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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?
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?
XII.-LESSONS TO BE DERIVED FROM BIRDS.
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:
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,
Ever, my child! be thy morn's first lays
What is that, mother?
The dove, my son!
And that low, sweet voice, like a widow's moan,
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.
What is that, mother?
The eagle, boy!
Proudly careering his course of joy,
What is that, mother?
The swan, my love!
He is floating down from his native grove;
Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
G. W. Doane.
1. Where does the lark build its nest? 2. What song-bird flies highest?
3. What does he do the moment he leaves his nest ?
4. In what way should each of you imitate the lark?
5. Has not the dove been ever regarded by mankind as the emblem of fidelity and purity of heart?
6. Who will quote to me Matt. x. 16. ? 7. What does the low sweet voice of the dove resemble ?
8. For whom is she ever calling?
9. What lesson should you all learn from the dove?
12. Where builds he his nest ?
15. What lesson does the eagle give you all?
16. What bird is said to sing for the first time just before its death?
17. What does Mr. Yarrell say about the swan singing?
18. What is the colour of swans in this part of the world?
19. What about the swans of New Holland?
20. What do you understand by "dying like the swan" ?
10. Name to me the king of birds. 21. Who only can use the triumphant 11. Does he dread the storm and the words of 1 Cor. xv. 55, at their death? thunderbolt?
XIII.-TO A WATERFOWL.
"OUR island is well situated for observing the phenomena of migration, which, viewed from it, may be likened to a tide-stream, flowing north-wards in spring, with a southern reflux in autumn. We may say, indeed, that our island is an Africa to the wild fowl of the Arctic regions, and an Arctic breeding-place to the swallow, which winters in Africa. Let us paint a summer in the Arctic regions. It is very short, but short as it is, it sees the birth of thousands of most interesting beings, and every islet and every promontory is thronged by a dense population. As if by magic, the snows of winter have dissolved, and coarse herbage has covered the land. Every small pool, every lake, every inlet, is garlanded with vegetation. Driving onwards from the south, (our temperate latitudes,) arrive myriads of wild-fowl, water birds of various species, scoter ducks, widgeons, eider ducks, king ducks, pochards, etc., and also several species of wading birds. The work of incubation now commences. The ground is converted into a city of nests, rarely intruded upon by the foot of man. Here myriads of wild fowl are reared. The water supplies them with food, and the reeds bend over their nests. But the summer is, as we have said, short. It passes not into winter by the transition of a mellowed autumn. As it sprang almost of a sudden out of winter, so it retires; but the wild birds, instinct-taught, anticipate the time when river and lake, pond and inlet, will be locked up with ice. Their young are fledged, strong on the wing, and now they commence their southern journey, not to seek a breeding home, but open lakes, open creeks, and seas wherein the ice-floe is never witnessed, and from which they may derive their sustenance."-Tract Society's Monthly Volume.
WHITHER, 'midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
There is a power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast-
Lone-wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
He, who from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
11. The rosy depths of what? 12. Could a fowler injure it,-and why not?
13. Name the places it might be seeking
4. To what birds is Great Britain an for its nest. Africa or warm region?
5. Where does the swallow winter? 6. Does summer come suddenly in the Arctic regions?
7. Name birds that now come flocking from the south?
8. Does winter in northern regions come in suddenly or by degrees?
9. Where do the wild-fowl then go, and for what purpose?
10. What time in the day did the poet see this waterfowl ?
14. What call you the principle which guides the actions of irrational creatures? 15. What does the adjective weary agree with?
16. Where would the waterfowl find rest? 17. Explain these words "the abyss of heaven hath swallowed up thy form." 18. What important lesson had the poet learned from the wild-fowl?
19. To whom must we look, to be brought safely to the end of the journey of life?
XIV.-A PSALM OF LIFE.
"ONE of the most pleasing characteristics of this writer's works is their intense humanity. A man's heart beats in his every line. His writings all
take a sober colour from the eye,
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality."
He loves, pities, and feels with, as well as for, his fellow "human mortal." Hence his writing is blood-warm. He is a brother, speaking to men as brothers, and as brothers are they responding to his voice. Byron addressed men as reptiles or fiends; Wordsworth and others soliloquise, careless whither their voices be listened to or
not. But no poet can be loved, as well as admired, who does not speak from the broad level of humanity.
Besides this quality of generous, genial manhood, LONGFELLOW is distinguished by a mild religious earnestness. We do not vouch for the orthodoxy of his creed, but we do vouch for the fine Christianity of his spirit. No poet has more beautifully expres sed the depth of his conviction, that life is an earnest reality, a something with eter. nal issues and dependencies; that this earth is no scene of revelry, or market of sale, but an arena of contest, and a hall of doom. This is the inspiration of his Psalm of Life, than which we have few things finer, in moral tone, since those odes by which the millions of Israel tuned their march across the wilderness, and to which the fiery pillar seemed to listen with complacency, and to glow out a deeper crimson in silent praise. To man's now wilder, more straggling, but still God-guided and hopeful progress towards a land of fairer promise, LONGFELLOW's Psalm is a noble accompaniment,
And the grave is not its goal;
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
In the world's broad field of battle,
Be not like dumb driven cattle!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,