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TUBAL CAIN

CHARLES MACKAY

Charles Mackay (1814-1889) was a Scotch poet. For some years he was editor of the “Glasgow Argus”) and afterwards he became editor of the “Illustrated London News.” During the Civil War he was the special correspondent of the “London Times” at New York. He wrote many poems of interest to young people.

1
OLD Tubal Cain was a man of might

In the days when the earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright,

The strokes of his hammer rung;
And he lifted high his brawny hand

On the iron glowing clear,
Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,

As he fashioned the sword and spear.
And he sang, “Hurrah for my handiwork!

Hurrah for the spear and sword !
Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well !

For he shall be king and lord.”

To Tubal Cain came many a one,

As he wrought by his roaring fire,
And each one prayed for a strong steel blade,

As the crown of his desire;
And he made them weapons, sharp and strong,

Till they shouted loud in glee,
And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,

And spoils of forest free.
And they sang, “Hurrah for Tubal Cain,

Who hath given us strength anew!
Hurrah for the smith! hurrah for the fire!

And hurrah for the metal true !"

3

But a sudden change came o’er his heart

Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was filled with pain

For the evil he had done.
He saw that men, with rage and hate,

Made war upon their kind;
That the land was red with the blood they shed

In their lust for carnage, blind.
And he said, “Alas, that ever I made,

Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy

Is to slay their fellow-man!"

4
And, for many a day, old Tubal Cain

Sat brooding o’er his woe;
And his hand forbore to smite the ore,

And his furnace smouldered low;
But he rose, at last, with a cheerful face,

And a bright, courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,

While the quick flames mounted high ;
And he sang, "Hurrah for my handiwork!"

And the red sparks lit the air,“Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made,”—

And he fashioned the first plowshare.

And men, taught wisdom from the past,

In friendship joined their hands, Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,

And plowed the willing lands; And sang, "Hurrah for Tubal Cain!

Our stanch good friend is he;
And, for the plowshare and the plow,

To him our praise shall be.
But, while oppression lifts its head,

Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the plow,

We'll not forget the sword.”

HELPS TO STUDY

Historical: Tubal Cain was one of the sons of Lamech, a descend. ant of Cain. Tubal Cain and his two brothers, Jabal and Jubal, are remembered because of inventions believed to have been made by them. Jabal was the “father of such as dwell in tents and of such as have cattle,” that is, he was the first wandering herdsman. Jubal was the “father of all such as handle the harp and organ." Tubal Cain was an “instructor of every artificer in brass and iron,” that is, he was the first smith. These men lived in the days before the flood and all that we really know of their history is given in the fourth chapter of Genesis.

Notes and Questions What time is meant by othe, What did they do with the weap

days when the earth was ons which Tubal Cain made for young''?

them? What did Tubal Cain "fashion”! | How did this make him feel? or make?

Read the lines which tell this. Read the lines which tell what What did he then invent? he sang as he worked.

How did this invention help manWhat did he say the man who kind?

could best use the spear and What did men do with the swords sword would become?

and spears after Tubal Cain How could this be possible ?

gave them his later invention? What did all the men who came What do you think was the to Tubal Cain want?

“wisdom” which men learned Read the lines which tell what from the time of strife and they sang.

war?

Words and Phrases for Study

PRONUNCIATION:

i-ron (i'-urn) sword (sõrd)

weap'-ons
ty rằnt

hạr-räh'
stånch

ē'-vil (v'l) wield (wēld)

VOCABULARY:

skill-great ability; expertness.
coŭr-ā'-geoŭs—brave; bold; possessing courage.
mount-to rise; to leap up; to climb.

WORDS AND PHRASES:

"spoils of forest”.
“crown of his desire.
"given us strength anew".
“lust for carnage,
"smite the ore"

"willing lands
“fashioned”
"oppression lifts its head”
"brooding o'er his woe
"wisdom from the past”

THE BROWN THRUSH

LUCY LARCOM

Lucy Larcom (1826-1893) was born in Beverly, Massachusetts. Her father was a ship captain. She taught school for twenty years.

1

“THERE's a merry brown thrush sitting up in a tree

He's singing to me! he's singing to me!” And what does he say, little girl, little boy ? “Oh, the world's running over with joy!

Don't you hear ? Don't you see?

Hush! Look! In my tree,
I'm as happy as happy can be !!”

And the brown thrush keeps singing—“A nest do you see,

And five eggs, hid by me in the juniper-tree? Don't meddle! don't touch ! little girl, little boy, Or the world will lose some of its joy.

Now I'm glad! Now I'm free!

And I always shall be,
If you never bring sorrow to me.

3
So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree,

To you and to me, to you and to me;
And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy,
Oh, the world's running over with joy;

But long it won't be,

Don't you know? 'don't you see?
Unless we are as good as can be?

HELPS TO STUDY

Notes and Questions

Who is supposed to be speaking | Read the answer to the question

in the first two lines of this in the first stanza. poem?

Why is the little bird so happy Who asks the question in the What will make him unhappy! third line?

How can you help to make the Who answers the question ?

world run over with joy!

Words and Phrases for Study VOCABULARY:

měd'-dle—to disturb another's property without permission. měr'-rý-cheerful; happy; laughingly gay.

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