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HOME-THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD.
ROBERT BROWNING was born in Camberwell, England, May 7, 1812. He attended lectures at University College. At the age of nineteen he began the writing of verse. His poems are many and various, several of them being dramatic in form. It has been said that he is “distinguished for the depth of his spiritual insight, his dramatic energy, and power of psycholog. ical analysis.” By a considerable number of thoughtful readers he is regarded as the greatest poet of modern times.
He died at Venice, Dec. 12, 1889.
Oh, to be in England now that April's there,
INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP.
You know, we French stormed Ratisbon :
A mile or so away
Stood on our storming day;
Legs wide, arms locked behind,
Oppressive with its mind.
Just as perhaps he mused, “My plans
That soar, to earth may fall,
Waver at yonder wall ” —
A rider, bound on bound
Until he reached the mound.
Then off there flung in smiling joy,
And held himself erect
You hardly could suspect —
Scarce any blood came through)
Was all but shot in two.
“Well,” cried he, “Emperor, by God's grace,
We've got you Ratisbon!
And you'll be there anon
Where I, to heart's desire,
Soared up again like fire.
The chief's eye flashed; but presently
Softened itself, as sheathes A film the mother-eagle's eye
When her bruised eaglet breathes. “ You’re wounded !” “Nay," the soldier's pride
Touched to the quick, he said: " I'm killed, Sire!” And his chief beside, Smiling, the boy fell dead.
ROBERT BROWNING. THE TWENTY-SECOND OF FEBRUARY.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT was born at Cummington, Massachusetts, Nov. 3, 1794. There his earlier years were passed, amid the delights of lovely scenery and under the influences of a refined home. His literary work began while he was yet a boy. “Thanatopsis” was written when he was eighteen years of age. It has become an American classic. The young inan studied for the profession of law, but literary pursuits proved more attractive. In 1826 he became assistant editor of the New York Evening Post, and in 1829 its editor in chief. But he
is best known by his poetical writings. These are characterized by melody, purity, and high ethical tone. They show profound love of Nature, and accurate observation of her varying moods. In his later years he made admirable translations of the poems of Homer. He died in the city of New York, June 12, 1878. The present selection is used by courtesy of D. Appleton and Company.
Pale is the February sky,
And brief the midday's sunny hours ;
For the sweet time of leaves and flowers.
Yet has no month a prouder day,
Not even when the summer broods
Or autumn tints the glowing woods.
For this chill season now again
Brings, in its annual round, the morn
Our glorious Washington was born.
Lo, where, beneath an icy shield,
Calmly the mighty Hudson flows !
Broadening, the lordly river goes.
The wildest storm that sweeps through space,
And rends the oak with sudden force,
Or slacken his majestic course.
Thus, ’mid the wreck of thrones, shall live
Unmarred, undimmed, our hero's fame,
Increase of honors to his name.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
When to the common rest that crowns our days,