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THE CHOICE OF KING MIDAS.

(7. Godfrey Saxe.)

Midas, king of Phrygia, several thousand years ago, Was a very worthy monarch, as the classic annals

showYou may read 'em at your leisure, when you have

a mind to doze, In the finest Latin verses, or in choice Hellenic

prose.

Now this notable old monarch, king of Phrygia, as

aforesaid (Of whose royal state and character there might be

vastly more said), Though he occupied a palace, kept a very open

door, And had still a ready welcome for the stranger and

the poor.

Now it chanced that old Silenus—who, it seems had lost his

way Following Bacchus through the forest, in the plea

sant month of May (Which wasn't very singular, for at the present day, The followers of Bacchus very often go astray)

Came at last to good King Midas, who received him

in his court, Gave him comfortable lodgings, and, to cut the

matter short, With as much consideration treated weary old Si

lenus As if the entertainment were for Mercury or Venu

G

Now when Bacchus heard the story, he proceeded

to the king, And, says he, “ By old Silenus you have done the

handsome thing; He's my much respected tutor, who has taught

me how to read, And I'm sure your royal kindness should receive

its proper meed;

So I grant you full permission to select your own

reward : Choose a gift to suit your fancy-something worthy

of a lord.” “Evoe Bacche," cried the monarch ; "if I do not

make too bold, Let whatever I may handle be transmuted into

a

gold."

Midas, sitting down to dinner, sees the answer to

his wish, For the turbot on the platter turns into a golden

fish? And the bread between his fingers is no longer

wheaten bread; But the slice he tries to swallow is a wedge of gold

instead !

And the roast he takes for mutton fills his mouth

with golden meat, Very tempting to the vision, but extremely hard to

eat ; And the liquor in his goblet, very rare, select, and

old, Down the monarch's thirsty throttle, runs a stream

of liquid gold !

Quite disgusted with his dining, he betakes him to

his bed ; But, alas! the golden pillow doesn't rest his weary

head; Nor does all the gold around him soothe the

monarch's tender skin : Golden sheets, to sleepy mortals, might as well be

sheets of tin. Now poor Midas, straight repenting of his rash and

foolish choice, Went to Bacchus and assured him, in a very plain

tive voice, That his golden gift was working in a manner

most unpleasant; And the god, in sheer compassion, took away the fatal present.

MORAL. By this mythologic story we are very plainly told, That though gold may have its uses, there are

better things than gold ; That a man may sell his freedom to procure the

shining pelf, And that avarice, though it prosper, still contrives

to cheat itself.

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MORNING.
HAMLET. ACT 1. SCENE I.
“But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill.”

0

EARLY RISING.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. ACT IV. SCENE I
“This morning, like the spirit of a youth
That means to be of note, begins by times.”

RING OUT THE OLD, RING IN THE

NEW.-(Tennyson.)
Ring out wild bells to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the nightRing out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new

Ring, happy bells, across the snow

The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

those that here we see no more ;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind,
Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life, With sweeter manners, purer laws. Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in. Ring out false pride in place and blood, · The civic slander and the spite ;

Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good. Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free;

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER.

(Oliver Goldsmith.) Beside yon straggling fence, that skirts the way With blossomed furze, unprofitably gay, There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, The village master taught his little school. A man severe he was, and stern to view : I knew him well, and every truant knew. Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace The day's disasters in his morning's face ; Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee, At all his jokes—for many a joke had he; Full well the busy whisper, circling round, Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned. Yet he was kind; or, if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault. The village all declared how much he knew; 'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too; Lands he could measure ; terms and tides presage ; And e'en the story ran, that he could-gauge. In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill; For, e'en though vanquished, he could argue still ; While words of learned length and thundering

sound Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; And still they gazed; and still the wonder grew, That one small head-could carry all he knew.

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