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The poorest part of the poverty that was on him was that he could not give his children the letters.

13. They were good children, for all the crock of the shop was on their faces, and their fingers bent like eagles' claws, with handling nails. He had been a poor man all his days, and he knew his children would be poor all their days, and poorer than he, if the nail business should continue to grow


14. If he could only give them the letters, or the alphabet as they called it, it would make them the like of rich, for then they could read the Testament. He could read the Testament a little, for he had learned the letters by fire-light. It was a good book, was the Testament; never saw any other book, — heard tell of some in rich people's houses, but it mattered but little with him.

15. The Testament, he was sure, was made for nailers and such like. It helped him wonderfully when the loaf was small on his table. He had but little time to read it when the sun was up, and it took him long to read a little, for he learned the letters when he was old.

16. But he laid it beside his dish at dinner-time, and fed his heart with it, while his children were eating the bread that fell to his share ; and when he had spelt out a line of the shortest words, he read them aloud, and his eldest boy, the one at the block there, could say several whole verses he had learned in this way.

17. It was a great comfort to him to think that Jeems could take into his heart so many verses of the Testament, which he could not read. He intended to teach all his children in this way; it was all he could do for them, -and this he had to do at meal times, for all the other hours he had to be at the anvil. The nailing business was growing harder, he was growing old, and his family large.

18. He had to work from four o'clock in the morning till ten o'clock at night, to earn eighteen pence. His wages averaged only about seven shillings a week; and there were

five of them in the family to live on what they could earn. It was hard to make up the loss of an hour, - not one of their hands, however little, could be spared.

19. Jemmy was going on nine years of age, and a helpful lad he was,- and the poor man looked at him doatingly, Jemmy could work off a thousand nails a day, of the smallest size. The rent of their little shop, tenement, and garden, was five pounds a year; and a few pennies earned by the youngest of them was of great account.



1. What hast thou seen, with thy shining eye,

Thou Needle, so subtle and keen?
“ I have been in Paradise, stainless and fair,
And fitted the apron of fig-leaves there,

To the form of its fallen queen.

2. The mantles and wimples, the hoods and veils,

That the belles of Judah wore,
When their haughty mien and their glance of fire
Enkindled the eloquent prophets’ ire,

I helped to fashion of yore.

3. The beaded belt of the Indian maid

I have decked with as true a zeal
As the gorgeous ruff of the knight of old,
Or the monarch's mantle of purple and gold,

Or the satrap's broidered heel.

4. I have lent to Beauty new power to reign

At bridal and courtly hall;
'Or, wedded to Fashion, have helped to bind
Those gossamer links, that the strongest mind

Have sometimes held in thrall.

5. I have drawn a drop, so round and red,

From the finger, small and white,
Of the startled child, as she strove with care
Her doll to deck with some gewgaw rare,

But wept at my puncture bright.

6. I have gazed on the mother's patient brow,

As my utmost speed she plied,
To shield from winter her children dear ;
And the knell of midnight smote her ear,

While they slumbered at her side.

7. I have heard, in the hut of the pining poor,

The shivering inmate's sigh,
When faded the warmth of her last faint brand,
As, slow, from her cold and clammy hand,

She let me drop - to die!

8. What dost thou know, thou gray Goose Quill?

And methought, with a spasm of pride,

sprang from the inkstand, and fluttered in vain Its nib to free from the ebon stain,

As it fervently replied :

9. What do I know ? — Let the lover tell,

When into his secret scroll
He poureth the breath of a magic lyre,
And traceth those mystical lines of fire

That move the maiden's soul.

10. What do I know ? — The wife can say,

As the leaden seasons move,
And over the ocean's wildest sway
A blessed missive doth wend its way,

Inspired by a husband's love.

11. Do ye doubt my power? - Of the statesman ask,

Who buffets Ambition's blast;
Of the convict, who shrinks in his cell of care, -
A flourish of mine hath sent him there,

And locked his fetters fast.

12. And a flourish of mine can his prison ope;

From the gallows its victim save;
Break off the treaty that kings have bound,
Make the oath of a nation an empty sound,

And to liberty lead the slave.

13. Say, what were History, so wise and old

And Science, that reads the sky
Or how could Music its sweetness store —
Or Fancy and Fiction their treasures pour
Or what were Poesy's heaven-taught lore,

Should the Pen its aid deny?

14. Oh, doubt, if ye will, that the rose is fair,

That the planets pursue their way;
Go, question the fires of the noontide sun,
Or the countless streams that to ocean run,
But ask no more what the Pen hath done."

And it scornfully turned away

15. What are thy deeds, thou fearful thing

By the lordly warrior's side ? And the Sword answered, stern and slow : “ The hearth-stone lone, and the orphan, know,

And the pale and widowed bride.

16. The shriek and the shroud of the battle-cloud,

And the field that doth rock below;
The wolf that laps where the gash is red,
And the vulture that tears ere the life hath fled,
And the prowling robber that strips the dead,

And the foul hyena, know.

17. The rusted plough, and the seed unsown,

And the grass that doth rankly grow
O’er the rotting limb and the blood-pool dark,
Gaunt famine, that quenches life's lingering spark,

And the black-winged pestilence, know.

18. Death, with the rush of his harpy-brood,

Sad earth, in her pang and throe,

Demons that riot in slaughter and crime,
And the throng of the souls sent before their time

To the bar of the Judgment, know.”

19. Then the terrible Sword to its sheath returned,

While the Needle sped on in peace;
But the Pen traced out, from a Book sublime,
The promise and pledge of that better time

When the warfare of earth shall cease.



1. OLD Saxon words, old Saxon words! your spells are round us

thrown; Ye haunt our daily paths and dreams, with a music all your own; Each one, in its own power a host, to fond remembrance brings The earliest, brightest aspect back, of life's familiar things.

2. Yours are the hills, the fields, the woods, the orchards, and the

streams, The meadows and the bowers that bask in the sun's rejoicing

beams; 'Mid them our childhood's years were kept, our childhood's

thoughts were reared, And by our household tones its joys were evermore endeared.

3. We have roamed since then where the myrtle bloomed in its own

unclouded realms, – But our hearts returned with changeless love to the brave old

Saxon elms; Where the laurel o'er its native streams of a deathless glory spoke, But we passed with pride to the later fame of the sturdy Saxon oak.

* Most of our domestic words — words expressive of objects which daily attract our attention — are from the Saxon. Of the sixty-nine words which comprise the Lord's Prayer, only five are not Saxon,

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