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NO WORK THE HARDEST WORK.

169

-Ho! ye who till the stubborn soil,

Whose hard hands guide the plough,
Who bend beneath the summer sun,

With burning cheek and brow-
Ye deem the curse still clings to earth

From olden time till now-
But while ye feel 'tis hard to toil

And labor all day through,
Remember it is harder still

To have no work to do.

Ho! ye who plough the sea's blue field,

Who ride the restless wave,
Beneath whose.gallant vessel's keel

There lies a yawning grave,
Around whose bark the wintry winds

Like fiends of fury rave-
Oh! while ye feel 'tis hard to toil

And labor long hours through,
Remember it is harder still

To have no work to do.

Ho! ye upon whose fevered cheeks

The hectic glow is bright,
Whose mental toil wears out the day

And half the weary night;
Who labor for the souls of men,

Champions of truth and right; Although ye feel your toil is hard,

Even with this glorious view, Remember it is harder still

To have no work to do.

Ho! all who labor, all who strive,

Ye wield a lofty power ;
Do with your might, do with your strength,

Fill every golden hour !
The glorious privilege to do,

Is man's most noble dower.

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I ASKED an aged man, with hoary hairs,
Wrinkled and curved with worldly cares;
"Time is the warp of life," said he," oh, tell
The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well!"
I asked the ancient, venerable dead,
Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled ;
From the cold grave a hollow murmur flowed,
“ Time sowed the seed we reap in this abode!”
I asked a dying sinner, ere the tide
Of life had left his veins ; “ Time!” he replied ;
I've lost it! ah, the treasure !”-and he died.
I asked the golden sun and silver spheres,
Those bright chronometers of days and years ;
They answered, “ Time is but a meteor glare,''
And bade me for Eternity prepare.
I asked the Seasons, in their annual round,
Which beautify or desolate the ground;
And they replied (no oracle more wise),
“ 'Tis Folly's blank, and Wisdom's highest prize!
I asked a spirit lost,--but oh, the shriek
That pierced my soul! I shudder while I speak,
It cried, “A particle ! a speck! a mite
Of endless years, duration infinite !"
Of things inanimate my dial I
Consulted, and it made me this reply,-
“ Time is the season fair of living well,
The path of glory or the path of hell."
I asked my Bible, and methinks it said,
“ Time is the present hour, the past has fled ;

BRUTUS'S ORATION.

171

Live! live to-day! to-morrow never yet
On any human being rose or set.”
I asked old Father Time himself at last;
But in a moment he flew swiftly past,
His chariot was a cloud, the viewless wind
His noiseless steeds, which left no trace behind.
I asked the mighty angel, who shall stand
One foot on sea, and one on solid land;
" Mortal! he cried, the mystery now is o'er ;
Time was, Time is, but time shall be no more !"

LUCIUS JUNIUS BRUTUS'S ORATION OVER

THE BODY OF LUCRETIA.

J. H. PAYNE.

Would you know why I summoned you together ?
Ask ye what brings me here? Behold this dagger,
Clotted with gore! Behold that frozen corse !
See where the lost Lucretia sleeps in death!
She was the mark and model of the time,
The mould in which each female face was formed,
The very shrine and sacristy of virtue !
Fairer than ever was a form created
By youthful fancy when the blood strays wild,
And never resting thought is all on fire !
The worthiest of the worthy! Not the nymph
Who met old Numa in his hallowed walks,
And whispered in his ear her strains divine,
Can I conceive beyond her;—the young choir
Of vestal virgins bent to her. 'Tis wonderful
Amid the darnel, hemlock, and base weeds,
Which now spring rife from the luxurious compost
Spread o'er the realm, how this sweet lily rose,
How from the shade of those ill-neighboring plants
Her father sheltered her, that not a leaf
Was blighted, but, arrayed in purest grace,
She bloomed unsullied beauty. Such perfections

Might have called back the torpid breast of age
To long-forgotten rapture ; such a mind
Might have abashed the boldest libertine
And turned desire to reverential love,
And holiest affection! Oh, my countrymen!
You all can witness when that she went forth
It was a holiday in Rome; old age
Forgot its crutch, labor its task,--all ran,
And mothers, turning to their daughters, cried,
“ There, there's Lucretia !” Now, look ye, where she lies !
That beauteous flower, that innocent sweet rose,
Torn up by ruthless violence-gone! gone! gone !

Say, would you seek instruction ? would ye ask
What ye should do ? Ask ye yon conscious walls,
Which saw his poisoned brother,
Ask yon deserted street, where Tullia drove
O'er her dead father's corse, 'lwill cry, Revenge !
Ask yonder senate-house, whose stones are purple
With human blood, and it will cry, Revenge !
Go to the tomb where lies his murdered wife,
And tho poor queen, who loved him as her son,
Their unappeased ghosts will shriek, Revenge !
The temples of the gods, the all-viewing heavens,
The gods themselves, shall justify the cry,
And swell the general sound, Revenge! Revenge !

And we wi.l be revenged, my countrymen !
Brutus shall lead you on; Brutus, a name
Which will, when you're revenged, be dearer to him
Than all the noblest titles earth can boast.

Brutus your king !-No, fellow-citizens !
If mad ambition in this guilty frame
Had strung one kingly fibre, yea, but one
By all the gods, this dagger which I hold
Should rip it out, though it entwined my heart.

Now take the body up. Bear it before us
To Tarquin's palace; there we'll light our torches,
And in the blazing conflagration, rear
A pile for these chaste relics, that shall send
Her soul amongst the stars. On! Brutus leads you !

WHAT IS THAT, MOTHER ?

173

WHAT IS THAT, MOTHER ?

DOANE.

What is that, mother ?

The Lark, my child, -
The morn has just looked out, and smiled,
When he starts from his humble, grassy nest,
And is up and away with the dew on his breast
And a hymn in his heart, 10 yon pure bright sphere,
To warble it out in his Maker's ear,
Ever, my child, be thy morn's first lays
Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.

What is that, mother ?

The Dove, my son,-
And that low, sweet voice, like the widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure, by that lonely nest,
As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,
For her distant dear one's quick return.
Ever, my son, be thou like the dove-
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.

What is that, mother ?

The Eagle, boy,
Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm, in his own mountain vigor relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying ;
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.
Boy, may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward and upward, true to the line.

What is that, mother ?

The Swan, my love,
He is floating down from his native grove,
No loved one now, no nestling nigh;
He is floating down by himself to die.

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