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EXERCISE VIII.

Flowers, the Gift of Divine Benignity.Mrs. HIEMANS.

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1.

Yes, there shall still be joy,
Where God hath poured forth beauty; and the voice
Of human love shall still be heard in praise
Over His glorious gifts 1 – 0 Father, Lord !
The All-Beneficent! I bless Thy name,
That Thou hast mantled the green earth with flowers,
Linking our hearts to nature ! By the love
Of their wild blossoms, our young footsteps first
Into her deep recesses are beguiled —
Her minster cells — dark glen and forest bower:-
Where, thrilling with its earliest sense of Thee,
Amidst the low, religious whisperings,
And shivery leaf-sounds of the solitude,
The spirit wakes to worship, and is made
Thy living temple. By the breath of flowers,
Thou callest us from city throngs and cares,
Back to the woods, the birds, the mountain streams,
That sing of Thee ! - back to free childhood's heart,
Fresh with the dews of tenderness ! — Thou bidd'st
The lilies of the field with placid smile
Reprove man's feverish heart-strings, and infuse
Through his worn soul a more unworldly life, .
With their soft, holy breath. Thou hast not left
His purer nature, with its fine desires,
Uncared for in this universe of Thinel-
The glowing rose attests it, the beloved
Of poet hearts, - touched by their fervent dreams
With spiritual light, and made a source
Of heaven-ascending thoughts. E'en to faint age
Thou lend'st the vernal bliss :— The old man's eye

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Falls on the kindling blossoms, and his soul
Remembers youth and love, and hopefully
Turns unto Thee, who call'st earth’s buried germs
From dust to splendor ; as the mortal seed
Shall, at Thy summons, from the grave spring up
To put on glory, — to be girt with power,
And filled with immortality. Receive
Thanks, blessings, love, for these, Thy lavish boons,
And, most of all, their heavenward influences, -
O Thou that gav'st us flowers !

EXERCISE IX.

Show us the Father.—MRS. SIGOURNEY.

1. Have ye not seen Him, when through parted snows

Wake the first kindlings of the vernal green ?
When 'neath its modest veil the arbutus blows,

And the blue violet bursts its mossy screen ?
When the wild rose, that asks no florist's care,
Unfoldeth its rich leaves, have ye not seen Him there?

2. Have ye not seen Him, when the infant's eye,

Through its bright sapphire window, shows the mind ?
When in the trembling of the tear or sigh

Floats forth that essence, trembling and refined ?
Saw ye not Him, — the Author of our trust, -
Who breathed the breath of life into a frame of dust ?

3. Have ye not heard Him, when the tuneful rill

Casts off its icy chains, and leaps away? In thunders, echoing loud from hill to hill ?

In song of birds, at break of summer's day?

Or in the Ocean's everlasting roar,
Battling the old gray rocks, that sternly guard his shore ?

4. When in the stillness of the Sabbath morn, .

The week's dread cares in tranquil ziuinber rest, When in the heart the holy thought is born,

And Heaven's high impulse warms the waiting breast, Have ye not felt Him; when your voiceless prayer Swelled out in tones of praise, announcing God was there?

5. Show us the Father! If ye fail to trace

His chariot, when the stars majestic roll, His pencil, ʼmid earth's loveliness and grace,

His presence, in the Sabbath of the soul, How can ye see Him, till the day of dread, When to the assembled worlds the Book of Doom is read ?

EXERCISE X.

The Thoughts of the Dumb.-J. H. CLINCA.

From words we gain ideas;— there are some,
Alas! whose only knowledge rests in words, –
Their wisdom empty wind. How different
The shadowy thoughts which wander through such minds,
From those ideal pictures, fresh and warm
And well defined, which crowd the mental sight
Of the deaf mute! Words are unknown to him –
His thoughts are things — his logic and his chain
Of metaphysical deductions — all
Pass through his brain in bright depicted facts, 10
The fresh reflections in mind's mirror clear
Of Art's achievements or of Nature's works.

One, to whom Heaven, in wisdom infinite,
But to our sense inscrutable, had locked
The gates of Sound and Speech, was asked to tell 15
The meaning of " forgiveness.

Pausing then
A moment, with the eye of memory
“ To glance from Heaven to Earth, from Earth to Heaven,"
For fitting thoughts, he seized the ready pen
And wrote, – The odor which the trampled flower
Gives out to bless the foot which crushes it !

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EXERCISE XI.

Old Age and Death.—WALLER.

1. The seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;

So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of feeting things, too certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.

2. The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,

Lets in new light through chinks that time has made :
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home!
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
The first in loftiness of thought surpasser,
The next in majesty, in both the last.

EXERCISE XII.

Death of Adam and Eve.-MONTGOMERY.

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The sun in summer majesty on high,
Darted his fierce effulgence down the sky;
Yet dimmed and blunted were the dazzling rays,
His orb expanded through a dreary haze ;
And, circled with a red portentous zone,
He looked in sickly horror from his throne;
The vital air was still ; the torrid heat
Oppressed our hearts, that labored hard to beat.
When higher noon had shrunk the lessening shade,
Thence to his home our father we conveyed,

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And stretched him, pillowed with his latest sheaves,
On a fresh couch of green and fragrant leaves.
Here, though his sufferings through the glen were known,
We chose to watch his dying bed alone,
Eve, Seth, and I. In vain he sighed for rest,
And oft his meek complainings, thus expressed :
“Blow on me, wind! I faint with heat! O bring
Delicious water from the deepest spring;
Your sunless shadows o'er my limbs diffuse,
Ye cedars! wash me cold with midnight dews.
Cheer me, my friends ) with looks of kindness cheer;
Whisper a word of comfort in mine ear;
Those sorrowing faces fill my soul with gloom;
This silence is the silence of the tomb.
Thither I hasten; help me on my way;
O sing to soothe me, and to strengthen pray!”
We sang to soothe him — hopeless was the song ;
We prayed to strengthen him — he grew not strong.
In vain from every herb, and fruit, and flower,
Of cordial sweetness or of healing power,

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