Page images
PDF
EPUB

LESSON CCXXI.

ROBERT OF LINCOLN.

BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

Hidden among

1. MERRILY swinging on brier and weed,

Near to the nest of his little dame,
Over the mountain-side or mead,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Snug and safe is that nest of ours,

the summer flowers.

Chee, chee, chee. 2. Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest,

Wearing a bright black wedding-coat; White are his shoulders, and white his crest: Hear him call, in his merry note,

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Look, what a nice new coat is mine!
Sure there was never a bird so fine!

Chee, chee, chee. 3. Robert of Lincoln's quaker wife,

Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings,
Passing at home a patient life,
Broods in the grass while her husband sings,

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Brood, kind creature; you need not fear
Thieves and robbers while I am here.

Chee, chee, chee. 4. Modest and shy as a nun is she;

One weak chirp is her only note. Braggart and prince of braggarts is he, Pouring boasts from his little throat:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Never was I afraid of man;
Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can

Chee, chee, chee.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

5. Six white eggs on a bed of hay,

Fleck'd with purple, –a pretty sight!
There, as the mother sits all day,
Robert is singing, with all his might,

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Nice good wife, that never goes out,
Keeping house while I frolic about.

Chee, chee, chee. 6. Soon as the little ones chip the shell

Six wide mouths are open for food;
Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well,
Gathering seeds for the hungry brood.

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
This new life is likely to be
Hard for a gay young fellow like me.

Chee, chee, chee. 7. Robert of Lincoln at length is made

Sober with work, and silent with care;
Off is his holiday garment laid;
Half forgotten that merry air,

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Nobody knows but my mate and I
Where our nest and our nestlings lie.

Chee, chee, chee.
8. Summer wanes; the children are grown;

Fun and frolic no more he knows;
Robert of Lincoln's a hum-drum crone;
Off he flies, and we sing, as he goes,

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
When you can pipe that merry old strain,
Robert of Lincoln, come back again.

Chee, chee, chee.

LESSON CCXXII.

FAREWELL ADDRESS TO TAE SENATE.

BY HENRY CLAY.

1. EVERYWHERE throughout the extent of this great conti. nent, I have had cordial, warm-hearted, faithful, and devoted friends; who have known me, loved me, and appreciated my mutives. To them, if language were capable of fully expressing my acknowledgments, I would now offer all the return I have the power to make for their genuine, disinterested, and persevering fidelity and devoted attachment, the feelings and sentimeats of a heart overflowing with never-ceasing gratitude. If, however, I fail in suitable language to express my gratitude to thein for all the kindness they have shown me, what shall I say, what can I say, at all commensurate with those feelings of gratitude with which I have been inspired by the State whose humble representative and servant I have been in this chamber?

2. I emigrated from Virginia to the State of Kentucky, now nearly forty-five years ago; I went as an orphan boy who had pot yet attained the age of majority; who had never recognised a father's smile, nor felt his warm caresses; poor, penniless, without the favor of the great, with an imperfect and neglected education, hardly sufficient for the ordinary business and common pursuits of life; but scarce had I set my foot upon

her

generous soil

, when I was embraced with parental fondness, caressed as though I had been a favorite child, and patronized with liberal and unbounded munificence.

3. From that period the highest honors of the State have been freely bestowed upon me; and when, in the darkest hour of calumny and detraction, I seemed to be assailed by all the rest of the world, she interposed her broad and impenetrable shield, repelled the poisoned shafts that were aimed for my destruction, and vindicated my good name from every malignant and unfounded aspersion. I return, with indescribable pleasure, to linger a while longer, and mingle with the warm-hearted and whole-souled people of that State; and, when the last scene shall forever close upon me, I hope that my earthly remains will be laid under her green sod with those of her gallant and patriotic

4. In the course of a long and arduous public service, especially during the last eleven years in which I have held a seat in the Senate, I have no doubt, in the heat of debate, and in an honest

sons.

endeavor to maintain my opinions against adverse opinions alike honestly entertained, as to the best course to be adopted for the public welfare, I may have often, inadvertently and unintentionally, made use of language that has been offensive, and susceptible of injurious interpretation, toward my brother Senators.

5. If there be any here who retain wounded feelings of injury or dissatisfaction produced on such occasions, I beg to assure then that I now offer the most ample apology for any departure on my part from the established rules of parliamentary decorum and courtesy. On the other hand, I assure Senators, one and all, without exception and without reserve, that I retire from this chamber without carrying with me a single feeling of resentment or dissatisfaction to the Senate or any one of its members.

6. I go from this place under the hope that we shall mutually consign to perpetual oblivion whatever personal collisions may at any time unfortunately have occurred between us; and that our recollections shall dwell in future only on those conflicts of mind with mind, those intellectual struggles, those noble exhibitions of the powers of logic, argument, and eloquence, honorable to the Senate and to the nation, in which each has sought and contended for what he deemed the best mode of accomplishing one common object, the interest and the best happiness of our beloved country. To these thrilling and delightful scenes it will be my pleasure and my pride to look back, on my retirement, with unmeasured satisfaction.

7. In retiring, as I am about to do, forever from the Senate, suffer. me to express my heartfelt wishes that all the great and patriotic objects of the wise framers of our Constitution may be fulfilled; that the high destiny designed for it may be fully answered; and that its deliberations, now and hereafter, may eventuate in securing the prosperity of our beloved country, in maintaining its rights and honor abroad, and upholding its interests at home. May the most precious blessings of Heaven rest upon the whole Senate and each member of it, and may the labors of every one redound to the benefit of the nation and the advancement of his own fame and renown!

Mr. President and Senators, I bid you all a long, a lasting, and a friendly farewell.

And now,

LESSON CCXXIII.

THE CHILD PLAYING WITH A WATCH.

BY FRANCES S. OSGOOD.

Art thou playing with Time, in thy sweet baby glee?
Will he pause on his pinions to frolic with thee?
Oh, show him those shadowless, innocent eyes,
That smile of bewilder'd and beaming surprise;
Let him look on that cheek, where thy rich hair reposes;
Where dimples are playing “bo-peep” with the roses.
His wrinkled brow press with light kisses and warm,
And clasp his rough neck in thy soft wreathing arm!
Perhaps thy bewitching and infantine sweetness
May win him, for once, to delay in his fleetness,
To pause, ere he rifle, relentless in flight,
A blossom so glowing of bloom and of light;
Then, then, would I keep thee, my beautiful child !
Thy blue eyes unclosed, thy bloom undefiled,
With thy innocence only to guard thee from ill,
In life's sunny dawning, -a lily-bud still.
Laugh on, my own Ellen! That voice, which to me
Gives a warning so solemn, makes music for thee;
And while I at those sounds feel the idler's annoy,
Thou hearest but the tick of the pretty gold toy!
His smile is upon thee, my blessed, my own!
Long may it be ere thou feelest his frown.
And oh, may his tread, as he wanders with thee,
Light and soft as thy own little fairy step be,
And still through all seasons, in storm and fair weather
May Time and my Ellen be playmates together!

LESSON CCXXIV.

NO CAUSE MORE JUST THAN THAT OF HUNGARY.

BY LOUIS KOSSUTH.

1. To prove that Washington never attached to his doctrine of neutrality more than the sense of temporary policy, I refer to one of his letters, written to Lafayette, wherein he says, “Let

« PreviousContinue »