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And if I should live to be
In the spring,
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
LABOUR is rest—from the sorrows that greet us ;
Rest from world-syrens that lure us to ill.
Work with a stout heart and resolute will !
Labour is health! Lo, the husbandman reaping, How through his veins goes the life current leaping ; How his strong arm, in its stalwart pride sweeping,
Free as a sunbeam the swift sickle guides. Labour is wealth—in the sea the pearl groweth, Rich the queen's robe from the frail cocoon floweth, From the fine acorn the strong forest bloweth,
• Temple and statue the marble block hides.
Droop not, tho'shame, sin, and anguish are round thee; Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee; Look to yon pure heaven smiling beyond thee,
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod! Work-for some good, be it ever so slowly; Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly ; Labour !—all labour is noble and holy;
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God.
Pause not to dream of the future before us;
Unintermitting, goes up into heaven!
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
“ Labour is worship!”—the robin is singing,
Speaks to thy soul from out Nature's great heart. From the dark cloud flows the life-giving shower ; From the rough sod blows the soft breathing flower ; From the small insect the rich coral bower,
Only man in the plan shrinks from his part.
Labour is life !—'tis the still water faileth ;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth !
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon. Labour is glory !--the flying cloud lightens ; Only the waving wing changes and brightens ; Idle hearts only the dark future frightens ; Play the sweet keys would'st thou keep them in tune!
FRANCIS SARGENT OSGOOD.
[This beautiful poem, from a MS. of very old date, has been attributed to Sir John Davies ;-it would seem, however, without any positive authority.]
LIKE as the damask rose you see,
The rose withers, the blossom blasteth, —
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The hour is short, the span not long,– . The swan's near death,-man's life is done.
Like to the bubble in the brook,
The bubble’s out, the look’s forgot,-
Like to an arrow from the bow,
Or like a race, or like a goal,
The arrow's shot, the flood soon spent,-
Like to the lightning from the sky,
The lightning's past, the post must go,-
HAMLET'S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier