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“Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our mother Nature laughs around? When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground? There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through the sky; The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by. The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale; And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
And there they roll on the easy gale.
And a titter of winds in that beechen tree;
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea. And look at the broad-faced sun! how he smiles
On the dewy earth, that smiles in his ray, On the leaping waters and gay young islesAy, look!—and he'll smile thy gloom away.”
No gloom ever saddened those hours when our preceptor used to take us on a rural excursion, for the two-fold purpose of recreation and of leading our minds to contemplate the beauties of nature. “ Now, boys,” he would say, on these occasions, “I shall give you a rich treat this evening. There will be no fruit, indeed, at the end of our journey; but we will endeavour to extract pleasure from every thing we see and meet with in our rambles. The heavens and the earth alike hold forth their beauties to delight our senses, and it would seem that the Almighty had created them not only for the benefit, but the delight of his creatures. Even of the little wild Aower, on myriads of which we shall tread in our path, the poet has well remarked:
• Despise not thou the wild flower- small it seems,
On leaving the gate upon these occasions, our conduct was widely different from that when we were going to the garden of Old Reuben, or the cottage of Dame Dunton. Instead of hastening forward, there was almost a struggle which should keep nearest our master. Even Charles Murphy, though he loved fun and frolic so dearly, would, if possible, hang upon his left arm: his right I was ambitious to secure.
The walks through which Mr. White led us in these rambles, were some of those lovely and quiet scenes with which our highly-favoured country abounds.
We passed through ample fields, which stood so thick with corn, that they might truly be said to laugh and sing--through rich meadows, where the sheep roamed abroad in peace—through hazel walks, which threw around us a cool refreshing shade, and by the side of a meandering stream, whose course was visible for many a long mile, as it passed toward the sea.
It would require a volume to recount all the lessons that we received from the lips of our master, in these delightful rambles. As it has been said of the eye of the poet, his thoughts
“Glanced from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven."
That my young readers, however, may form some idea of the privileges we enjoyed, I will relate a lesson or two he gave us on one of these occasions. We had no sooner escaped the din of the village than he thus commenced:-“ The poet Cowper, describing the true Christian in his rambles among the works of nature, says of him, that,
He looks abroad into the varied field
mountains, and the valleys his,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
This, my boys, is a blessed state of mind for man to possess ; for it alone can give us a right view of the works of nature. The man of the world may look abroad and admire the beauties of the earth and the skies, but he cannot look up to their great Creator, and call him, “My Father.' He cannot point to them, and say, that his Father made them for him. Nor has he any knowledge of the great pleasure that such a privilege would afford him. For that it is a great pleasure I will prove by a familiar illustration. You know Charles Murphy's watch exhibits his father's name upon it; and I have often heard him say to you, as he has asked you to look at the beautiful workmanship, that it was made and presented to him by his father. It was evidently a pleasure to him to give this information, for while he did so, his face beamed with satisfaction. Now, just so, but only in a far greater degree, does it give the Christian pleasure to point to the works of creation, and say that they were created by his Father. I say, in a far greater degree, because the skill and power displayed therein, infinitely surpass those displayed in the mechanism of Charles Murphy's watch. That is surpassed, indeed, by the simplest flower that grows in our path. We will take, for instance, this little lowly Forget-me-not, as you boys call it. Now look at it minutely, and tell me what you think, Charles, of this.”
All looked at the flower, as Mr. White held it forth to view, and acknowledged the vast superiority of the flower to anything man could make.
“ And now let me ask you,” said our master, whether the Christian has not reason to admire the skill of his heavenly Father, as displayed in this flower?”
A reply in the affirmative was universally given; and Mr. White thus continued: “If, then, he has reason to admire his skill in the formation of this single flower, how much greater reason has he to admire his skill and power, as displayed in the varied works of his boundless creation! Then, taking up the language of the poet, he exclaimed:
"Go, child of Nature, to thy mother's breast,
And learn the lesson she can teach so well;
But hear the truths that Nature loves to tell.
List to the roaring of the mighty wind :
Or, why the wilderness it leaves behind.
Or mark the gentle fall of silent dew:
Or, who the lapse of waters will renew.
And ask what sweetens labour and repose:
And guides it home to rest at evening's close.
To guard her young ones with her sheltering wings:
And tunes her voice to music while she sings.
Gaze on the wreathing flowers that o'er it twine:
And say, 'The hand that made us is Divine?'"
Our master here paused for a moment, and he then observed: “But, nature of itself, my boys,