Page images

2. I took the child upon my knee, Beside the lake so clear;

For there the tale of misery

Young Edward begged to hear.
He looked into my very eyes,
With sad and earnest face,

And caught his breath with wild surprise,
And turned to mark the place
Where perished, years agone, the child
Alone, beneath the waters wild.

3. "A weakly orphan boy was John,
A barefoot, stinted child,

Whose work-day task was never done,
Who wept when others smiled.
Around his home the trees were high,
Down to the water's brink,
And almost hid the pleasant sky,

Where wild deer came to drink."

(") "And did they come, the pretty deer'? And did they drink the water here'?"

4. Cried Edward, with a wondering eye: Now, mother, tell to me,

Was John about as large as I'?

Pray tell, how big was he'?"
"He was an older boy than you,
And stouter every way;
For, water from the well he drew,

And hard he worked all day.
But then poor John was sharp and thin,
With sun-burnt hair and sun-burnt skin.

5. "His mother used to spin and weave;
From farm to farm she went;

And, though it made her much to grieve,
She John to service sent.

He lived with one, a woman stern,
Of hard and cruel ways;

And he must bring her wood to burn,
From forest and highways;

And then, at night, on cold, hard bed,
He laid his little, aching head.

6. "The weary boy had toiled all day
With heavy spade and hoe;
His mistress met him on the way,
And bade him quickly go

[ocr errors]

And bring her home some sticks of wood,
For she would bake and brew;

When he returned, she'd give him food;
For she had much to do.

And then she charged him not to stay,
Nor loiter long upon the way.

7. "He went; but scarce his toil-worn feet Could crawl along the wood,

He was so spent with work and heat,

And faint for lack of food.

He bent his aching, little back

To bear the weight along,

And staggered then upon the track;

For John was never strong.

His eyesight, too, began to fail,

And he grew giddy, faint, and pale.

8. "The load was small, quite small, 'tis true, But John could bring no more;

The woman in a rage it threw,—

She stamped upon the floor.

(f.) No supper you shall have to-night;
So go along to bed,

You good-for-nothing, ugly fright,
You little stupid-head!'"'

Said Edward: "I would never go;
She wouldn't dare to serve me so!"

9. "The moon-beams fell upon the child
As, weeping, there he lay;

And gusty winds were sweeping wild
Along the forest way,

When up rose John, at dead of night;
For he would see his mother;
She loved her child, although he might
Be nothing to another.

That narrow creek he forded o'er,—
'Tis nearer than around the shore.

10. "But here the shore is rough, you see;
The bank is high and steep;

And John, who climbed on hands and knee,
His footing could not keep.

He backward fell, all, all alone;

Too weak was he to rise;

pl.) And no one heard his dying moan,
Or closed his dying eyes.

How still he slept! And grief and pain
Could never come to him again.

11. "A stranger, passing on his way,
Found him, as you have said;
His feet were out upon the clay,
The water o'er his head.

And then his foot-prints showed the path
He took, adown the creek,

When he escaped the woman's wrath,
So hungry, faint, and weak.

And people now, as you have heard,

Do call the place, THE DEAD CHILD'S FORD."


QUESTIONS.-1. Was John an orphan, or half orphan? 2. Wat he drowned at night, or in the daytime? 3. By whom was he found? What is the place called where he was drowned ? 5. Give the rule for the rising inflections, as marked in the 1st, 2d, and 4th verses. 6. Why are there no quotation marks at the beginning of the 2d verse? 7. Why are half quotations used in the 3d and 8th verses? 8. How should a part of the 8th and 10th verses be read, according to the notation marks? See page 41.

[blocks in formation]

1. Two beggars, LAME and LAZY, were in want of bread. One leaned on his crutch, the other reclined on his couch. Lame called on Charity, and humbly asked for a cracker. Instead of a cracker, he received a loaf.

2. Lazy, seeing the gift of Charity, exclaimed: "What!

*For an explanation of the term fable, see page 236

ask a cracker and receive a loaf'? Well, I will ask a loaf." Lazy now applied to Charity, and called for a loaf of bread. "Your demanding a loaf," said Charity, "proves you a loaf-er. You are of that class and character who ask and receive not; because you ask amiss.”

3. Lazy, who always found fault, and had rather whine than work, complained of ill-treatment, and even accused Charity of a breach of an exceeding great and precious promise: "Ask, and ye shall receive."

4. Charity pointed him to a painting in her room, which presented to his vision three personages, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Charity appeared larger and fairer than her sisters. He noticed that her right hand held a pot of honey, which fed a bee disabled, having lost its wings. Her left hand was armed with a whip to keep off the drones.

5. "I do not understand it," said Lazy. Charity replied: "It means that Charity feeds the lame, and flogs the lazy." Lazy turned to go. "Stop," said Charity, "instead of coin, I will give you counsel. Do not go and live on your poor mother; I will send you to a rich ant." 6. "Rich aunt' ?" echoed Lazy. "Where shall I find her' ?" "You will find a description of her," replied Charity, "in Proverbs, sixth chapter, sixth, seventh, and eighth verses, which read as follows: Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.'"

7. MORAL. Instead of waiting and wishing for a rich UNCLE to die, go and see how a rich ANT lives.

QUESTIONS.-1. Where is the quotation in the 3d paragraph to be found? Answer. John, 16th chapter, 24th verse. 2. Where, the quotation in the 6th paragraph? 3. Why does it commence with a half quotation? Answer. Because it denotes a quotation within a quotation.

« PreviousContinue »