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The house dog lay stretched on the floor,
Was turning the spinning wheel,
Still the farmer sat in his easy chair,
LIFE IS WHAT WE MAKE IT.
REV. ORVILLE DEWEY.
[With force and energy.]
"Unto the pure all things are pure."
Life is what we make it. To some this may appear to be a very singular if not extravagant statement. You look upon this life and upon this world, and you derive from them, it may be, a very different impression. You see the earth, perhaps, only as a collection of blind, obdurate, inexorable elements and powers. You look upon the mountains that stand fast forever; you look upon the soas that roll upon every shore their ceaseless tides; you walk through the annual round of the seasons; all things seem to be fixed, summer and winter, seed time and harvest, growth and decay; and so they are.
But does not the mind spread its own hue over all these scenes? Does not the cheerful man make a cheerful world? Does not the sorrowing man make a gloomy world? Does not every mind make its own world? Does it not, as if indeed a portion of the Divinity were imparted to it, almost create the scene around it? Its power, in
fact, scarcely falls short of the theories of those philosophers who have supposed that the world had no existence at all but in our own minds.
So again with regard to human life; it seems to many, probably, unconscious as they are of the mental and moral powers that control it, as if it were made up of fixed conditions, and of immense and impassable distinctions. But upon all conditions presses down one impartial law. To all situations, to all fortunes, high or low, the mind gives their character. They are in effect not what they are in themselves, but what they are to the feelings of their possessors.
The king upon his throne and amidst his court may be a mean, degraded, miserable man; a slave to ambition, to voluptuousness, to fear, to every low passion. The peasant in his cottage may be the real monarch—the moral master of his fate-the free and lofty being, more than a prince in happiness, more than a king in honor. And shall the mere names which these men bear blind us to the actual position which they occupy amidst God's creation? No; beneath the all powerful law of the heart, the master is often the slave, and the slave the master.
SEVEN TIMES ONE ARE SEVEN.
[Speak as if imitating the child herein.]
There's no dew left on the blossoms and clover;
I am old-so old I can write a letter;
The lambs play always-they know no better-
Oh, moon! in the night I have seen you sailing
You were bright, oh, bright! but your light is failing,
You moon, have you done something wrong in heaven,
That God has hidden your face?
I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven,
Oh, velvet bee, you're a dusty fellow;
You've powdered your legs with gold! Oh, brave marshmary buds, rich and yellow, Give me your money to hold!
Oh, columbine open your folded wrapper,
Oh, cuckoo-pint toll me the purple clapper
And show me your nest, with the young ones in itI will not steal it away.
I am old! you may trust me, linnet, linnet
I am seven times one to-day.
LIVE FOR SOMETHING.
Live for something, be not idle-
Selfish hearts are never gay;
Gentle words and cheering smiles
With their grief dispelling wiles.
As the pleasant sunshine falleth
Gladden well the darkened hearth.
Hearts there are oppressed and weary:
From this perfect fountain head,
Shall the grateful light be shed.
LEARNING TO WALK.
[Recile in a tender way.]
Only beginning the journey,
Trying again so bravely,
Laughing in baby glee; Hiding its face in mother's lap Proud as a baby can be
Talking the oddest language
Tottering now and falling;
Eyes that are going to cry; Kisses and plenty of love words, Willing again to try.
Father of all, oh, guide them—
The pattering little feet-
Aid them, when they grow weary,
Keep them in pathways blest;
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
CLEMENT C. MOORE.
[To be spoken in a lively and forcible way.]
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.