Page images
PDF
EPUB

“I WOULDN'T—WOULD YOU ?"

ANONYMOUS.
WHEN a lady is seen at a party or ball,

Her eyes vainly turn’d in her fits of conceit,
As she peers at the gentlemen, fancying all
Are enchain'd by her charms and would kneel at her

feet, With each partner coquetting,to nobody true; I wouldn't give much for her chances !—would you ?

When an upstart is seen on the flags strutting out,

With his hat cock'd aslant, and a glass in his eye: And thick clouds of foul smoke he stands puffing about,

As he inwardly says, "What a noble am I,”— While he twists his moustache for the ladies to view ;I wouldn't give much for his senses :-would you ?

When a wife runs about at her neighbours to pry,

Leaving children at home, unprotected to play; Till she starts back in haste at the sound of their cry;

And finds they've been fighting while mother's away; Sugar eaten-panes broken-the wind blowing through; I wouldn't give much for her comfort !-would you ?

When a husband is idle, neglecting his work,
In the public-house, snarling with quarrelsome

knaves; When he gambles with simpletons, drinks like a Turk, • While his good wife at home for the poor children

slaves; And that home is quite destitute-painful to view ; I wouldn't give much for his morals:-would you ?

When a boy at his school, lounging over his seat,

Sits rubbing his head, and neglecting his book, While he fumbles his pockets, for something to eat, Yet pretendeth to read when his master may look,

Though he boasts to his parents how much he can do;
I wouldn't give much for his progress :—would you ?
When a man who is driving a horse on the road,
*Reins and whips the poor brute, with unmerciful

hand,
Whilst it willingly strives to haste on with its load,

Till with suff'ring and working it scarcely can stand : Though he may be a man,—and a wealthy one too, I wouldn't give much for his feelings :-would you? When a master who lives by his labourers' skill, Hoards his gold up in thousands still craving for

more, Though poor are his toilers he grindeth them still,

Or, unfeelingly turns them away from his door; Though he banketh his millions with claims not a few, I wouldn't give much for his conscience:-would you ? When a tradesman his neighbour's fair terms will

decry, And keeps puffing his goods at a wonderful rate; E'en at prices at which no fair trader can buy ;

Though customers flock to him early and late;When a few months have fled, and large bills become

due, I wouldn't give much for his credit :-would you ? When in murderous deeds a man's hands are imbrued,

Tho' revenge is his plea, and the crime is conceal'd, The severe stings of conscience will quickly intrude,

And the mind, self-accusing, can never be heal'd;When the strong arm of justice sets out to pursue, I wouldn't give much for his freedom :-would you? When a husband and wife keep their secrets apart,

Not a word to my spouse about this, or on that ; When a trifle may banish the pledge of their heart, And he naggles,- she snaggles ;-both contradict

flat;

Tho' unequall’d their love when its first blossoms

blew;I wouldn't give much for their quiet:-would you ?

When a man who has lived here for none but himself, Feels laid on his strong frame the cold hand of

death, When all fade away,--wife, home, pleasures, and pelf, And he yields back to God both his soul and his

breath ;As up to the judgment that naked soul flew,I wouldn't give much for his Heaven! --would you ?

THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH.

Rev. THOMAS COLE.
SPRIGHTLY Cricket, chirking still
Merry music, short and shrill;
In my kitchen take thy rest
As a truly welcome guest;
For no evils shall betide
Those with whom thou dost reside.
Nor shall thy good-omen'd strain
E'er salute my ear in vain.
With the best I can invent
I'll requite the compliment;
Like thy sonnets, I'll repay
Little sonnets, quick and gay.
Thou, a harmless inmate deem'd,
And by housewives much esteem'd,
Wilt not pillage for thy diet,
Nor deprive us of our quiet;
Like the horrid rat voracious;
Or the lick'rish mouse sagacious;
Like the herd of vermin base,
Or the pilf ring reptile race:

But content art thou to dwell
In thy chimney-corner cell ;
There, unseen, we hear thee greet
Safe and snug, thy native heat.
Thou art happier, happier far,
Than the happy grasshopper,
Who, by nature doth partake
Something of thy voice and make;
Skipping lightly o'er the grass,
As her sunny minutes pass;
For a summer month or two
She can sing and sip the dew :
But at Christmas, as in May,
Thou art ever brisk and gay,
Thy continued song we hear,
Trilling, thrilling all the year.
Every day and every night
Bring to thee the same delight;
Winter, summer, cold or hot,
Late or early, matters not;
Mirth and music still declare
Thou art ever void of care :
Whilst with sorrows and with fears,
We destroy our days and years;

Thou, with constant joy and song,
Ev'ry minute dost prolong,
Making thus thy little span
Longer than the age of Man.

THE OAK TREE.

Rev. Henry WARD BEECHER. An oak tree for two hundred years grows solitary. It is bitterly handled by frosts; it is wrestled with by ambitious winds, determined to give it a downfall. It holds fast, and grows alone, “What avails all this sturdiness ?" it saith to itself. “Why am I to stand here useless ? My roots are anchored in rifts of rocks; no herds can lie down under my shadow ; I am far above singing birds, that seldom come to rest among my leaves ; I am set as a mark for storms, that bend and tear me; my fruit is serviceable for no appetite; it had been better for me to have been a mushroom, gathered in the morning for some poor man's table, than to be a hundred-year oak, good for nothing."

While it yet spoke, the axe was hewing at its base. It died in sadness, saying as it fell, “ Weary ages for nothing have I lived."

The axe completed its work. By-and-by the trunk and root form the knees of a stately ship, bearing the country's flag around the world. Other parts form keel and ribs of merchantmen, and, having defied the mountain storms, they now equally resist the thunder of the waves and the murky threat of scowling hurricanes. Other parts are laid into floors, or wrought into wainscoting, or carved for frames of noble pictures, or fashioned into chairs that embosom the weakness of old age. Thus the tree, in dying, came not to its end, but to its beginning of life. It voyaged the world. It grew to parts of temples and dwellings. It held upon its surface the soft tread of children and the tottering steps of patriarchs. It rocked in the cradle. It swayed the limbs of age by the chimney-corner, and heard, secure within, the roar of those old, unwearied tempests that once surged about its mountain life. Thus, after its growth, its long uselessness, its cruel prostration, it became universally helpful, and did by its death what it could never have done by its life. For, so long as it was a tree, and belonged to itself, it was solitary and useless; but when it gave up its own life, and became related to others, then its true life began.

How solemn is that sentence of Christ, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me !" Not while He lived; not by His direct force, but only when pierced, broken, slain, buried, should His

« PreviousContinue »