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114

ASPIRATIONS OF YOUTH.

Deeper, deeper let us toil
In the mines of knowledge ;
Nature's wealth and learning's spoil
Win from school or college;
Delve we there for richer gems
Than the stars of diadems.
Onward, onward will we press
Through the path of duty ;
Virtue is true happiness,
Excellence true beauty ;
Minds are of supernal birth,
Let us make a heaven of earth.
Close and closer then we knit,
Hearts and hands together;
Where our fre-side comforts sit
In the wildest weather;
Oh! they wander wide, who roam
For the joys of life, from home.
Nearer, dearer bands of love
Draw our souls in union,
To our Father's house above,
To its blest communion;
Thither every hope ascend,
There may all our labours end.

J. Montgomery.

SELF-APPROVAL.

115

SELF-APPROVAL.

What stronger breast-plate than a heart un

tainted; Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel

just; And he but naked though locked up in

steel Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

Shakespeare,

He who hath light within his own clear

breast May sit i'th'centre and enjoy bright day;While he who hides a dark soul and foul

thoughts, Benighted walks beneath the mid-day sun; Himself is his own dungeon.

Milton,

'Tis joy to do an upright deed,

'Tis joy to do a kind, And the best reward of virtuous deeds, Is the peace of one's own mind.

Mary Howitt.

116

FOREST MUSINGS.

FOREST MUSINGS.

The green leaves waving in the morning

galeThe little birds that 'mid their freshness

sing The wild-wood flowers so tender-eyed and

paleThe wood-mouse sitting by the forest

springThe morning dew-the wild bee's woodland

hum, All woo my feet to Nature's forest home.

To the pure heart, 'tis happiness to mark
The tree-tops waving in the warm sun-

shine To hear thy song, thou cloud embosom'd

lark, Like that of some fair spirit all divine To lie upon the forest's velvet grass, And watch the fearful deer in distance pass.

0! gloriously beautiful is earth!The desert wild, the mountain old and

hoar,

FOREST MUSINGS.

117

The craggy steep, upthrown at nature's birth, The sweeping ocean wave, the pebbled

shore, Have much of beauty all ; but none to me, Is like the spot where stands the forest tree.

There I can muse away from living men,

Reclining peacefully on nature's breast, The wood-bird sending up its God-ward

strain, Nursing the spirit into holy rest ! Alone with God, within his forest fane, The soul can feel that all save him is vain,

Here it can learn will learn-to love all

things, That he hath made-to pity and for

give All faults, all failings. Here he heart's

deep springs Are open’d up, and all on Earth who

live, To me grow nearer, dearer than beforeMy brother loving I my God adore.

Nicoll.

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When I go musing in this happy time-
The opening of a late, but, shining May-
Through winding lanes, which over me dis-

play High banks, with the wood-sorrel's flower in

prime, And rich luxuriant herbage, with the rime Of night-dews slightly silver'd, when the gay, Light, young-leav'd branches all around me

sway ; And when I hear the old familiar chime Of chaffinch and wood-creeper, and that voice Of summer-night, the cowering corn-crake's

call;

I can no more keep down the sudden leap Of my touch'd heart, thus bidden to rejoice, Than I could charm back Nature into sleep, And chill her bosom with a wintry pall.

William Howitt.

SONG.

Song should breathe of scents and flowers;

Song should like a river flow;

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