Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

then you will be much more useful to me than you are at présent; for very often when there is something that you could do, I say, “No, I will do it myself, for Jane will have so much to say, and will make such a parade about it, that she will cause me more trouble than she will save. But I wish you to begin now to learn the quiet way of going about everything, and then you will be a very great help to me.”

Jane had many opportunities throughout the day of practising her new lesson, and she felt amply repaid by her mother's smile, and approving looks, and resolved ever afterwards to try the quiet way in preference to the bustling way.

Abbott's Reader.

LUCY GRAY.
OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray ;

And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day

The solitary child.
No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;

She dwelt on a wide moor,-
The sweetest thing that ever grew

Beside a human door !

You yet may spy the fawn at play,

The hare upon the green ;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray

Will never more be seen.

To-night will be a stormy nigh
You to the town must go ;

And take a lantern, child, to light

Your mother through the snow.”

That, father, will I gladly do ;

'Tis scarcely afternoonThe minster clock has just struck two,

And yonder is the moon."

At this the father raised his hook

And snapped a fagot band;
He plied his work; and Lucy took

The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe :
With many a

aton stroke
Her feet disperse the powd'ry snow,

That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time;

She wandered up and down; And many a hill did Lucy climb,

But never reached the town.

The wretched parents, all that night,

Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight

To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood

That overlooked the moor ; And thence they saw the bridge of wood

A furlong from their door.

They wept, and turning homeward, cried,

“In heaven we all shall meet!”

When in the snow the mother spied

The print of Lucy's feet.
Then downward from the steep hill's edge

They tracked the foot-marks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,

And by the long stone wall;

And then an open field they crossed ;

The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost,

And to the bridge they came.
They followed from the snowy bank

The foot-marks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;

And further there were none !

Yet some maintain that to this day

She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray

Upon the lonesome wild.

O’er rough and smooth she trips along,

And never looks behind ;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.

WORDSWORTH.

THE SPIDER'S WEB.

A YOUNG prince used often to wonder for what purpose God had made flies and spiders, as he could not see, he said, what use they were of to men, and, if he

[ocr errors]

One day,

had the power, he would kill them all. after a great battle, this prince was obliged to hide himself from his enemies; and wandering about in a wood, he lay down very tired beneath a tree, and fell asleep. A soldier passing by, who belonged to the enemy, was quietly drawing near with his sword to kill the prince, when suddenly a fly stung his lip, and awoke him. Seeing his danger, he sprang to his feet, and quickly made the soldier run off.

That night the prince again hid himself, in a cave in the same wood; and during the night a spider wove her web across the entrance. Two soldiers belonging to the army which had defeated him, and who were looking for the prince, passed the cave in the morning, and the prince heard their conversation. “Look !” cried one of them, “he is surely concealed in this cave.” “No," replied the other, “ that is impossible ; for if he had gone in there he would have brushed down the spider's web at the entrance."

When they had gone away, the prince raised his hands and eyes to heaven, and thanked God for such goodness, in yesterday saving his life by means of a fly, and now again by a spider ; and acknowledged that the ways and works of God are perfectly good and wise.

THE FOX AND THE CROW.

A CROW, who stole a piece of cheese,
Got nicely perched among the trees,
His stolen morsel to enjoy
Where nothing might his bliss destroy ;

When, lo ! a Fox came prowling by,
And, underneath the branches high,
Sir Reynard eyed the Crow so sooty,
And praised him highly for his beauty.
Quoth he, “I solemnly declare,
Your form and feathers are so fair,
Your shape so graceful, and your voice !
I'm sure to hear it I'd rejoice ;
For, if it equal your complexion,
You must be absolute perfection !”
The silly Crow, so weak and vain,
Believed the flatterer's artful strain,
And becked and bobbed from side to side,
And hopped and wriggled in bis pride;
And then, to show bis tuneful throat,
Essayed to warble forth a note !
But, ere he proved his vocal skill,
The precious cheese dropt from his bill
The prize for which sly Reynard panted,
Who got the very thing he wanted !
And showed, as off he laughing sped,
How fools are flattered, knaves are fed.

ALEXANDER SMART.

THE POOR MAN AND THE RICH MAN.

PART I.

In olden times, when fairies walked the earth in the form of men, it happened that one of them, while he was wandering about very tired, saw night coming upon him before he had found a shelter. But there stood on the road, close by, two houses opposite to

« AnteriorContinuar »