[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Had cheered the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel as well he might –
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied, far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark ;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worn, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, quite eloquent,

"Did you admire my lamp," quoth he,
"As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 't was the self-same Power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night."
The songster heard his short oration,
And, warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.

[blocks in formation]

Some of these may be broken, and some may be rotten;

But if twenty for accident should be detached, It will leave me just sixty sound eggs to be hatched.

"Well, sixty sound eggs, I mean:

no, sound chickens,

Of these some may die, - -we 'll suppose seventeen, Seventeen! not so many, - say ten at the most, Which will leave fifty chickens to boil or to roast.

"But then there's their barley: how much will they need?

Why, they take but one grain at a time when they feed,

So that's a mere trifle; now then, let us see,
At a fair market price how much money there'll be.
"Six shillings a pair-five-four-three-and-six,
To prevent all mistakes, that low price I will fix ;
Now what will that make? fifty chickens, I said,-
Fifty times three-and-sixpence — I'll ask Brother

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

This moral, I think, may be safely attached, "Reckon not on your chickens before they are hatched."



[It is said that Belzoni, the traveller in Egypt, discovered a living toad in a temple which had been for ages buried in the sand.]

IN a land for antiquities greatly renowned
A traveller had dug wide and deep under ground,

A temple for ages entombed, to disclose,
When, lo he disturbed, in its secret repose,
A toad, from whose journal it plainly appears
It had lodged in that mansion some thousands of

The roll which this reptile's long history records, A treat to the sage antiquarian affords:

The sense by obscure hieroglyphics concealed,
Deep learning at length, with long labor, revealed.
The first thousand years as a specimen take,
The dates are omitted for brevity's sake:
"Crawled forth from some rubbish, and winked
with one eye;

Half opened the other, but could not tell why;
Stretched out my left leg, as it felt rather queer,
Then drew all together and slept for a year.
Awakened, felt chilly, crept under a stone;
Was vastly contented with living alone.
One toe became wedged in the stone like a peg,
Could not get it away, had the cramp in my leg;
Began half to wish for a neighbor at hand
To loosen the stone, which was fast in the sand;
Pulled harder, then dozed, as I found 't was no

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

In the pleasant moist shade of a strawberry-bed. There fine speckled creatures claimed kindred with


And others that hopped, most enchanting to see.
Here long I regaled with emotion extreme;
Awoke, - disconcerted to find it a dream;
Grew pensive, discovered that life is a load;
Began to get weary of being a toad;

Was fretful at first, and then shed a few tears." Here ends the account of the first thousand years.


It seems that life is all a void,

On selfish thoughts alone employed; That length of days is not a good, Unless their use be understood.



Down deep in a hollow, so damp and so cold, Where oaks are by ivy o'ergrown,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Is heard by the toad in his spacious abode In the innermost heart of that ponderous stone, By the gray-haired moss and the lichen o'ergrown.

Down deep in that hollow the bees never


The shade is too black for a flower; And jewel-winged birds, with their musical hum, Never flash in the night of that bower; But the cold-blooded snake, in the edge of the brake,

Lies amid the rank grass half asleep, halfawake; And the ashen-white snail, with the slime in its trail,

Moves wearily on like a life's tedious tale, Yet disturbs not the toad in his spacious abode, In the innermost heart of that flinty old stone, By the gray-haired moss and the lichen o'ergrown.

[blocks in formation]

And the world's standing still with all of their | Up flew the endowment, not weighing an ounce, And down, down the farthing-worth came with a bounce.


Contented to dwell deep down in the well,

Or move like the snail in the crust of his shell, Or live like the toad in his narrow abode, With their souls closely wedged in a thick wall of stone,

By further experiments (no matter how)
He found that ten chariots weighed less than
one plough;

By the gray weeds of prejudice rankly o'ergrown. A sword with gilt trapping rose up in the scale,

[blocks in formation]

Weighed less than a few grains of candor and sense;
A first-water diamond, with brilliants begirt,
Than one good potato just washed from the dirt;
Yet not mountains of silver and gold could suffice
-'t was THE PEARL OF
One pearl to outweigh,

Perhaps it was only by patience and care,
At last, that he brought his invention to bear.
In youth 't was projected, but stole
years away,
And ere 't was complete he was wrinkled and gray;
But success is secure, unless energy fails;
And at length he produced THE PHILOSOPHER'S Last of all, the whole world was bowled in at the




"What were they?" you ask. You shall pres- With the soul of a beggar to serve for a weight, When the former sprang up with so strong a rebuff

ently see;

These scales were not made to weigh sugar and tea.
O no; for such properties wondrous had they,
That qualities, feelings, and thoughts they could

Together with articles small or immense,

From mountains or planets to atoms of sense.

Naught was there so bulky but there it would lay,
And naught so ethereal but there it would stay,
And naught so reluctant but in it must go :
All which some examples more clearly will show.

The first thing he weighed was the head of Voltaire,
Which retained all the wit that had ever been there.
As a weight, he threw in a torn scrap of a leaf,
Containing the prayer of the penitent thief;
When the skull rose aloft with so sudden a spell
That it bounced like a ball on the roof of the cell.

That it made a vast rent and escaped at the roof!
When balanced in air, it ascended on high,
And sailed up aloft, a balloon in the sky ;
While the scale with the soul in't so mightily fell
That it jerked the philosopher out of his cell.



IN heavy sleep the Caliph lay,

When some one called, "Arise, and pray!"

The angry Caliph cried, "Who dare
Rebuke his king for slighted prayer?"

Then, from the corner of the room,

One time he put in Alexander the Great,
With the garment that Dorcas had made for a A voice cut sharply through the gloom :


And though clad in armor from sandals to crown,
The hero rose up, and the garment went down.

A long row of almshouses, amply endowed
By a well-esteemed Pharisee, busy and proud,
Next loaded one scale; while the other was pressed
By those mites the poor widow dropped into the

"My name is Satan. Rise! obey
Mohammed's law; awake, and pray."

"Thy words are good," the Caliph said,
"But their intent I somewhat dread.

For matters cannot well be worse
Than when the thief says, 'Guard your purse!'

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]



OUR revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.


« VorigeDoorgaan »