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'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 foot-ball's laid upon the shelf;—
No more in noontide sun I bask;
The very chum that shared my cake
No skies so blue, or so serene
All things I loved are alter'd so,
Oh, for the garb that mark'd the boy—
Oh, for the lessons learn'd by heart!
Ay! though the very birch's smart
I'd “kiss the rod,” and be resign'd
Beneath the stroke — and even find
The Arabian Nights, rehearsed in bed;
The angel form that always walk'd
The “omne bene” – Christmas come!
Then home, sweet home; the crowded coach—
When that I was a tiny boy
THE RATS AND THE BARLEY.
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.”
NEAR the banks of the Ganges, a mighty river held sacred by the Hindoos, natives of the great peninsula of Hindostan, is a stupendous cataract, that rushes with impetuous force over the scattered fragments of the rocks, dashing its silver foam from fall to fall, till it reaches a basin below, whence it flows in a rapid stream, through shady woods of tall forest trees, till its waters are lost in the Ganges. At the bottom of the lower fall, is a great hollow cavern, venerated by the Hindoos with religious superstition, from the inside of which, the descent of the cataract is seen in full view, forming part of the arc of a great circle. This cavern was the favorite retreat, for solemn meditation, of an aged bramin, who officiated as chief priest in a temple raised at a few miles' distance on the shore of a sacred stream. The temple, or pagoda, as it is often called, is a stone building, rising to a great height in the form of a pyramid, with a flat top. The outside is richly adorned with bass relievos, and close by it is a tank or reservoir of water, with steps descending to the bottom, for the convenience of the devotees who attend the temple. Sydney, an English gentleman, of an enlightened mind, and engaging manners, who was travelling in pursuit of knowledge through the interior parts of the country, was accidentally led into this cavern, just as the Bramin had retired thither. The venerable aspect of the Hindoo priest, with his head, and the upper part of his body uncovered, except by the zennar, or badge of his order, which is made of a certain number of threads of cotton, thrown over the shoulders, attracted the respect of Sydney. He approached him with reverence. The Bramin with great gentleness, welcomed the stranger, and guided him to the inward recesses of the cavern, the sides of which were adorned with pendant petrifactions, of various and beautiful forms. He then led his companion to different points of the rock, from whence the view of the cataract, and the adjacent country, appeared to the most advantage. Sydney was charmed by the kind attentions of his new friend, and the beauties of the scene around him. From the summit of the mountain, the cataract rolled with impetuous force. The declivities of the rocks were clothed with trees, abounding with monkeys, green parrots, macaws, and peacocks. The Ganges meandered through the plain below, which was covered with green turf, on which sported the elegant deer and the bounding antelope. The conversation insensibly turned upon the works of creation and subjects of natural philosophy. In a science both had cultivated with earnestness, the similarity of their tastes attached them to each other. The Bramin insisted that Sydney should accept an apartment in his house during his stay in that neighborhood; an offer he readily embraced.