a defeat the latter took hold likewise of a stalk on the bank, and by the acquisition of that point of resistance became a match for its fierce antagonist. Strange was this to behold ; two great snakes strongly adhering to the ground, mutually fastened together by means of the writhings which lashed them to each other, and stretched at their full length, they pulled but pulled in vain ; and in the moments of greatest exertions that part of their bodies which was entwined, seemed extremely small, while the rest appeared inflated, and now and then convulsed with strong undulations, rapidly following each other. Their eyes seemed on fire, and ready to start out of their heads; at one time the conflict seemed decided ; the water snake bent itself into two great folds, and by that operation rendered the other more than commonly out-stretched ; the next minute the new struggles of the black one gained an unexpected superiority, it acquired two great folds likewise, which necessarily extended the body of its adversary in proportion as it had contracted its own. These efforts were alternate; victory seemed doubtful, inclining sometimes to the one side and sometimes to the other; until at last the stalk to which the black snake fastened, suddenly gave way, and in consequence of this accident they both plunged into the ditch. The water did not extinguish their vindictive rage ; for by their agitations I could trace, though not distinguish their mutual attacks. They soon reappeared on the surface twisted together, as in their

first onset; but the black snake seemed to retain its wonted superiority, for its head was exactly fixed above that of the other, which it incessantly pressed down under the water, until it was stifled, and sunk. The victor no sooner perceived its enemy incapable of farther resistance, than, abandoning it to the current, it returned on shore and disappeared.

MUSIC AT MIDNIGHT.

BY GEORGE R. INGERSOLL.

It is a holy hour. The deep
Blue vault of heaven looks beautiful,
With its rich crown of gems, that keep
Their silent watch around the full
And bright orb’d moon, and call the soul
Of man up from its grovelling,
To rise upon a lighter wing,
Where yon majestic planets roll
Their ceaseless course, through realms of space,
Unknowing bound or resting place.

How hush'd the earth! one sound alone
Went fleeting by—'twas like the strain
Of some lost Peri,' from her train
Of sisters wandering, and the tone
Was such as music's self might own.

Once more it rises, like the sun
Sweet breathing of an infant's dream
Upon the air, and sends a thrill
Of ecstasy along the stream
Of life within-making us feel
Our better natures, and the mind
An elevating power to steal
Man from his worldliness, and blind
His soul to deeds of nobler kind.

Again it breaketh! and the strain
Is sweeter still than ever.
How firmly hath it power to chain

Oh,

The chasten'd spirit, and the flow
Of tears to summon from their fount,
Long seal'd perhaps but gushing now
As freshly ’neath the burning brow,
As limpid streamlet bursting out
From icy fetters, or the still
Glad murmuring of the mountain rill.
That strain, that magic strain doth call
Remembrance back, and to the eye
Of memory brings the forms of all,
Who in youth's hour of ecstasy
And wild enjoyment, shared with us
Our innocent pastime, who became
Our bosom confidants, and thus
Our fondest recollections claim.

Scenes of the buried past it calls
With vividness to view, and flings
A lustre o'er them which inthrals
The hearts, and to the fancy brings
Rich images of faded joys
And blanch'd anticipations—such
As crowd the mind when sorrow cloys
Its energies, and to the touch
Of grief alone the chords of life
Awaken.

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