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WHATEVER any one does or says, I must be good; just as if the gold, or the emerald, or the purple were always saying this, “Whatever any one else does, I must be emerald and keep my color.”
What thou to-day would'st borrow,
Under Fate's fiat
THE NOBLE NATURE.
It is not growing like a tree
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May, Although it fall and die that night; It was the plant and flower of Light. In small proportions we just beauty see; And in short measures life may perfect be.
THE fairy beam upon you,
A moon of light
In the noon of night,
Run aye in the way,
Till the bird of day
MARTIN LUTHER'S LETTER TO HIS LITTLE SON.
GRACE and peace in Christ, my darling little son: I am glad to see that you study and pray diligently. Go on doing so, my Johnny, and when I come home I will bring some fine things for you. I know of a beautiful, pleasant garden where many children go, and have little golden coats, and gather from the trees fine apples, and pears, and cherries and plums; they sing and play, and are happy; they have beautiful little horses with golden bits and silver saddles. I asked the owner of the garden, whose children these were.
He replied, “They are children that love to pray and to learn, and are good.” I then said, “Dear sir, I, too, have a son, whose name is Johnny Luther. May he not also come into the garden, that he, too, may eat these beautiful apples and pears, and ride on these fine horses, and play with the boys ?” The man said, “If he loves to pray and to learn, and is good, he shall come into the garden.” And he showed me a fine grass plot in the garden for dancing, and there were hanging nothing but golden fifes and drums and fine silver crossbows. But it was early, and the children had not yet dined ; and as I could not wait for their dancing, I said to the man, “O my dear sir, I will hasten away, and write all about this to my dear little Johnny, that he may pray and learn diligently and be good, and then come into this garden.” And now I commend you to God. Your dear father,
THREE PAIRS AND ONE.
CLEMENT L. SMITH. FROM THE GERMAN OF FRIEDRICH RÜCKERT.
EARS thou hast two and mouth but one:
The intent dost seek ?
And little speak.
Eyes thou hast two and mouth but one:
Is the mystery deep ?
Thy silence keep.
Hands thou hast two and mouth but one:
“Why ?” dost repeat ?
The one to eat.
We may see the cunning and curious work of nature, which hath barred and hedged nothing in, so strongly as the tongue, with two rows of teeth, and therewith two lips. Besides she hath placed it far from the hearte that it shoulde not utter that which the hearte had conceived ; this also shoulde cause us to be silent, seeing those that use muche talke, though they speake truely are never believed.
I-HAVE AND OH! HAD-I.
FROM THE GERMAN OF LANGHEIM.
THERE are two little songsters well known in the land,
Their names are "I-have” and “Oh! had-I,” “I-have” will come tamely and perch on your hand,
But “Oh! had-I” will mock you most sadly. This bird is at first far less fair to the eye,
But his worth is by far more enduring
On roofs and on trees so alluring.
And sing you, “Be cheery! Be cheery!”
And sweet shall your sleep be when weary. But let an “Oh! had-I” but once take your eye,
And a longing to catch him once seize you, He'll give you no comfort nor rest till
Life long he'll torment you and tease you. He'll keep you all day running up and down hill,
Now racing and panting, now creeping, While far overhead the sweet bird at his will,
With his bright, golden plumage is sweeping: Now every wise man who attends to my song,
Will count his “I-have” a choice treasure, And if e'er an “Oh! had-I” comes flying along,
Will just let him fly at his pleasure.