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And I think, in the lives of most women and men,
There's a moment when all would go smooth and even, If only the dead could find out when
To come back and be forgiven.
And O that music; and O the way
Non ti scordar di me,
Non ti scordar di me!
86.—THE PETRIFIED FERN.
M. B. BRANCH. In a valley, centuries ago,
Grew a little fern-leaf, green and slender,
Rushes tall, and moss, and grass grew round it,
Earth was young and keeping holiday.
Stately forests waved their giant branches,
Nature revelled in grand mysteries;
No one came to note it day by day.
Heaved the rocks and changed the mighty motion
Of the deep, strong currents of the ocean;
Crushed the little fern in soft moist clay,
Since that useless little fern was lost!
Searching nature's secrets far and deep;
From a fissure in a rocky steep
Fairy pencillings, a quaint design,
Veinings, leafage, fibres clear and fine,
87.-ABOU BEN ADHEM.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
J. O. ROCKWELL.
listen to me, You shall hear what you hear, and shall see what you see I had a father;—the grave is his bed: I had a mother; she sleeps with the dead. Freely I wept when they left me alone; But I shed all my tears on their grave and their stone. I planted a willow, I planted a vew.
And left them to sleep till the last trumpet blew.
89.-ELEGY ON MADAME BLAIZE.
Good people all, with one accord,
Lament for Madame Blaize;
From those who spoke her praise.
And always found her kind;
Who left a pledge behind.
With manner wondrous winning;
Unless when she was sinning.
At church, in silks and satins new,
With hoop of monstrous size,
But when she shut her eyes.
By twenty beaux, or more;
When she has walked before.
Her hangers-on cut short all,
Her last disorder mortal.
For Kent-street well may say,
She had not died to-day.
90.-BRUTUS ON THE DEATH OF CÆSAR.
SHAKSPEARE. Romans, countrymen, and lovers ! Hear me for my cause; and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honor; and have respect to mine honor, that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom; and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly-any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Cæsar was no less than his. If, then, that friend demand why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Cæsar less but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen? As Cæsar loved me,
for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There are tears, for his love; joy, for his fortune; honor, for his valor; and death, for his ambition! Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
None? Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth—as which of you shall not? With this I depart,--that, as I slew my best lover
, for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.
91.-OUR DUTY TO THE REPUBLIC.
JOSEPH STORY. The Old World has already revealed to us, in its unsealed books, the beginning and end of all its own marvelous struggles in the cause of liberty. Greece, lovely Greece,
The land of scholars and the nurse of arms," where sister republics, in fair procession, chanted the praises of liberty and the gods,—where and what is she? For two thousand years the oppressor has ground her to the earth. Her arts are no more. The last sad relics of her temples are but the barracks of a ruthless soldiery. The fragments of her columns and her palaces are in the dust, yet beautiful in ruins. She fell not when the mighty were upon her. Her sons were united at Thermopylæ and Marathon, and the tide of her triumph rolled back upon the Hellespont. She was conquered by her own factions. She fell by the hands of her own people. The man of Macedonia did not the work of destruction. It was already done, by her own corruptions, banishments and dissensions. Rome, republican Rome, whose eagles glanced in the rising and the setting sun,—where and what is she? The Eternal City yet remains, proud even in her desolation, noble in her decline, venerable in the majesty of religion, and calm as in the composure of death. The malaria has but traveled in the paths worn by her destroyers. More than eighteen centuries have mourned over the loss of her empire. A mortal disease was upon her vitals before Cæsar had crossed the Rubicon ; and Brutus did not restore her health by the deep probings of the Senate chamber. The Goths, and Vandals, and Huns, the swarms of the North, completed only what was already begun at home. Romans betrayed Rome. The legions were bought and sold; but the people offered the tribute-money.