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90

WHAT IS NOBLE?

The angel wrote and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names of those whom God had blessed,
And lo ! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

Leigh Hunt,

WHAT IS NOBLE?

(By permission of the Author.)
WHAT is noble Ito inherit

Wealth, estate, and proud degree?
There must be some other merit

Higher yet than these for me!
Something greater far must enter

Into life's majestic span,
Fitted to create and centre

True nobility in man.
What is noble ? 'Tis the finer

Portion of our mind and heart
Linked to something still diviner

Than mere language can impart;
Ever prompting-ever seeing

Some improvement yet to plan
To uplift our fellow-being,

And, like man, to feel for man!
What is noble ? Is the sabre

Nobler than the human spade ?
There's a dignity in labour

Truer than e'er pomp arrayed.
He who seeks the mind's improvement

Aids the world in aiding mind.
Every great commanding movement

Serves not one, but all mankind.
O'er the forge's heat and ashes,

O'er the engine's iron head,
Where the rapid shuttle flashes,

And the spindle whirls its thread,
There is labour, lowly tending

Each requirement of the hour-
There is genius, still extending

Science, and its world of power.

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'Mid the dust, and speed, and clamour

Of the loom-shed and the mill ; 'Midst the clink of wheel and hammer,

Great results are growing still. Though too oft by fashion's creatures

Work and workers may be blamed, Commerce need not hide its features

Industry is not ashamed.

What is noble? That which places

Truth in its enfranchised will,
Leaving steps, like angel-traces,

That mankind may follow still.
E'en though scorn's malignant glances

Prove him poorest of his clan,
He's the Noble who advances
Freedom and the Cause of Man.

Charles Swaire

OWD PINDER.

(By permission of the Author.) OWD PINDER were a rackless foo,

An' spent his days i' spreein’; At th' end ov every drinkin' do

He're sure to crack odeein': “Go, sell my rags, an' sell my shoon,

Aw's never live to trail 'em ; My ballis-pipes are eawt o' tune,

An' th' wynt begins to fail 'em.

“Eawr Matty's very fresh an' yung

'Twould ony mon bewilderHoo’ll wed again afore its lung,

For th' lass is fond o'childer : My bit o' brass 'll fly-yo'n see

When th' coffin lid has screened me, It gwos again my pluck to dee,

An' lev her wick beheend me.

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“ Come, Matty, come, an' cool my yed,

Aw'm finished, to my thinkin';"
Hoo happed him nicely up, an' said,

“ Thae's brought it on wi' drinkin'!"
“Nay, nay,” said he, “my fuddle's done;

We're partin' t' one fro t'other ;
So, promise me that when aw'm gwon

Thea'll never wed another!"

“Th' owd tale,” said hoo, an' laft her stoo :

“It's rayley past believin',
Thee think o' th' world thea'rt goin' to,

An' leave this world to th' livin'.
What use to me can deead folk be?

Thae's kilt thisel wi' spreein';
An' iv that's o'thae wants wi' me,

Get forrud wi' thi deein'!"

He scrat his yed, he rubb’d his e'e,

An' then he donned his breeches; “Eawr Matty gets as fause," said he,

“ As one o Pendle witches.
Iv ever aw'm to muster wit,

It mun be now or never;
Aw think aw'll try to live a bit;
It wouldn't do to lev her.”

Edwin Waugh

THE CAPTIVE,

Stay, gaoler, stay, and hear my woe :

She is not mad who kneels to thee;
But what I am too well I know,

And what I was, and what should be.
I'll rave no more in proud despair,

My language shall be mild, tho' sad ;
But yet I'll firmly, truly swear,

I am not mad! I am not mad !

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My tyrant husband forged the tale

That chains me to this dismal cell : My fate unknown my friends bewail :

O, gaoler, haste that fate to tell ; Oh ! haste my father's heart to cheer,

His heart at once to grieve and glad
To know, though kept a captive here,

I am not mad! I am not mad !
He smiles in scorn, and turns the key ;

He quits the grate ; I knelt in vain ;
His glimmering lamp, still, still I see ;

He's gone ; and all is gloom again.
Cold, bitter cold—no warmth, no light.

Life, all thy comforts once I had ;
Yet, here I'm chained this freezing night,

Although not mad—no ! no! not mad'! 'Tis sure some dream, some vision vain :

What I, the child of rank and wealth, Am I the wretch who clanks this chain,

Bereft of freedom, friends, and health? Ah! while I mourn all blessings fled,

Which never more my heart will glad, How aches my heart, how burns my

head : But 'tis not mad—no! no ! not mad !

Hast thou, my child, forgot me thus ?

A mother's voice, a mother's tongue? She'll ne'er forget your parting kiss,

Nor round her neck how fast you clung,
Nor how with her you wished to stay,

Nor how that suit your sire forbade,
Nor how !—I'll drive such thoughts away-

They'll make me mad !—they'll make me mad! His rosy lips, how sweet they smiled;

His mild blue eyes how bright they shone ; None ever bore a lovelier child.

And art thou now for ever gone? And must I never see thee more,

My pretty, pretty, pretty lad 1 I will be free ! unbar the door!

I am not mad !--I am not mad!

94

CAIUS MARIUS TO THE ROMANS.

But, hark ! what means those yells and cries ?

His chain some furious madman breaks ;
He comes ! I see his glaring eyes !

Now--now my dungeon grate he shakes !
Help! help! He's gone. Oh ! fearful woe,

Such screams to hear, such sights to see :
My brain !-my brain ! I know, I know

I am not mad, but soon shall be !
Yes, soon ; for lo ! you, while I speak,

Mark how yon demon's eyeballs glare !
He sees me! Now, with horrid shriek,

He whirls a serpent high in air.
Horror! the reptile strikes his tooth

Deep in this heart, so crushed and sad !
Ah ! laugh ye fiends! I feel the truth;
Your task is done : I'm mad ! I'm mad !

M. G. Lewis

CAIUS MARIUS TO THE ROMANS.

It is but too common, my countrymen, to observe a material difference between the behaviour of those who stand candidates for places of power and trust, before and after their obtaining them. They solicit them in one manner, and execute them in another. They set out with a great appearance of activity, humility, and moderation, and they quickly fall into sloth, pride, and avarice. It is, undoubtedly, no easy matter to discharge, to the general satisfaction, the duty of a supreme commander in troublous times. I am, I hope, duly sensible of the importance of the office I propose to take upon me for the service of my country. To carry on, with effect, an expensive war, and yet be frugal of the public money ; to oblige those to serve whom it may be delicate to offend ; to conduct, at the same time, a complicated variety of operations ; to concert measures at home, answerable to the state of things abroad; and to gain every valuable end, in spite of opposition from the envious, the factious, and the disaffected ;-to do all this, my countrymen, is more difficult than is generally thought.

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