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Oh, what a fitting time to teach
To leave its impress deep engraved
I took the little hand in mine,
Gazed in that childish face,
And told how He, whose watchful look,
Could bless our school.
And how not e'en a sparrow's fall,
Not e'en a raven's cry,
Though small they seem, could e'er escape
The child-face glowed with happy smiles,
And all our school."
O ye unto whose tender care
Spurn not the thoughtful questionings,
And when ye twine about your rooms
There place among those graceful vines
"God bless our school."
THE TWO LIVES.
[Tenderly and with expression.]
Beautiful is old age-beautiful is the slow drooping, mellow autumn of a rich and glorious summer. In the old man Nature has fulfilled her work; she loads him with the fruits of a well spent life; and, surrounded by his children's children, she rocks him softly
away to a grave to which he is followed with blessings. God forbid that we should not call it beautiful, but not the most beautiful. There is another life, hard, rough and thorny, trolden with bleeding feet and aching brow; the life of which the cross is the symbol; a battle which no peace follows this side of the grave, which the grave gapes to finish before the victory is won; and, strange that it should be so, this is the highest life of man. Look along the great names of history; there are none whose life has been other than this.
THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.
[Give in a simple, expressive style.]
It was a summer's evening,
Old Kaspar's work was done,
And by him sported on the green
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,
Which he beside the rivulet,
In playing there, had found.
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.
Old Kasper took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by,
And then the old man shook his head,
And, with a natural sigh,
"Tis some poor fellow's skull," said he, "Who fell in the great victory!
"I find them out in the garden,
For there's many here about; And often when I go to plough,
The ploughshare turns them out; For many thousand men," said he, "Were slain in that great victory."
"Now, tell us what 'twas all about,"
"It was the English," Kasper cried,
"My father lived at Blenheim then
Yon little stream hard by;
They burned his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly.
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
"With fire and sword the country round Was wasted far and wide;
And many a childing mother then
And new-born baby died.
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory."
Great praise the Duke of Marlborough won,
And our good Prince Eugene."
"Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!"
Said little Wilhelmine.
"Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he,
"It was a famous victory!
And everybody praised the Duke
Who this great fight did win;"
"Why, that I cannot tell," said he,
The idle man is an annoyance-a nuisance. He is of no benefit to anybody. He is an intruder in the busy thoroughfare of everyday life. He stands in our path, and we push him contemptously aside! He is of no advantage to anybody. He annoys busy men. He makes them unhappy. He is a cipher in society. He may have an income to support him in idleness, or may sponge" on his good natured friends; but in either case he is despised. Young man, do something in this busy, bustling, wide-awake world Move about for the benefit of mankind, if not for yourself. Do not be idle. God's law is, that by the sweat of our brow we shall earn our bread. That law is a good one, and the bread we earn is sweet. Do not be idle. Minutes are too precious to be squandered thoughtlessly. Every man and every woman, however exalted or however humble, can do good in this short life, if so inclined; therefore, do not be idle.
COMETH A BLESSING DOWN.
[Boldly and with force.]
Not to the man of creeds;
Cometh a blessing down.
Not to the folly blinded,
Not to the steeped in shame;
Not to unholy fame;
Not in the monarch's crown;
But to the one whose spirit
Fearless of foe or frown
Unto the kindly hearted
Cometh a blessing down.
LITTLE BROWN HANDS.
M. H. KROUT.
[Recite in a bold, vigorous manner.]
They drive home the cows from the pasture,
Where the quail whistles loud in the wheat fields,
That are yellow with ripening grain.
They find in the thick waving grasses
Where the thick-lipped strawberry grows;
They gather the earliest snowdrops
And the first crimson buds of the rose.
They toss the new hay in the meadow;
They know where the fruit hangs the thickest