Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

by which it is educated, and sounds them in its hearing till its powers are trained to the full. It plucks for the nostril the flower whose odors it delights to inhale, and distills for it the fragrance which it covets.

4. As for the tongue, if it had not the hand to serve it, it might abdicate its throne as the lord of Taste. In short, the organ of touch is the minister of its sister senses, and is the handmaid of them all. And, if the hand thus munificently serves the body, not less amply does it give expression to the genius and the wit, the courage and the affection, the will and the power, of man. Put a sword into it, and it will fight for him ; put a plow into it, and it will till for him ; put a harp into it, and it will play for him ; put a pencil into it, and it will paint for him; put a pen into it, and it will speak for him, plead for him, pray for him. What will it not do? What has it not done?

5. A steam-engine is but a larger hand, made to extend its powers by the little hand of man! An electric telegraph is but a long pen for that little hand to write with! All our huge cannons and other weapons of war, with which we conquer our enemies, are but the productions of the wonder-working hand! What, moreover, is a ship, a railway, a lighthouse, or a palace, — what, indeed, is a whole city, a whole continent of cities, all the cities of the globe, nay, the very globe itself, in so far as man has changed it, but the work of that giant hand, with which the human race, acting as one mighty man, has executed its will!

6. When I think of all that man and woman's hand

has wrought, from the day when Eve put forth her erring hand to pluck the fruit of the forbidden tree, to that dark hour when the pierced hands of the Savior of the world were nailed to the predicted tree of shame, and of all that human hands have done of good and evil since, I lift up my hand, and gaze upon it with wonder and awe. What an instrument for good it is! What an instrument for evil! and all the day long it is never idle. There is no implement which it cannot wield, and it should never, in working hours, be without one.

7. We unwisely restrict the term handicraftsman, or hand-worker, to the more laborious callings; but it belongs to all honest, earnest men and women, and is a title which each should covet. For the queen's hand there is the scepter, and for the soldier's hand the sword; for the carpenter's hand the saw, and for the smith's hand the hammer; for the farmer's hand the plow; for the miner's hand the spade ; for the sailor's hand the oar; for the painter's hand the brush; for the sculptor's hand the chisel ; for the poet's hand the

pen; and for woman's hand the needle. But for all there is the command, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

JOHN WILSON.

LXVII. -THE AMBUSCADE.

“Have, then, thy wish!” He whistled shrill,
And he was answered from the hill;
Wild as the scream of the curlew,
From crag to crag the signal flew.

[graphic][merged small]

Instant, through copse and heath arose
Bonnets and spears and bended bows;
On right, on left, above, below,
Sprang up at once the lurking foe.
From shingles gray the lances start,
The bracken bush sends forth the dart,
The rushes and the willow-wand
Are bristling into axe and brand,
And every tuft of broom gives life
To plaided warrior armed for strife.

That whistle garrisoned the glen At once with full five hundred men, As if the yawning hill to heaven A subterranean host had given. Watching their leader's beck and will, All silent there they stood, and still ; Like the loose crags, whose threat'ning mass Lay tottering o'er the hollow pass, As if an infant's touch could urge Their headlong passage down the verge, With step and weapon forward flung, Upon the mountain-side they hung.

The mountaineer cast glance of pride Along Benledi's living side, Then fixed his eye and sable brow Full on Fitz-James: “How say'st thou now? These are Clan-Alpine's warriors true; And, Saxon, I am Roderick Dhu!"

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »