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THE DAISY.

41

It caught the breath of morns and eves,
And wooed the swallow to its leaves.
By rains and dews and sunshine fed,
Over the outer wall it spread;
And in the day-beam, waving free,
It grew into a steadfast tree.
Upon that solitary place
Its verdure threw adorning grace;
The mating birds became its guests,
And sang its praises from their nests.
Wouldst know the moral of the rhyme ?
Behold the heavenly light, and climb,—
To every dungeon comes a ray
Of God's interminable day.

CHARLES MACKAY.

THE DAISY.
Not worlds on worlds, in masses deep,

Need we to prove a God is here;
The daisy, fresh from nature's sleep,

Tells of His hand in lines as clear. For who but He who arched the skies,

And pours the dayspring's living floodWondrous alike in all He tries

Could raise the daisy's purple bud, Mould its green cup, its wiry stem,

Its fringèd border nicely spin, And cut the gold-embossèd gem,

That, set in silver, gleams within ; And fling it, unrestrained and free,

O'er hill and dale, and desert sod, That man, where'er he walks, may see In every step the stamp of God?

DR. GOOD, 1764-1827.

THE KING AND THE SPIDER.*

KING BRUCE of Scotland flung himself down

In a lonely mood to think ;
'Tis true he was monarch and wore a crown,

But his heart was beginning to sink.
For he had been trying to do a great deed
To make his people

glad :
He had tried and tried, but couldn't succeed :

And so he became quite sad.
He flung himself down in low despair,

As grieved as man could be:
And after a while, as he pondered there,

" I'll give it all up,” said he.
Now just at the moment a spider dropped,

With its silken cobweb clue;
And the king in the midst of his thinking stopped

To see what the spider would do.
'Twas a long way up to the ceiling dome,

And it hung by a rope so fine;
That how it would get to its cobweb home

King Bruce could not divine.
It soon began to cling and crawl

Straight up with strong endeavour;
But down it came with a slippery sprawl,

As near to the ground as ever.
Up, up it ran, not a second it stayed

To utter the least complaint,
Till it fell still lower, and there it laid,

A little dizzy and faint.
Its head grew steady-again it went,

And travelled a half-yard higher;
'Twas a delicate thread it had to tread,

And a road where its feet would tire.

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* Inserted, together with “The Old Arm-chair," p. 69, and “ Home for the Holidays,” by permission of Miss Eliza Cook.

THE KING AND THE SPIDER.

43

Again it fell and swung below,

But again it quickly mounted;
Till up and down, now fast, now slow,

Nine brave attempts were counted.

“Sure,” cried the king, " that foolish thing

Will strive no more to climb :
When it toils so hard to reach and cling,

And tumbles every time.”

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But up the insect went once more.

Ah me! 'tis an anxious minute :
He's only a foot from his cobweb door-

Oh! say, will he lose or win it ?
Steadily, steadily, inch by inch,

Higher and higher he got;
And a bold little run at the very last pinch,

Put him into his native cot.

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“ Bravo ! bravo !” the king cried out,

· All honour to those who try! The spider up there defied despair ;

He conquered, and why shouldn't I ?”

And Bruce of Scotland braced his mind,

And gossips tell the tale,
That he tried once more as he tried before,

And that time did not fail.

Pay goodly heed, all ye who read,

, And beware of saying, “I can't.' 'Tis a cowardly word, and apt to lead

To idleness, folly, and want.
Whenever you find your heart despair

Of doing some goodly thing ;
Con over this strain, try bravely again,
And remember the spider and king!

ELIZA COOK.

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH. UNDER a spreading chestnut tree

The village smithy stands ; The smith, a mighty man is he,

With large and sinewy hands ; .
And the muscles of his brawny arms

Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,

His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,

He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,

For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,

You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,

With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,

When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school

Look in at the open door ;
They love to see the flaming forge,

And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly

Like chaff from a thrashing-floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,

And sits among his boys ;
He hears the parson pray and preach,

He hears his daughter's voice
Singing in the village choir,

And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,

Singing in paradise !
He needs must think of her once more,

How in the grave she lies ;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes

A tear out of his eyes.

THE DAWNING DAY.

45

Toiling-rejoicing-sorrowing,

Onward through life he goes ; Each morning sees some task begun,

Each evening sees it close ;
Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,

For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life

Our fortunes must be wrought; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought!

H. W. LONGFELLOW.

THE DAWNING DAY.

So here hath been dawning

Another blue day :
Think, wilt thou let it

Slip useless away ?

Out of Eternity

This new day is born;
Into Eternity

At night doth return.
Behold it aforetime

No eyes ever did :
So soon it for ever

From all eyes is hid.
Here hath been dawning

Another blue day :
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away ?

Thomas CARLYLE.

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