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beauty of the scene, my mind, as it is wont, fell to musing over the mysteries of life, when suddenly, over the green summit of a far mountain, a huge thunder head pushed itself into view.
3. As the mighty, black mass that followed slowly after, forced its way into the heavens, darkness began to creep over the earth. The song of birds was hushed. The passing breeze paused a moment, and then swept by in a sudden gust, which whirled the leaves and withered branches in wild confusion into the air. An ominous hush succeeded, while a low growl of the distant thunder, seemed forced from the deepest caverns of the mountains.
4. I lay and watched the gathering elements of strength and fury, as the trumpet of the storm summoned them to battle; till, at length, the lightning began to leap in angry flashes, followed by those awful and rapid reports, that seemed to shake the very walls of the sky.
5. The pine trees rocked and roared above me, and then the rain came in headlong masses to the earth. I got under a shelter and waited for the passing of the storm. When its fury was spent, I could hear its retiring roar in the distant gorges.
6. The trees stopped knocking their green crowns together, and stood again in fraternal embrace, while the heavy dripping of the rain drops from the leaves alone, told of the deluge that had swept overhead.
7. I stepped forth again, and but for the ceaseless drip and the freshened look of every thing about me in the clearer atmosphere, I should hardly have known there had been a change.
8. Scarce an hour had elapsed; yet the blue sky showed itself again over the mountain where the dark cloud had been; the sun came forth in redoubled splendor, and the tumult was over.
9. Now and then, a disappointed peal muttered
over the sky, as if conscious it came too late to share in the general conflict; but all else was calm, and beautiful, and tranquil, as nature ever is after a thunder storm.
10. But while I was looking at that blue arch, against which the tall mountain now greener than ever, seemed to lean, suddenly a single circular white cloud appeared over the top, and slowly rolling into view, floated along the radiant west. 11. Bathed in rich sunset, glittering like a white
how beautiful! how resplendent! A moving glory, it looked as if some angel hand had just rolled it away from the golden gate of heaven. I watched it, till my spirit longed to fly away, and sink in its bright foldings.
12. And then I thought, were I in the midst of it, it would be found a heavy bank of fog, damp and chill like the morning mist, which obscures the vision and ruffles the spirit, till it prays for one straggling sunbeam to disperse the gloom. But seen at that distance, shone upon by that setting sun, how glorious!
13. And here, methought, I had a solution of my mystery of life. With its agitations and changes, its revelries and violence, its light and darkness, its ecstasies and agonies, so strangely blent, it is a MIST, a GLOOMY FOG, that chills and wearies us as we walk in its midst.
14. Dimming our prospect, it shuts out the spiritual world beyond us, till we weep, and pray for the rays of heaven to disperse the gloom. But, seen by angels and spiritual beings from afar, shone upon by God's perfect government and grand designs of love, it may, and doubtless does, appear as glorious as that evening cloud did to me.
15. The brightness of the throne is cast over us, and its glory changes this turbulent scene into an barmonious part of his vast whole.
are not as our ways, neither are his thoughts as our thoughts.
16. After it has all passed, and the sun of futurity breaks on the scene, light and gladness will bathe it in undying splendor. I turned away with that summer cloud fastened in my memory forever, and thankful for the thunder storm, that had taught my heart so sweet a lesson.
1. In the tempest of life, when the wave and the
gale Are around and above, if thy footing should fail
, If thine eye should grow. dim, and thy caution
depart, “ Look aloft," and be firm, and be fearless of
2. If the friend who embraced in prosperity's glow, With a smile for each joy, and a tear for each
woe, Should betray thee, when sorrows like clouds are
arrayed, “ Look aloft” to the friendship which never shall
3. Should the visions which Hope spreads in light
to thine eye,
Like the tints of the rainbow, but brighten to fly, Then turn, and, through tears of repentant regret, “ Look aloft” to the sun that is never to set.
4. Should they who are nearest and dearest thy
heart, Thy relations and friends, in sorrow depart,
“Look aloft,” from the darkness and dust of the
tomb, To that soil where affection is ever in bloom.
5. And 0, when Death comes in terrors, to cast
His fears on the future, his pall on the past,
heart, And a smile in thine eye, "look aloft," and depart.
1. “How long shall I hear people say to me, You must do this,' or ' You must go there'?” said Henry. 66 I do not like the word must.”
“ You should make up your mind to bear it, for you will hear it all your life,” said Henry's brother George.
2. « How so, George? When I am a man, who will say must to me?"
“ Did you not hear father tell the gardener, that he must cover up the cucumbers, and water the asparagus?” 3. “ Yes; but the gardener is a servant.”
“I am sure I hear the word must every day at the office,” said George. 66. These papers must be written; those bills must be made out."
4. “ Then I won't be a lawyer,” said Henry; "at least, I hope my father will not insist upon it; for I should not like to be a clerk at your office.”
What will you be ?” asked his brother, smiling. 5. “ If I were to go to sea,” said Henry
“Nay, nay; it is all must work there,” said George. “ There are no masters so strict as ship commanders; and with good reason; for, without strict obedience, there would be no order or discipline.”
6. Henry looked grave. “If I were rich enough to be nothing at all !”
“ Then you would be a man of fashion, I sup
e,” said George, laughing; "and your tailor would tell you how you must dress.”
7. Just then their father came in, and said that he found he must go to London immediately on business.
“I am sorry for it," said their mother.
“ So am I, but I must go; and therefore there is no use in objecting to it.”
8. “ So you find my father even is obedient to this word must !” said George to his brother, when their father had left the room.
“ Who says "you must' to father?” said Henry. “I will tell you,” said his mother; "the sense of what is right, or duty, which is another name for the knowledge of what we ought to do."
9. This took place one cold day, when there was a cattle fair in the neighborhood.
“ Come to this window," said Henry's mother. “ Here is a farmer going to the fair. We might say, it is a disagreeable thing, to go out of his warm house on such a day; but he knows it is right to go, or, as he would say himself, he must; so he goes willingly and cheerfully.
10. “ Here is a horse going to the fair. Tha horse cannot possibly understand the reason why he should go; but he is gentle and obedient, and therefore ambles along pleasantly enough.
“But look at this pig! Piggy is obstinate, and keeps up a constant struggle the whole way. Must conquers; the pig must go); and from this resistance, he has a most unpleasant journey before him. 11. “Now, which would you rather be,
- the horse, which is led, or the pig, which requires to be driven ?"