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As Uncle Jack drew near the close of the reading, he was forced to turn the page toward the light, for dusk was falling. When he finished the letter, Mother said, “Ben, it is getting so dark that I think we might have the curtains drawn and the gas lighted.”
“Oh, Mother," said Belle, “before Ben lights the gas, may I recite my new poem, — the one I have been learning for Christmas evening?”
“Certainly, Belle,” replied Mother, “and I am sure twilight will be more suitable than gaslight as the setting for your recitation.”
The Day Is DONE
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice, And lend to the rhyme of the poet . The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.
- Longfellow ADDENDA
Teachers should strive to set proper standards in phonics) by persistent use of clear cut and correct speech. Moreover, they should be able to justify the time spent by the class in this subject by the increased clearness and accuracy of the pupils' speech. A phonic element or combination taught to and not absolutely mastered by the pupils had better not have been taught at all. Toleration of colloquial and slovenly speech by a single teacher in the group is absolutely fatal to general progress.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR PHONIC WORK
A good device by which to get quality of tone and purity of enunciation is to combine the phonic exercises with physical drill, with breathing exercises, and sometimes with music. It has been proved that this device develops the power of attention, to a marked degree. A treatment of it may be found in the Teachers' Manual of the Second Year (Sea-Brownie Readers). Following is a résumé for the class :
1. Stand erect. Raise the arms slowly till the backs of the hands meet
overhead, inhaling slowly through the nostrils, the lips closed. Drop the arms slowly to the sides, at the same time making a long,
slow exhalation. 2. Stand erect. Arms extended sideways, palms down; inhale. Hands
reversed; exhale. 3. Similar to 2. Turn head slowly to right or left, inhaling; turn the
head to the front with the exhaling breath. 4. Similar to 2, rising on tiptoes. 5. Inhale! Hold! Inhale again! Exhale! with f, v, sh, zh, or th, or
ster 6. Inhale! Hold! Exhale, hold, exhale! Inhale, hold, inhale. Ex
hale and whisper the alphabet or any part of the following tables. Remember that the sounds must be made by the pupil while he is exhaling.