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When do I love you most, sweet books of mine?
In strenuous morns when o'er your leaves I pore,
Austerely bent to win austerest love,
About the seat, and to some dreamy shore
Of old Romance, where lovers evermore
Yea! ye are precious then, but most to me
Ere lamplight dawneth, when low croons the fire
To whispering twilight in my little room,
I feel your great hearts throbbing deep in quire,
RICHARD LE GALLIENNE.
A NAKED house, a naked moor,
Yet shall your ragged moors receive
Of day's declining splendor; here,
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
THE HOMES OF ENGLAND.
The stately Homes of England,
The merry Homes of England !
The blessèd Homes of England !
The cottage Homes of England !
The free, fair Homes of England !
FROM "PHILIP VAN ARTEVELDE." The heart of man, walk it which way it will, Sequestered or frequenteil, smooth or rough, Down the deep valley amongst tiukling flocks, Or mid the clang of trumpets and the march Of clattering ordnance, still must have its halt, Its hour of truce, its instant of repose, Its inn of rest; and craving still must seek The food of its affections, — still must slake Its constant thirst of what is fresh and pure, And pleasant to behold.
From this dull spot, the world to see,
How happy I should be !”
ANNIE D. GREEN (Marian Douglas).
FROM "THE TRAVELLER."
B's where to find that happiest spot below, Who can direct, when all pretend to know? The shulduring tenant of the frigid zone Bo!lly proclaims that happiest spot his own; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas, And his long nights of revelry and ease : The naked negro, panting at the line, Boists of his golden sands and palmy wine, Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, Anil thanks his gods for all the good they gave. Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam, His first, best country, ever is at home. And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare, And estimate the blessings which they share, Thongh patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find An equal portion dealt to all mankind; As diferent good, by art or nature given To different nations makes their blessing even.
The farmer sat in his easy-chair,
Smoking his pipe of clay,
Was clearing the dinner away ;
The old man laid his hand on her head,
With a tear on his wrinkled face;
Had sat in the self-same place. As the tear stole down from his half-shut eye, “Don't smoke!” said the child ; "how it makes
The house-dog lay stretched out on the floor,
Where the shade after noon used to steal; The busy old wife by the open door,
Was turning the spinning-wheel ; And the old brass clock on the mantel-tree Had plodded along to alınost three.
Still the farmer sat in his easy-chair,
While close to his heaving breast
Of his sweet grandchild were pressed;
Athwart the boyish faces there,
Perhaps for her 't would better be,”
CHARLES GAMAGE EASTMAN.
NOT ONE TO SPARE.
“Which shall it be? Which shall it be?”
When the lessons and tasks are all ended,
And the school for the day is dismissed, And the little ones gather around me,
To bid me good night and be kissed ; O the little white arms that encircle
My neck in their tender embrace ! O the smiles that are balos of heaven,
Shedding sunshine of love on my face !
And when they are gone, I sit dreaming
Of my childhood, too lovely to last; Of love that my heart will remember
When it wakes to the pulse of the past,
FAITH AND HOPE.
Ere the world and its wickedness made me
A partner of sorrow and sin, -
And the glory of gladness within.
All my heart grows weak as a woman's,
And the fountains of feeling will flow, When I think of the paths steep and stony,
Where the feet of the dear ones must go ; Of the mountains of sin hanging o'er them,
of the tempest of Fate blowing wild ; 0, there's nothing on earth half so holy
As the innocent heart of a child !
0, don't be sorrowful, darling!
Now, don't be sorrowful, pray ; For, taking the year together, my dear,
There is n't more night than day. It's rainy weather, my loved one ;
Time's wheels they heavily run ; But taking the year together, my dear,
There is n't more cloud than sun.
We're old folks now, companion,
Our heads they are growing gray;
You always will find the May.
And our roses, long ago ; And the time of the year is come, my dear,
For the long dark nights, and the snow.
They are idols of hearts and of households ;
They are angels of God in disguise ; His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses,
His glory still gleams in their eyes ; O, these truants from home and from heaven,
They have made me more manly and mild ; And I know now how Jesus could liken
The kingdom of God to a child ?
All radiant, as others have done,
To temper the glare of the sun;
But my prayer would bound back to myself; Ah ! a seraph may pray for a sinner,
But a sinner must pray for himself. The twig is so easily bended,
I have banished the rule and the rod ; I have taught them the goodness of knowledge,
They have taught me the goodness of God. My heart is the dungeon of darkness,
Where I shut them for breaking a rule ; My frown is sufficient correction ;
My love is the law of the school.
I shall leave the old house in the autumn,
To traverse its threshold no more; Ah! how shall I sigh for the dear ones
That meet me each morn at the door!' I shall miss the “good nights” and the kisses,
And the gush of their innocent glee, The group on its green, and the flowers
That are brought every morning to me. I shall miss them at morn and at even,
Their song in the school and the street ; I shall iniss the low hum of their voices,
And the tread of their delicate feet. When the lessons of life are all ended,
And death says, “The school is dismissed !" May the little ones gather around me, To bid me good night and be kissed!
CHARLES M. DICKINSON.