Page images


A Dog, crossing a little rivulet, with a piece of flesh in his mouth, saw his own shadow represented in the clear mirror of the limpid stream; and believing it to be another dog, who was carrying another piece of flesh, he could not forbear catching at it; but was so far from getting anything by his greedy design, that he dropped the piece he had in his mouth, which immediately sunk to the bottom and was irrecoverably lost. This should teach us not to let go the substance to

catch at a shadow.



There is no part of life so happy as youth; the following lines, written by a celebrated man now living in England, show with what regret he looks back to the pleasant days of his boyhood.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

'Twas paper'd o'er with studious themes, The tasks I wrote — my present dreams Will never soar so high.

My joys are wingless all, and dead;
My dumps are made of more than lead;
My flights soon find a fall:
My fears prevail, my fancies droop,
Joy never cometh with a whoop,
And seldom with a call!

My foot-ball's laid upon the shelf;–
I am a shuttlecock myself,
The world knocks to and fro.
My archery is all unlearn'd,
And grief against myself has turn'd
My arrows and my bow.

No more in moontide sun I bask;
My authorship's an endless task,
My head's ne'er out of school.
My heart is pain'd with scorn and slight,
I have too many foes to fight,
And friends grow strangely cool :

The very chum that shared my cake
Holds out so cold a hand to shake,
It makes me shrink and sigh—
On this I will not dwell and hang,
The changeling would not feel a pang
Though these should meet his eye.

No skies so blue, or so serene
As then ; no leaves look half so green
As clothed the play-ground tree


All things I loved are alter'd so,
Nor does it ease my heart to know
That change resides in me!

Oh, for the garb that mark'd the boy—
The trowsers made of corduroy,
Well ink'd with black and red;—
The crownless hat — ne'er deem'd an ill,—
It only let the sunshine still
Repose upon my head' -
Oh, for the riband round the neck!
The careless dogs' ears apt to deck
My book and collar both !
How can this formal man be styled
Merely an Alexandrine child,
A boy of larger growth 7

[ocr errors]

Oh, for the lessons learn'd by heart!

Ay! though the very birch's smart
Should mark those hours again ;

I'd “kiss the rod,” and be resign'd

Beneath the stroke — and even find
Some sugar in the cane!

The Arabian Nights, rehearsed in bed;
The Fairy Tales, in school-time read
By stealth, 'twixt verb and noun

The angel form that always walk'd
In all my dreams, and look'd and talk'd
Exactly like Miss Brown

The “omne bene” – Christmas come!
The prize of merit won for home —
Merit had prizes then!
But now I write for days and days,
For fame — a deal of empty praise,
Without the silver pen

Then home, sweet home; the crowded coach—
The joyous shout — the loud approach;
The winding horns, like rams’;
The meeting sweet, that made me thrill;
The sweetmeats, almost sweeter still,
No “satis” to the “jams.”

When that I was a tiny boy
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe and kind—
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind.


SoME Rats, having found a sack of barley deposited in the corner of a garret, enjoyed themselves every day, in feasting abundantly upon it, till it was all gone. The winter now set in, but they had no provision, and none could they get at in the neighborhood. “How foolish were we,” said one of them, “that we did not eat less at a time, and then we might have had plenty to last us all the winter.”

« PreviousContinue »