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modic rustle of their feathers. An old, matronly hen stalks about the yard with a sedate step, and with quiet self-assurance she utters an occasional series of hoarse and heated “clucks.” A speckled turkey, with an astonished brood at her heels, is eying curiously, and with earnest variations of the head, a fullfed cat that lies curled up and dozing upon the floor of the cottage porch.

As I sit thus, watching through the interstices of my leafy screen, the various images of country life, I hear distant mutterings from beyond the hills.

The sun has thrown its shadow upon the pewter dial two hours beyond the meridian line. Great cream-colored heads of thunderclouds are lifting above the sharp, clear line of the western horizon. The light breeze dies away, and the air becomes stifling, even under the shadow of boughs in the chamber window.

The clouds have now well-nigh reached the sun, which seems to shine the fiercer for its coming eclipse. The whole west, as I look from the sources of the brook to its lazy drift under the swamps that lie to the south, is hung with a curtain of darkness ; and like swiftworking, golden ropes, that lift it toward the zenith, long chains of lightning flash through it, and the growing thunder seems like the rumble of pulleys.

I thrust away my azalea boughs, and fling back the shattered blinds, as the sun and the clouds meet, and my room darkens with the coming shadows. For an

my withered instant the edges of the thick, creamy masses of cloud are gilded by the shrouded sun, and show gorgeous scallops of gold, that toss upon the hem of the storm. But the blazonry fades as the clouds mount; and the brightening lines of the lightning dart up from the lower skirts, and heave the billowy masses into the middle heaven.

The workmen are urging their oxen fast across the meadow, and the loiterers come straggling after with rakes upon their shoulders. The matronly hen has retreated to the stable door; and the brood of turkeys stand dressing their feathers under the open shed.

Presently I hear the rush of the wind, and the cherry and pear trees rustle through all their leaves; and my paper is whisked away by the intruding blast.

There is a quiet of a moment, in which the wind even seems weary and faint, and nothing finds utter

one hoarse tree toad, doling out his lugubrious notes.

Now comes a blinding flash from the cloud, and a quick, sharp clang clatters through the heavens, and bellows loud and long among the hills. Then — like great grief spending its pent agony in tears — come the big drops of rain pattering on the lawn and on the leaves, and most musically of all upon the roof above me, — not now with the light dance of the spring shower, but with strong footfalls, like the first proud tread of youth !

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John GREENLEAF WHITTIER was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Dec. 17, 1807. His parents were members of the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers. The early years of the poet were passed on the farm of his father and in occupations incident to it. From 1829 to 1832 he successively edited three periodical publications. In 1831 his first book of poems was published, and at infrequent intervals, during his long life, other volumes came from his hand. He often wrote in strains of spiritual devotion ; his personal poems are tenderly beautiful ;

his legends of New England are aptly descriptive and true in touch. The “Snow-Bound” must always remain a perfect picture of scenes and times such as are now hardly known.

He died Sept. 7, 1892.


Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made boary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the winged snow :
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull's-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,

Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.

And while with care our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love's contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfillment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O'er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made the very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board nails snapping in the frost ;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light-sifted snowflakes fall.

But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.


John TYNDALL was born at Leighlin Bridge, Ireland, Aug. 21, 1820. He pursued scientific studies in Germany. Three years he was a railway engineer. In 1848, at Marburg, Prussia, he studied physics and chemistry. In 1856 he was made professor in the Royal Institution of London. He has written several books on scientific subjects and thus contributed much to the world's knowledge. He is also author of entertaining and instructive books of travel. He died in Surrey, England, Dec. 4, 1893. The present selection is taken from “Hours of Exercise in the Alps,” and is used by courtesy of D. Appleton and Company.


The dawn had brightened into perfect day, and over mountains and glaciers the gold and purple light of the eastern heaven was liberally poured. We had already caught sight of the peak of the Jungfrau, rising behind an eminence and piercing for fifty feet or so the rosy dawn.

And many another peak of stately altitude caught the blush, while the shaded slopes were all of a beautiful azure, being illuminated by the firmament alone. A large segment of space inclosed between the Monk and Trugberg was filled like a reservoir with purple light. The world, in fact, seemed to worship, and the flush of adoration was on every mountain head.

Over the distant Italian Alps rose clouds of most

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