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THE CORAL GROVE. - Percival.
DEEP in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet and gold-fish rove;
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue,
That never are wet with falling dew,
But in bright and changeful beauty shine,
Far down in the green and grassy brine.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain drift,
And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow;
From coral rocks the sea-plants lift
Their boughs, where the tides and billows flow;
The water is calm and still below,
For the winds and the waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of upper air;
There, with its waving blade of green,
The sea-flag streams through the silent water,
And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen
To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter;
There, with a light and easy motion,
The fan-coral sweeps through the clear, deep sea;
And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean
Are bending like corn on the upland lea:
And life, in rare and beautiful forms,
Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,
And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms
Has made the top of the waves his own.
And when the ship from his fury flies,
When the myriad voices of ocean roar,
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies,
And demons are waiting the wreck on the shore;
Then, far below, in the peaceful sea,
The purple mullet and gold-fish rove
Where the waters murmur tranquilly
Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.
A HAPPY LIFE.-Sir Henry Wotton.
How happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another's will; Whose armor is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill;
Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; hath ever understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise,
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;
Who hath his life from rumors freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat; Whose state can neither flatterers feed, Nor ruin make oppressors great;
Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend; And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend.
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.
KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. - Couper.
KNOWLEDGE and Wisdom, far from being one,
Have oft times no connection. Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom, in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude, unprofitable mass,
The mere materials with which Wisdom builds,
Till smoothed, and squared, and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber whom it seems to enrich!
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
GOOD TEMPER.- More.
SINCE trifles make the sum of human things,
And half our misery from our foibles springs;
Since life's best joys consist in peace and ease,
And though but few can serve, yet all may please;
O, let the ungentle spirit learn from hence,
A small unkindness is a great offence!
THE sturdy rock, for all his strength,
By raging seas is rent in twain;
The marble stone is pierced at length
With little drops of drizzling rain;
The ox doth yield unto the yoke;
The steel obeyeth the hammer stroke.
Yea, man himself, unto whose will
All things are bounden to obey,
For all his wit, and worthy skill,
Doth fade at length, and fall away.
There is no thing but time doth waste;
The heavens, the earth, consume at last.
But Virtue sits, triumphing still,
Upon the throne of glorious Fame;
Though spiteful Death man's body kill,
Yet hurts he not his virtuous name.
By life or death, whatso betides,
The state of Virtue never slides.
WHO is the honest man?
He that doth still and strongly good pursue,
To God, his neighbor, and himself, most true;
Whom neither force nor frowning can
Unpin, or wrench from giving all their due.
Whose honesty is not
So loose or easy, that a ruffling wind
Can blow away, or glittering look it blind;
Who rides his sure and even trot,
While the world now rides by, now lags behind.
Who, when great trials come,
Nor seeks nor shuns them; but doth calmly stay
Till he the thing and the example weigh;
All being brought into a sum,
What place or person calls for, he doth pay.
Whom none can work or woo
To use in anything a trick or sleight;
Far above all things he abhors deceit;
His words, and works, and fashion, too,
All of a piece, and all are clear and straight.
Who never melts or thaws
At close temptations! when the day is done
His goodness sets not, but in dark can run;
The sun to others writeth laws
And is their virtue; virtue is his sun.
Who, when he is to treat
With sick folks, women, those whom passions sway, Allows for that, and keeps his constant way; Whom others' faults do not defeat,
But, though men fail him, yet his part doth play.
Whom nothing can procure,
When the wide world runs bias from his will,
To writhe his limbs, and share, not mend, the ill.
This is the marksman, safe and sure,
Who still is right and prays to be so still.
TIMES GO BY TURNS.-Southwell, born in 1560.
THE loppéd tree in time may grow again,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The sorriest wight may find release of pain;
The driest soil suck up some moistening shower;
Times go by turns, and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.