Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

their redemption; not a word they spoke could be recalled, and so they perished-their light went out in darkness, and they were not remembered more than the insects of yesterday. Will you thus live and die, oh, man immortal? Live for something! Do good and leave behind you a monument of virtue that time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love and mercy on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with, year by year, and you will never be forgotten. No; your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of the evening. Good deeds will shine as brightly on the earth as the stars of heaven.

THE BALLAD OF BABY BELL.

ADAPTED FROM T. B. ALDRICH.

[To be recited in a tender, sympathetic manner.]

Have you not heard the poets tell
How came the dainty Baby Bell
Into this world of ours?
The gates of Heaven were left ajar;
With folded hands and dreamy eyes,
Wandering out of Paradise,

She saw this planet, like a star,

Hung in the glistening depths of even-
Its bridges running to and fro,
O'er which the white-winged angels go,
Bearing the holy dead to Heaven
She touched a bridge of flowers-those feet
So light they did not bend the bells
Of the celestial asphodels!

They fell like dew upon the flowers,
Then all the air grew strangely sweet;
And thus came dainty Baby Bell
Into this world of ours.

It came upon us by degrees,
We saw its shadow ere it fell,
The knowledge that our God had sent
His messenger for Baby Bell.
We shuddered with unlanguaged pain,

And all our hopes were changed to fears,
And all our thoughts ran into tears,
Like sunshine into rain.

We cried aloud in our belief,
"Oh, smite us gently, gently, God!
Teach us to bend and kiss the rod,

And perfect grow thro' grief."
Ah, how we loved her, God can tell;

Her heart was folded deep in ours!
Our hearts are broken, Baby Bell.
At last he came the messenger-

The messenger from unseen lands;
And what did dainty Baby Bell?

She only crossed her little hands, She only looked more meek and fair! We parted back her silken hair,

We wove the roses round her browWhite buds, the summer's drifted snowWrapped her from head to foot in flowers! And thus went dainty Baby Bell Out of this world of ours!

THE SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

J. G. SAXE.

[In a descriptive vein.]

Come, listen awhile to me, my lads,
Come listen to me a spell!

Let that terrible drum For a moment be dumb, For your uncle is going to tell What befel

A youth that loved liquor too well.

A clever young man was he, my lads,
And with beauty uncommonly blest
Ere with brandy and wine
He began to decline,

And behaved like a person possessed
I protest

The temperance plan is the best.

One evening he went to the tavern, my lads. He went to the tavern one night!

And drinking too much

Rum, brandy, and such,

The chap got exceedingly "tight,"

And was quite

What your aunts would entitle a "fright."

The fellow fell into a snooze, my lads-
'Tis a horrible slumber he takes;
He trembles with fear,
And acts very queer;

My eyes, how he shivers and shakes
When he wakes,

And raves about great horrid snakes!

'Tis a warning to you and to me, my lads-
A particular caution to all,

Tho' no one can see
The viper but he-

To hear the poor lunatic howl

How they crawl

All over the floor and the wall!

The next morning he took to his bed, my lads,
Next morning he took to his bed;

And he never got up
To dine or to sup,

Tho' properly physicked and bled!

And I read,

Next day, the poor fellow was dead!

You have heard of the snake in the grass, my lads, Of the viper concealed in the grass;

But now you must know

Man's deadliest foe

Is a snake of a different class!

Alas!

'Tis the viper that lurks in the glass!

POP.

[With humor and vivacity.]

And there they sat, a popping corn,
John Styles and Susan Cutter-
John Styles as fat as any ox,
And Susan as fat as butter.

And there they sat and shelled the corn,
And raked and stirred the fire,
And talked of different kinds of care,
And hitched their chairs up nigher.

Then Susan she the popper shook,
Then John he shook the popper
Till both their faces grew as red

As saucepans made of copper.

And then they shelled, and popped, and ate,
All kinds of fun a-poking,

While he haw-hawed at her remarks,
And she laughed at his joking.

And still they popped, and still they ate-
John's mouth was like a hopper-
And stirred the fire, and sprinkled salt,
And shook and shook the popper.

The clock struck nine-the clock struck ten,
And still the corn kept popping;
It struck eleven, and then struck twelve,
And still no signs of stopping.

And John he ate, and Sue she thought-
The corn did pop and patter-

Till John cried out, "The corn's a-fire!
Why, Susan, what's the matter?"

Said she, "John Styles, it's one o'clock;
You'll die of indigestion;

I'm sick of all this popping corn-
Why don't you pop the question ?"

DISCONTENT.

GEORGE COOPER.

[Speak in a spirited way.]

A dozen tadpoles wriggled out
To view the prospect round about,
And see the older frogs, no doubt-
Ambitious little tadpoles.

They roamed among the rushes green,
They saw the lilies o'er them lean;
Their hearts were gladdened by the scene-
Admiring little tadpoles.

A greater wonder was to come:

They heard an old frog say "Jug―rum!”
Such eloquence! It struck them dumb-
These silly little tadpoles.

"Oh, could we only speak like that!
And sit upon a stone so flat!"
Their yearning hearts beat pit-a-pat―
They sighed that they were tadpoles.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »