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GENTLY, dear mother, here

The bridge is broken near thee, and below
The waters with a rapid current flow-
Gently, and do not fear;

Lean on me, mother-plant thy staff before thee,
For she who loves thee most is watching o'er thee.

The green leaves as we pass
Lay their light fingers on thee unaware,
And by thy side the hazel clusters fair,
And the low forest grass

Grows green and lovely, where the wood paths wind,
Alas, for thee, dear mother, thou art blind.

And nature is all bright;

And the faint grey and crimson of the dawn,
Like folded curtains from the day are drawn ;
And evening's dewy light

Quivers in tremulous softness on the sky-
Alas, dear mother, for thy clouded eye!

And the kind looks of friends
Peruse the sad expression in thy face,
And the child stops amid his bounding race,
And the tall stripling bends

Low to thine ear with duty unforgot-
Alas, dear mother, that thou seest them not!

But thou canst hear-and love
May richly on a human tongue be poured,
And the slight cadence of a whispered word
A daughter's love may prove;

And while I speak thou knowest if I smile
Albeit, thou dost not see my face the while.

Yes thou canst hear-and He
Who on thy sightless eye its darkness hung,


To the attentive ear like harps hath strung
Heaven, and earth, and sea!

And 'tis a lesson in our hearts to know,
With but one sense the soul may overflow!

1. Why does the daughter caution her mother to walk softly now?

2. What is here said of the green leaves?
3. What is said of the hazel?
4. What of the forest grass?

5. What of the morning light and of the evening light?

6. Wherefore does the daughter grieve amidst these beauties of nature?

7. How do the blind mother's friends

show their sympathy?


10. In what kind of tones are feelings of love and affection generally uttered? 11. What in the daughter's voice betrays her love for her mother?

12. Wherefore does the daughter repeat these words "thou canst hear"?

13. In what is God here shown to be good to the blind?

14. Name the five senses.

15. What feeling towards God should fill our hearts who are possessed of all our

8. How does the child that meets her act? external senses? 9. How does the stripling act?

16. How should we ever act towards the blind?


"WORK is the appointed calling of man on earth, the end for which his various faculties were given, the element in which his nature is ordained to develop itself, and in which his progressive advance towards heaven is to lie."-Arnold.

WELCOME, red and roundy sun,
Dropping lowly in the west;
Now my hard day's work is done,
I'm as happy as the best.

Joyful are the thoughts of home,
Now I'm ready for my chair,
So, till to-morrow morning's come,
Bill and mittens, lie ye there!

Though to leave your pretty song,
Little birds, it gives me pain,
Yet to-morrow is not long,

Then I'm with you all again.

If I stop, and stand about,

Well I know how things will be,

Judy will be looking out

Every now and then for me.

So fare-ye-well! and hold your tongues;
Sing no more until I come;
They're not worthy of your songs,

That never care to drop a crumb.

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All day long I love the oaks,
But, at nights, yon little cot,
Where I see the chimney smokes,
Is by far the prettiest spot.

Wife and children all are there,
To revive with pleasant looks,
Table ready set, and chair,
Supper hanging on the hooks.

Soon as ever I get in,

When my fagot down I fling,
Little prattlers they begin
Teasing me to talk and sing.

Welcome, red and roundy sun,
Dropping lowly in the west;
Now my hard day's work is done,
I'm as happy as the best.

Joyful are the thoughts of home,
Now I'm ready for my chair,
So, till to-morrow morning's come,
Bill and mittens, lie ye there!

1. How does the woodcutter address the sun?

2. What has made him ready for his chair?

3. What are the bill and mittens ? 4. What is the woodcutter sorry to leave? 5. If he spend his time speaking to the birds what will be taking place at home?


6. Name the woodman's wife? 7. Does he grumble at his lowly station? 8. Tell me the prettiest spot to him at night?

9. In what state are matters at home? 10. What carries he home on his shoulder?


"The Swallow," says Sir Humphrey Davy, in his Salmonia, "is one of my favourite birds, and a rival of the Nightingale, for he cheers my sense of seeing as much as the other does my sense of hearing. He is the glad prophet of the year-the harbinger of the best season; he lives a life of enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature; winter is unknown to him; and he leaves the green meadows of England in autumn for the myrtle and orange groves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa." The bird does not winter in Italy, leaving it in autumn, and going off in the direction of Egypt, and has been seen in Egypt going still farther south; but, in other respects, "this is in truth," to use the words of Mr. Yarrell," a brief but perfect sketch of the history of the Swallow."-Patterson's Zoology.

THE swallow is a bonnie bird, comes twitt'ring o'er the sea,
And gladly is her carol heard for the sunny days to be;
She shares not with us wintry glooms, but yet, no faithless

She hunts the summer o'er the earth with little wearied wing.

The lambs like snow all nibbling go upon the ferny hills, The gladsome voice of gushing streams the leafy forest fills, Then welcome, little swallow, by our morning lattice heard, Because thou com'st when nature bids bright days be thy reward.

Thine be sweet mornings with the bee that's out for honey dew,

And glowing be the noontide for the grasshopper and you: And mellow shine, o'er day's decline, the sun to light thee home, What can molest thy airy nest? sleep till the day-spring come.

The river blue that rushes through the valley hears thee sing, It murmurs much beneath the touch of thy light dipping wing; The thunder-cloud above us bow'd in deeper gloom is seen, When quick relieved it glances to thy bosom's silvery sheen.

The silent power that brought thee back, with leading strings of love,

To haunts where first the summer sun fell on thee from above, Shall bind thee more to come aye to the music of our leaves, For here thy young, where thou hast sprung, shall glad thee in our eves.

Oh! all thy life's one pleasant hymn to God who sits on high, And gives to thee o'er land and sea the sunshine of his sky; And aye the summer shall come round because it is his word, And aye will welcome back again its little travelling bird. Thomas Aird.

1. When does the swallow arrive in our country?

2. How long does she remain with us?
3. Where is she supposed to winter?
4. Where does she build her nest?
5. What constitutes her food?

6. Why do we hear her twittering with gladness?

7. What takes this sweet bird away on its travels?

8. When are lambs seen on the hills? 9. Describe the appearance of nature generally, at the time of the swallow's arrival here.

10. Repeat the kind wishes of the poet in verse 3d.

11. Show me that the two last lines of verse 4th are true.

12. Does not the swallow come here to build a nest, and rear its young?

13. Is it true that each bird comes back to its own nest?

14. Why are we sure that summer and winter, seed-time and harvest shall always be?

15. If this little "travelling bird" is watched over by God, need we despair?


The swan which is domesticated is termed the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor); yet it is respecting this bird that the fable became current, that it foretold its own death, and sung with peculiar sweetness at its approach. Thus Shakspeare:

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But, although the voice of the swan is but little noticed, the bird is not really mute, as its name would imply; the notes are soft and low, and are described by Yarrell as "plaintive, and with little variety, but not disagreeable." Among the many strange creatures which New Holland has sent to us, are Black Swans; these are now distributed over many parts of these kingdoms where aquatic menageries are established, and form, by their dusky hue, a striking contrast to the snowy tint of their congeners.

WHAT is that, mother?

The lark my child!

The morn has but just looked out, and smiled,
When he starts from his humble grassy nest,
And is up and away with the dew on his breast,
And a hymn in his heart to yon pure bright sphere,
To warble it out in his Maker's ear.

Ever, my child! be thy morn's first lays
Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.

What is that, mother?

The dove, my son!

And that low, sweet voice, like a widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure by that lonely nest,
As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,
For her constant dear one's quick return.
Ever, my son, be thou like the dove-

In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.

What is that, mother?

The eagle, boy!

Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm on his own mountain vigour relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying.
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.
Boy! may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward and upward, true to the line.

What is that, mother?

The swan, my love!

He is floating down from his native grove;
No loved one, now, no nestling nigh,
He is floating down by himself to die;
Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings.

Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home.

G. W. Doane.

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