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It is too fine a knowledge for us.
We shall comprehend it, when we know how the morning stars sang together.
4. You would hardly look for music in the dreariness of early winter. But, before the keener frosts set in, and whilo the warm winds are yet stealing back occasionally, like regrets of the departed summer, there will come a soft rain or a heavy mist', and when the north wind returns', there will be drops suspended like ear-ring jewels, between the filaments of the cedar tassels, and in the feathery edges of the dark green hemlocks', and, if the clearing up is not followed by the heavy wind', they will be all frozen in their places like well set gems. The next morning, the warm sun comes out', and by the middle of the warm dazzling forenoon', they are all loosened from the close touch which sustained them, and they will drop at the lightest motion.
5. If you go upon the south side of the wood at that hour, you will hear music. The dry foliage of the summer's shedding is scattered over the ground', and the round, hard drops ring out clearly and distinctly, as they are shaken down with the stirring of the breeze. It is something like the running of deep and rapid water', only more fitful and merries'; but to one who goes out in nature with his heart open', it is a pleasant music, and, in contrast with the stern character of the season, delightful.
6. Winter has many other sounds that give pleasure to the seeker for hidden sweetness'; but they are too rare and accidental to be described distinctly. The brooks have a sullen and muffled murmur under their frozen surface'; the ice in the distant river heaves up with the swell of the current', and falls again to the bank with a prolonged echo'; and the woodman's ax rings cheerfully out from the bosom of the unrobed forest. These are, at best, however, but melancholy' sounds, and, like all that meets the eye in that cheerless season, they but drive in the heart upon itself. I believe it is ordered in God's wisdom. We forget' ourselves in the enticement of the sweet summer. Its music and its loveliness win away the senses that link up the affections', and we need a hand to turn us back tenderly, and hide from us the outward idols', in whose worship we are forgetting the high and more spiritual altars.
XV.--THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.
FROM LONGFELLOW. HENRY W. LONGFELLOW was born in Portland, in 1807, and entered Bowdoin College at the age of fourteen. He held a professorship of modern languages in the same institution, and in 1836 received the appointment to a professorship of the same kind in Harvard Universit Cambridge, Mass. His reputation as a writer is well known. He may be ranked among the first poets of the age.
1. UNDER a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands';
With large and sinewy hands';
Are strong as iron bands.
2. His hair is crisp, and black, and long!
His face is like the tan';
He earns whate'er he can,
For he owes not any man.
3. Week in', week out", from morn' till night',
You can hear his bellows blow';
With measured beat and slow!,
When the evening sun is low.
Look in at the open door';
And hear the bellows roar!,
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
And sits among his boys';
He hears his daughter's voice,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
6. It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise'!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies';
7. Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes';
Each evening sees it close';
Has earned a night's repose.
For the lesson thou hast taught\!.
Our fortunes must be wrought';
Each burning deed and thought"!
FROM GEORGE D. PRENTICE.
1. I NEVER was a man of feeble courage. There are few scenes of either human or elemental strife', upon which I have not looked with a brow of daring' I have stood in the front of the battle when the swords were gleaming and circling around me like fiery serpents in the air'. I have seen these things with a swelling soul, that knew not, that recked not danger.
2. But there is something in the thunder's voice, that makes me tremble like a child. I have tried to overcome this unmanly weakness. I have called pride to my aid'; ? have sought for moral courage in the lessons of philosophy, but it avails me nothing. At the first low moaning of the distant cloud', my heart shrinks and dies within me.
3. My involuntary dread of thunder had its origin in an incident that occurred when I was a boy of ten years. I had a little cousin, a girl of the same age with myself, who had been the constant companion of my youth. Strange, that, after the lapse of many years, that occurrence should be so familiar to me'! I can see the bright young creature', her
eyes flashing like a beautiful gem', her free locks streaming as in joy upon the rising gale', and her cheeks glowing like a ruby', through a wreath of transparent snow.
4. Her voice had the melody and joyousness of a bird's, and when she bounded over the wooded hill or fresh green valley, shouting a glad answer to every voice of nature, and clapping her little hands in the ecstasy of young existence', she looked as if breaking away, like a free nightingale, from the earth, and going off where all things are beautiful like her!
5. It was a morning in the middle of August. The little girl had been passing some days at my father's house, and she was now to return home. Her path lay across the fields, and gladly I became the companion of her walk. I never knew a summer morning more beautiful and still. Only one little cloud was visible, and that seemed as pure, and white, and peaceful', as if it had been the incense-smoke of some burning censer of the skies.
6. The leaves hung silent in the woods, the waters in the bay had forgotten their undulations', the flowers were bending their heads, as if dreaming of the rainbow and dew', and the whole atmosphere was of such a soft and luxurious sweetness', that it seemed a cloud of roses scattered down by the hands of Peri, from the afar-off garden of Paradise'. The
green earth and the blue sea lay around, in their boundlessness, and the peaceful sky bent over and kissed them.
7. The little creature at my side was in a delirium of happiness, and her clear, sweet voice came ringing upon the air as often as she heard the tones of a favorite bird, or found some strange and lovely flower in her frolic wanderings. The unbroken and almost supernatural stillness of the day continued until noon. Then, for the first time, the indications of an approaching tempest became manifest.
8. On the summit of a mountain, at the distance of about a mile, the folds of a dark cloud became suddenly visible, and, at the same instant, a hollow roar came down upon the winds, as if it had been the sound of waves in a rocky cavern. The cloud rolled out like a banner unfolded upon the air, but still the atmosphere was as calm, and the leaves as motionless as before; and there was not even
quiver anyong the sleeping waters, to tell of the coming hurricane.
9. To escape the tempest was impossible. As the only resort, we fled to an oak that stood at the foot of a tall and ragged precipice. Here we stood, and gazed almost breathlessly upon the clouds, marshaling themselves like bloody giants in the sky. The thunder was not frequent, but every burst was so fearful', that the young creature who stood by me, shut her eyes convulsively, and clung with desperate strength to my arm, and shrieked as if her heart would break.
10. A few minutes, and the storm was upon us. During the height of its fury, the little girl lifted her finger toward the precipice that towered over us. I looked, and saw there a purple light. And the next moment, the clouds opened, the rocks tottered to their foundations, a roar like the groan of the universe filled the air, and I felt myself blinded, and thrown, I know not whither. How long I remained insensible, I can not tell'; but when consciousness returned, the violence of the tempest was abating, the roar of the winds was dying in the tree-tops, and the deep tones of thunder-clouds came in fainter murmurs from the eastern hills. · 11. I arose, and looked tremblingly and almost deliriously around. She was there, the dear idol of my infant love, stretched out upon the green earth. After a moment of irresolution, I went up and looked upon her. The handkerchief upon her neck was slightly rent, and a single dark spot upon her bosom told where the pathway of death had been. At first, I clasped her to my breast with a cry of agony, and then laid her down, and gazed upon her face almost with feelings of calmness.
12. Her bright, disheveled hair clustered sweetly around her brow; the look of terror had faded from her lips, and infant smiles were pictured there; the rose tinge upon her cheeks was lovely as in life; and, as I pressed them to my own, the fountains of tears were opened, and I wept as if my heart were waters. I have but a dim recollection of what followed. I only know, that I remained weeping and motionless till the coming twilight, and I was taken tenderly