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195.-WHAT IS THAT, MOTHER?

What is that, mother :

The lark, my child !The morn has but just looked out, and smiled, When he starts from his humble grassy nest, And is up and away with the dew on his breast, And a hymn on his heart, to yon pure bright

sphere,
To warble it out in his maker's ear.

Ever, my child! be thy morn's first lays
Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.

What is that, mother?

The dove, my son !-
And that low, sweet voice, like a widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure by that lonely nest,
As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,
For her distant dear one's quick return.

Ever, my son, be thou like the dove-
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.

What is that, mother?

The eagle, boy !-
Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm on his own mountain vigour relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying ;
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.

Boy! may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward and upward, true to the line.

What is that, mother?

The swan, my love!
He is floating down from his native grove;
No loved one, now, no nestling nigh,
He is floating down by himself to die;
Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings. [1]

Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home.

G. W. Doane.

196.-A CHILD'S WISH.
I wish that I myself had lived

In the ages that are gone,
Like a brother of the Wandering Jew,

And yet kept living on;
For then in its early glory,

I could have proudly paced
The city of the wilderness,

Old Tadmor of the waste :
And have seen the Queen of Sheba,

With her camels riding on,
With spices rich, and precious stones,

To great King Solomon ;
And all the ivory palaces,

With floors of beaten gold;
And in the green fair gardens walked

Of Babylon the Old. [1] The notion of the swan singing before its death, and indeed of its singing at all, must be reckoned amongst the agreeable fictions of the poets.

And have talked with grey Phænicians,

Of dark and solemn seas,
And heard the wild and dismal tales

Of their far voyages.
I could have solved all mysteries

Of Egypt old and vast,
And read each hieroglyphic scroll,

From the first word to the last.
I should have known what cities

In the desert wastes were hid;
And have walked, as in my father's house,

Through each great pyramid.
I might have sat on Homer's knees,

A little prattling boy,
Hearing all he knew of Grecian tales,

And the bloody work at Troy.
I might have walked with Plato

In the groves of Academe ;
And have talked with him of Pan,

And the Naiads of each stream;
And then to have left fair Athens,

With its stately Parthenon; And in after days to the seven hill'd Rome,

With eager steps to have gone!
To have stood by warlike Romulus,

In council and in fray,
And with his horde of robbers dwelt,

In reed-roofed huts of clay!
Think of ambitious Cæsar,

And Pompey the great and brave; To have seen their legions in the field,

Their galleys on the wave!

I should have seen Rome's glory dimm'd,

When round her leaguered wall
Came down the Vandal and the Goth,

The Scythian and the Gaul;
And the dwarfish Huns by myriads,

From the unknown northern shores ;
As if the very earth gave up

The brown men of the moors. I should have seen old Wodin

And his seven sons go forth, From the green banks of the Caspian Sea

To the dim wilds of the North; To the dark and piny forests,

Where he made his drear abode, And taught his wild and fearful faith,

And thus became their God.
And the terrible Vikingr,

Dwellers on the stormy sea,
The Norsemen and their Runic lore,

Had all been known to me!
Think only of the dismal tales,

Of the mysteries I should know, If my long life had but begun, Three thousand years ago!

Mary Howitt.

197.-SWISS HOME-SICKNESS.

Wherefore so sad and faint, my heart?

The stranger's land is fair ; Yet weary, weary, still thou art

What find'st thou wanting there?

What wanting !-All, oh! all I love!

Am I not lonely here?
Through a fair land, in sooth, I rove,

But what like home is dear?
My home! oh! thither would I fly,

Where the free air is sweet,
My father's voice, my mother's eye,

My own wild hills to greet.
My hills, with all their soaring steeps,

With all their glaciers bright,
Where in his joy the chamois sleeps,

Mocking the hunter's might.
Here no familiar look I trace,

I touch no friendly hand;
No child laughs kindly in my face,
As in my own sweet land.

Mrs. Hemans.

198.—THE BETTER LAND. I hear thee speak of the better land; Thou call'st its children a happy band; Mother! oh where is that radiant shoreShall we not seek it, and weep no more? Is it where the flower of the orange blows, And the fire-flies dance through the myrtle

boughs ? “Not there, not there, my child.” Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise, And the date grows ripe under sunny skies, Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas, Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze,

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