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But never palm-tree straighter stood
Than Tell before them all.
“My knee shall bend,” he calmly said,
"To God, and God alone : My life is in the Austrian's hand,
My conscience is my own.
“Seize him, ye guards !” the ruler cried,
While passion choked his breath; “He mocks my power, he braves my lord,
He dies the traitor's death.
Yet wait. The Swiss are marksmen true,
So all the world doth say;
We'll try their skill to-day.”—
Hard by a spreading lime-tree stood,
To this the youth was bound;
He looked in wonder roundo
“The fault is mine, if fault there be,"
Cried Tell, in accents wild ; “On manhood let your vengeance fall,
But spare, oh, spare my child !”—
“ I will not harm the pretty boy,”
Said Gesler, tauntingly; “If blood of his shall stain the ground,
Yours will the murder be.
“Draw tight your bow, my cunning man,
Your straightest arrow take; For know, yon apple is your mark,
Your liberty the stake.”
A mingled noise of wrath and grief
Was heard among the crowd ;
The women wept aloud.
Full fifty paces from his child,
His cross-bow in his hand,
Tell firmly took his stand.
Sure, full enough of pain and woe
This crowded earth has been; But never since the curse began,
So sad a sight was seen.
The noble boy stood bravely up,
His cheek unblanched with fear : “Shoot straight,” he cried ; “thine aim is sure,
It will not fail thee here.”—
“Heaven bless thee now,” the parent said,
“Thy courage shames me quite;" Then to his ear the shaft he drew,
And watched its whizzing flight.
“'Tis done! 'tis done!—the child is safe!"
Shouted the multitude ; “Man tramples on his brother man,
But God is ever good.”
For, sure enough, the arrow went
As by an angel guided ;
The apple fell divided !
“ 'Twas bravely done,” the ruler said,
"My plighted word I keep ; 'Twas bravely done by sire and son
Go home and feed your sheep.”
“No thanks I give thee for thy boon,”
The peasant coldly said : "To God alone my praise is due,
And duly shall be paid.
Yet know, proud man, thy fate was near:
Had I but missed my aim,
Thy parting hour the same!
For, see! a second shaft was here,
If harm my boy befell :
My first has sped so well.”—
God helped the right, God spared the sin;
He brings the proud to shame;
Rev. J. H. GURNEY.
THE MOTHER PERISHING IN A SNOW STORM.
The cold winds swept the mountain's height,
And pathless was the dreary wild ;
A mother wandered with her child:
And colder still the winds did blow,
And darker hours of night came on, And deeper grew the drifting snow:
Her limbs were chilled, her strength was gone : “O God!" she cried, in accents wild, “If I must perish, save my child !" She stripped her mantle from her breast,
And bared her bosom to the storm,
And smiled to think her babe was warm.
With one cold kiss one tear she shed,
At dawn a traveller passed by,
And saw her ’neath a snowy veil ;
Her cheek was cold, and hard, and pale:
NEVER GIVE UP.
NEVER give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope than once to despair! Fling off the load of Doubt's heavy fetter,
And break the dark spell of tyrannical Care. Never give up! or the burden may sink you;
Providence kindly has mingled the cup, And in all trials or troubles, bethink you,
The watchword of life must be, Never give up!
Never give up! there are chances and changes
Helping the hopeful a hundred to one,
Ever success-if you'll only hope on.
Knowing that Providence mingles the cup; And of all maxims the best, as the oldest,
Is the true watchword of Never give up!
Never give up! though the grape-shot may rattle,
Or the full thunder-cloud over you burst: Stand like a rock, and the storm or the battle
Little shall harm you, though doing the worst. Never give up! if adversity presses,
Providence wisely has mingled the cup; And the best counsel in all your distresses, Is the stout watch ward of Never give up!
ASK not for his lineage,
I ask not for his name ;
He noble birth may claim.
I care not though of world's wealth
But slender be his part,
“Hath he a true man's heart ?”.
I ask not from what land he came,
Nor where his youth was nursed; If pure the spring, it matters not
The spot from whence it burst.
The palace or the hovel
Where first his life began,
“Is he an honest man ?”
Nay, blush not now; what matters it
Where first he drew his breath? A manger was the cradle-bed
Of Him of Nazareth !
Be nought, be any, everything,
I care not what you be, If yes you answer, when I ask, “ Art thou pure, true, and free ?”
He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
When our need was the sorest.