Imágenes de páginas

There is no death! The dust we tread
Shall change beneath the summer showers

To golden grain or mellow fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.

The granite rocks disorganize

To feed the hungry rocks they bear;

The forest leaves drink daily life
From out the viewless air.

There is no death! The leaves may fall,
The flowers may fade and pass away,

They only wait through the wintry hours,
The coming of the May.

There is no death! An angel form
Walks o'er the earth with silent tread;

He bears our best loved things away,
And then we call them "dead."

He leaves our hearts all desolate,

He plucks our fairest, sweetest flowers,

Transplanted into bliss, they now
Adorn immortal bowers.

The bird-like voice, whose joyous tones
Made glad these scenes of sin and strife,

Sings now an everlasting song
Amid the tree of life.

And where he sees a smile too bright,
Or hearts too pure for taint or vice,

He bears it to that world of light
To dwell in Paradise.

Born unto that undying life,
They leave us but to come again;

With joy we welcome them—the same
Except the sin and pain.

And ever near us, though unseen,

The dear immortal spirits tread;
For all the boundless universe

Is life—there are no dead.



[This piece should be carefully studied, special attention being given to the enunciation of the words, referring constantly to the dictionary for their proper pronunciation. Not only is this piece exceedingly humorous, but it will be found highly instructive.]

Some words on language may be well applied,

And take them kindly, though they touch your pride.

Words lead to things; a scale is more precise,—

Coarse speech, bad grammar, swearing, drinking, vice.

Our cold North-easter's icy fetter clips

The native freedom of the Saxon lips;

See the brown peasant of the plastic South,

How all his passions play about his mouth!

With us, the feature that transmits the soul,

A frozen, passive, palsied breathing-hole.

The crampy shackles of the ploughboy's walk

Tie the small muscles, when he strives to talk;

Not all the pumice of the polished town

Can smooth this roughness of the barnyard down;

Rich, honored, titled, he betrays his race

By this one mark,—he's awkward in the face;—

Nature's rude impress, long before he knew

The sunny street that holds the sifted few.

It can't be helped, though, if we're taken young,
We gain some freedom of the lips and tongue;
But school and college often try in vain
To break the padlock of our boyhood's chain;
One stubborn word will prove this axiom true—
No late-caught rustic can enunciate view.

[graphic][merged small]

A few brief stanzas may be well employed
To speak of errors we can all avoid.
Learning condemns beyond the reach of hope
The careless churl that speaks of soap for soap;
Her edict exiles from her fair abode
The clownish Voice that utters road for road;
Less stern to him who calls his coat a coat,
And steers his boat believing it a boat .
She pardoned one, our classic city's boast,
Who said, at Cambridge, most instead of most;
But knit her brows, and stamped her angry foot,
To hear a teacher call a root a root.

Once more; speak clearly, if you speak at all;

Carve every word before you let it fall;

Don't, like a lecturer or dramatic star,

Try over hard to roll the British R;

Do put your accents in the proper spot;

Don't,—let me beg you,—don't say "How?" for "What?"

And when you stick on conversation's burrs

Don't strew the pathway with those dreadful nrs.



"Give us a song!" the soldiers cried,

The outer trenches guarding,
When the heated guns of the camps allied

Grew weary of bombarding.

The dark Redan, in silent scoff,

Lay grim and threatening, under; And the tawny mound of the MalakofT

No longer belched its thunder.

There was a pause. A guardsman said:

"We storm the forts to-morrow; Sing while we may, another day

Will bring enough of sorrow."

They lay along the battery's side,

Below the smoking cannon;
Brave hearts, from Severn and from Clyde,

And from the banks of Shannon.

They sang of love, and not of fame,

Forgot was Briton's glory:
. Each heart recalled a different name,
But all sang "Annie Laurie."

Voice after voice caught up the song,

Until its tender passion
Rose like an anthem, rich and strong,—

Their battle-eve confession.

Dear girl, her name he dared not speak,

But as the song grew louder,
Something upon the soldier's cheek

Washed off the stains of powder.

Beyond the darkening ocean burned

The bloody sunset's embers,
While the Crimean valleys learned

How English love remembers.

And once again a fire of hell

Rained on the Russian quarters,
With scream of shot, and burst of shell,

And bellowing of the mortars!

And Irish Nora's eyes are dim

For a singer, dumb and gory;
And English Mary mourns for him

Who sang of "Annie Laurie."

Sleep, soldiers! still in honored rest

Your truth and valor wearing:
The bravest are the tenderest,—

The loving are the daring.


« AnteriorContinuar »