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“The barley harvest was nodding white,
When my children died on the rocky height,
And the reapers were singing on hill and plain,
When I came to my task of sorrow and pain.
But now the season of rain is nigh,
The sun is dim in the thickening sky,
And the clouds in sullen darkness rest,
When he hides his light at the doors of the west.
I hear the howl of the wind that brings
The long, drear storm on its heavy wings ;
But the howling wind and the driving rain
Will beat on my houseless head in vain :
I shall stay, from my murdered sons to scare
The beasts of the desert and fowls of air."

LESSON CXXVI.

Importance of the Union of the States.—Daniel Webster.

I have thus stated the reasons of my dissent to the doctrines which have been advanced and maintained. I am conscious of having detained the Senate much too long. I was drawn into the debate, with no previous deliberation such as is suited to the discussion of so grave and important a subject. But it is a subject of which

my

heart is full, and I have not been willing to suppress the utterance of its spontaneous sentiments. I cannot, even now, persuade myself to relinquish it, without expressing, once more, my deep conviction, that, since it respects nothing less than the union of the States, it is of most vital and essential importance to the public happi

I profess, in my career, hitherto, to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our federal union. It is to that union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That union we reached only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit.

ness.

Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and, although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us all a copious fountain of national, social and personal happiness. I have not allowed myself to look beyond the union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counsellor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the union should be best preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people when it shall be broken up and destroyed. While the union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise. God grant, that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind. When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured—bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as, What is all this worth ? nor those other words of delusion and folly, Liberty first, and Union afterwards—but every where, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart—Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable !

LESSON CXXVII.

The Children of Henry I. of England.-Mrs. SIGOURNEY.

[Not before published.]

The young prince William, after the shipwreck, might have escaped in the

boat,—but, hearing the cries of his sister, went back to save her, and both perished together.

Light sped a ship from Gallia's strand

Across the azure main,
And on her deck a joyous band,

A proud and courtly train,
Surrounded Albion's princely heir,

Who toward his realm returned ;
And music's cheering strain was there,

And hearts with pleasure burned.

It was a fair and glorious sight

That gallant bark to see,
With floating streamers glittering bright

In pomp of chivalry :

The smooth sea kissed her as she flew,

The favoring gale impelled, As if each gentle billow knew

What wealth her bosom held.

But sudden, o'er the summer sky,

A sable cloud arose,
And hollow winds, careering high,

Rushed on, like armed foes :
Loud thunders roll, mad tempests rave,

Red lightnings cleave the sky :-
What is yon wreck amid the wave?

And whence that fearful cry?

See! see! amid the foaming surge,

There seems a speck to float ;
And with such speed as oars can urge,

Toils on the o'erloaded boat :
The prince is safe,—but on his ear

There came a distant shriek, Which to his young eye brought the tear,

And paleness to his cheek.

That voice !'twas by his cradle-side

When with sweet dream he slept;
It ruled his wrath, it soothed his pride,

When moody boyhood wept;
'Twas with him in his hour of glee,

Gay sports and pastimes rare, And at his sainted mother's knee

Amid the evening prayer.

Plunging, he dared the breakers hoarse

None might the deed restrainAnd battled, with a giant's force,

The madness of the main.

He snatched his sister from the wreck;

Faint was her welcome dear ;
Yet strong her white arms twined his neck:-

Blest William, art thou here?

The wild waves swell like mountains on,

The blasts impetuous sweep:
Where is the heir of England's throne ?

Go, ask the surging deep.
He slumbers in the coral grove,

Pale pearls his bed adorn;
A martyr to that brother's love

Which with his life was born.

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The Frenzied Child of Grace.—CRABBE.

Such were the evils, man of sin,

That I was fated to sustain ;
And add to all, without--within,

A soul defiled with every stain
That man's reflecting mind can pain;

That pride, wrong, rage, despair can make;
In fact, they'd nearly touched my brain,

And Reason on her throne would shake.

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