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POETRY

[In Original Poetry, the Name, real or assumed, of the Author, is printed in small Capitals under the title ; in Selections it is printed in Italics at the end.]

THE WOUNDED SOLDIER'S

RETURN.

This little Poem was written by JAMES CHAMBERS, who was born at Soham, nearly a century ago; and, when it is considered that, as he himself states, his only attendance at school was for one month, in his childhood, we think onr readers will allow it to be a meritorious production.

And from his hollow and dejected eye One trembling tear hung ready to

depart. “How chang'd” he cried, “is this fair

scene to me! Since last across this narrow path I

went, “ The soaring lark felt not superior glee, “Nor any human breast more true

content.

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The sun was just retired, the dews of eve Their glow-worm lustre scattered o'er

the vale, The lonely nightingale began to grieve, Telling, with many a pause, his tender

tale. No clamours rude disturb'd the peaceful

hour, And the young moon, yet fearful of the

night, Rear'd her pale crescent o'er the bur

nish'd tow'r, Which caught the parting orb's still

ling’ring light. 'Twas then, where peasant footsteps

mark'd the way, A wounded soldier feebly mov'd along, Nor aught regarded he the softning ray, Nor the expressive bird's melodious

song On crutches borne his mangled limbs he

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drew,

Unsightly remnants of the battle's

rage, While pity in his pallid looks might view

A helpless prematurity of age. Then, as by sad contortions, laboring

slow, He gain'd the summit of his native

hill, And saw the well-known prospect spread

below, The farm, the cot, the hamlet, and the

mill. In spite of fortitude, one struggling sigh Shook the firm texture of his throbing

heart,

“What joy was mine, to hear her by my

side “ Extol my vigour and my manly

mien! " Alas!

no more the sprightly maid

shall run To bid me welcome from the sultry

plain, “But her averted eye my sight shall

shun, And all my fondest cherish'd hopes

be vain.

"And you, my parents, must ye too

endure “ That I should ever damp your home

ly mirth, “ Exist upon the pittance ye procure, “ And make you curse the hour that

gave me birth !

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Through burning deserts now

pell’d to fly, “Our bravest legions moulder fast

away, “ Thousands, of wounds and sickness

left to die, “While hovering ravens mark'd them

for their prey. Ah! sure remorse their savage hearts

must rend “ Whose selfish desperate phrenzy

could decree, " That in one mass of murder man should

blend, “Who sent the slave to fight against

the free. “Unequal contest! at fair Freedom's call “The lowliest hind glows with celes

tial fire, “She rules, directs, pervades, and orders

all, “And armies at her sacred glance ex

pire. “Then be the warfare of this world ac

cursed, “The son now weeps not o'er his

father's bier, “But grey-haired age for nature is re

vers'd. Sheds o'er its children's grave an

icy tear.” Thus having spoke, by varying passions

tost, He reach'd the threshold of his pa

rents' shed, Who knew not of his fate, but mourn'd

him lost, Among the numbers of the un-nam'd

dead. Soon as they heard his well-remember'd

voice, A ray of comfort chas'd habitual fear, Our Henry lives, we may again rejoice, And Lucy sweetly blush'd, for she was

there.

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THE SWORD.

'Twas the battle-field, and the cold pale moon

Look'd down on the dead and dying,
And the wind pass'd o'er with a dirge and a wail

Where the young and the brave were lying.
With his father's sword in his red right hand,

And the hostile dead around him, Lay a youthful Chief; but his bed was the ground

And the grave's icy sleep had bound him.

A reckless rover, 'mid death and doom,

Pass'd a soldier, his plunder seeking ;
Careless he stept where friend and foe

Lay alike in their life-blood reeking.
Drawn by the shine of the warrior's sword,

The soldier paus'd beside it;
He wrench'd the hand with a giant's strength-

But the grasp of death defied it.
He loos’d his hold, and his English heart

Took part with the dead before him,
And he honour'd the brave who died sword in hand,

As, with soften'd brow, he lean't o'er him.
“A soldier's death thou hast boldly died,

A soldier's grave won by it;
Before I would take that sword; from thy hand,

My own life's blood should dye it.
“ Thou shalt not be left for the carrion crow,

Or the wolf to batten o'er thee ;
Or the coward insult the gallant dead,

Who, in life, had trembled before thee."
Then dug he a grave in the crimson earth

Where his warrior foe was sleeping ;
And he laid him there, in honour and rest,
With his sword in his own brave keeping.

L. E. L.

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The first King of all England was Egbert, in 828.
Ireland was united by Henry II., in 1180
Wales, by Edward I., in 1283.
Scotland, by James I., in 1603.
The Revolution took place in 1688.
America was discovered, by Columbus, in 1492.
Printing was invented about 1440.
Rome was built 753 years before Christ.
David became King 1044 years before Christ.
Moses died 1460

years

before Christ.
England and Wales are about 400 miles long, and 250 broad.
Scotland is about 280 miles long, and 100 broad.
Ireland is about 220 miles long, and 160 broad.
England and Wales contain above 13 millions of inhabitants
Scotland, about 3 millions
Ireland above 7 millions.

MISCELLANY AND EXTRACTS.

POTATOES.Tho origin of the word potato is from battatas or pattatas, which enunciation is common among the natives of Virginia, in North America. The potato was originally a poisonous plant, but rendered esculent by culture.

Newton found by experiment that a ball of glass, or a watch-glass laid upon a flat surface of glass, does not really touch it, and cannot be made to touch it even by a force of a thousand pounds to the inch.

was

EXTRACT FROM LORD BROUGHAM'S SPEECH ON THE BEER BILL. - To what purpose is it that the clergy cultivate the morals of the people, by affording them education and informationwhat is the use of all the education they endeavour to bestow-what is the use of here and there sowing a little of the seeds of knowledge, of plucking out a little of the seeds of ignorance--if all the while the legislature, by means of beer shops, is sowing broad-cast the seeds of what is worse than ignorance, calculated to combine with it the seeds of immorality, and thus terminating in the most frightful produce that

ever yet in a civilized country allowed to grow under the eye, and I am ashamed to add, under the fostering care of Parliament: thus polluting the very soil of the country, casting a dark shade over the minds of the people, and infecting and poisoning the moral atmosphere which the people ought to breathe.

A small mass of gold may be hammered into thin leaf, or drawn into fine wire, or cut into almost invisible parts, or liquified in a crucible, or dissolved in acid, or dissipated by intense heat into vapour, and yet, after any or all of these changes, the atoms can be collected again, and the original gold can be exhibited in its pristine state without the slightest diminution or change. And thus all the substances or elements of which our globe is composed may be cut, torn, bruised, and ground into powder a thousand times, and yet be always recovered to their original perfection.

THE Swallow is one of my favourite birds, and a rival of the nightingale, for he cheers my sense of seeing as much as the other does my sense of hearing He is the glad prophet of the year; the harbinger of the best season : he lives a life of enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature-winter is unknown to him ; and he leaves the green meadows of England in autumn, for the myrtle and orange groves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa; he has always objects of pursuit, and his success is secure. Even the beings selected for his prey, are poetical, beautiful, and transient. The ephemera are saved, by his means, from a slow and lingering death in the evening, and killed in a moment when they have known nothing but pleasure. He is the constant destroyer of insects, the friend of man, and may be regarded as a sacred bird. This instinct, which gives him his appointed season, and teaches him when and where to move, may be regarded as flowing from a divine source; and he belongs to the oracles of nature, which speak the awful and intelligible language of a present Deity.--Sir H. Davy.

MORTALITY.-The human race resembles the withering foliage of a wide forest. While the air is calm, we perceive single leaves scattering here and there from the branches ; but sometimes a tempest or a whirlwind precipitates thousands in a moment. It is a moderate computation, which supposes a hundred thousand millions to have died since the exit of righteous Abel.—Foster.

CHBAP FUEL.–Take one bushel of small coal or sawdust, two bushels of sand, and one bushel and a half of clay; mix them with water, and shape the mass into balls, or into the form of bricks; pile them in a dry place, and when they are hard, they may be used. A fire cannot be lighted with them ; but if put behind a fire, they will keep it up stronger than any common fuel.

THE DISTANCE OF AN Echo.To produce an echo, says Dr. Albert Haller in his Physiology, requires a distance of 110 feet between the reflecting or echoing body from the ear.

tleman who, on one occasion, boasted that he had drank two, three or four bottles of wine every day for fifty years, and that he was as hale and hearty as ever. “ Pray” remarked a by-stander, “where are your boon companions ? “ Ah” he quickly replied, “ that's another affair ; if the truth may be told, I have buried three entire generations of them.

DR. Beattie, in the eloquent conclusion of his essay on the Immutability of Truth, speaking of sceptics and deists very forcibly remarks :-Caressed by those who call themselves the great, engrossed by the formalities and fopperies of life, intoxicated with vanity, pampered with adulation, dissipated in the tumult of business, or amidst the vicissitudes of folly, they perhaps have little need, and little relish for the consolation of religion. But let them know, in the solitary scenes of life, there is many an honest and tender heart pining with incurable anguish, pierced with the sharpest sting of disappointment, bereft of friends, chilled with poverty, racked with disease, scourged by the oppressor, whom nothing but trust in Providence, and the hope of a future retribution, could save from the agonies of despair. And do they with sacrilegious hands, attempt to violate this last refuge of the miserable, and to rob them of the only comfort that had survived the ravages of misfortune, malice, and tyranny? Did it ever happen that the influence of their tenets disturbed the tranquility of virtuous retirement, deepened the gloom of human distress, or aggravated the horrors of the grave ? Ye traitors to human kind! ye murderers of the human soul! how can ye answer for it in your own hearts ? Surely every spark of your generosity is extinguished for

ever, if this conclusion do not awaken in you the keenest remorse.

THE Cow Tree. When travelling in South America, Humbolt and his companions had an opportunity of satisfying themselves, by ocular examination, respecting the truth of the accounts they had received of the palo de vacca or cow tree, the milk of which the negroes were said to consider a wholesome aliment. They found by experience that the virtues of this extraordinary tree had not been exaggerated. The palo de vacca is a handsome tree, resembling the broadleaved star apple : incisions are made in its trunk ; it yields an abundance of glutinous milk, of an agreeable and balmy smell. This sweet and nourishing fluid flows most abundantly at the rising of the sun.

The blacks and natives are then seen hastening from all quarters, . furnished with large bowls to receive the milk. M. Humbolt declares that in the whole course of his travels he never met with any object which so strongly affected his imagination as the cow tree.This inestimable gift seems peculiar to the cordilleras of the coast.--Youth's Instructer.

LONGEVITY OF HARD DRINKERS. Dr. Cheyne, of Dublin, speaks of a gen

MONTHLY NOTICES.

FEBRUARY. 1st.-Annual Meeting of the Members of the Association for the Prosecution of Felons, &c., at Fordham.

5th.-Annual Meeting of the Members of the Association for the Prosecution of Felons, &c., at Soham.

7th.— Within fourteen days from receipt of Justices' Precepts, Overseers to convene a Parish Meeting to make out a list of a competent number of persons qualified to serve as Constables, under 5 and 6 Vic., c. 109.

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