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But why do ye plant ’neath the billows dark
The wrecking reef for the gallant bark?
There are snares enough on the tented field,
'Mid the blossomed sweets that the valleys yield;
There are serpents to coil, ere the flowers are up;
There's a poison drop in man's purest cup;
There are foes that watch for his cradle breath,
And why need ye sow the floods with death?
With mouldering bones the deeps are white,
From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright;-
The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold,
With the mesh of the sea-boy's curls of gold,
And the gods of ocean have frowned to see
The mariner's bed in their halls of glee;-
Hath earth no graves, that ye thus must spread
The boundless sea for the thronging dead?
Ye build—ye build—but ye enter not in,
Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in their sin;
From the land of promise ye fade and die,
Ere its verdure gleams forth on your weary eye;-
As the kings of the cloud-crowned pyramid,
Their noteless bones in oblivion hid,
Ye slumber unmarked 'mid the desolate main,
While the wonder and pride of your works remain.

LESSON XXVI.

Opening of the Sixth Seal.-T. GRAY, JUN.

And I beheld when he opened the Sixth Seal. Rev. vi. 12.

I stood above the mountains, and I saw,
The unveiled features of Eternity.
Th' affrighted earth did quake. The mountains reeled,
And heaved their deep foundations to the day.
The islands melted in the sea. The rocks

Toppled, and fell in fragments. Lightning shot
A fiery glare athwart the ruined world.
Chaos returned again. Th' extinguished sun
Hung black and rayless in the midnight air.
The moon became as blood. And, one by one,

The everlasting stars of heaven did fall,
Even as the fig-tree shaken by the wind,
Drops her untimely fruit. All light was dead.
The heavens--the eternal heavens themselves, that stretched
Shroud-like above the earth, were rent in twain,
And vanished like a scroll together rolled.
And men did vainly strain their aching gaze
Into the lurid gulf, that mocked the space,
The yawning space of the departing sky.
The city was a desert. Men aghast
Fled from their rocking habitations, out
Into the fields, that gaped and swallowed them,
The prisoner spurned his earthquake-riven chain,
And flung in horror his freed arms to beaven.
And men did cast themselves upon the earth,
And hid their faces; and they prayed—and died.
The living and the dead together lay;
The frantic mother, and the perished child.
And men did grovel in the parching dust,
Crawling like serpents o’er their kindred' dead.
The crowned head, the lowly, and the proud,
The rich, the brave, the mighty, bond and free,
Trembled and hid themselves, and shivering crept
Into the dens, and mountain-caves, and rocks;
And in their mortal horror, lifted up
On high their hollow voices, and they prayed,
* Ye mountains, fall on us--and ye, oh rocks!
Hide us—ay! crush us from the face of Him,
Who sitteth on the throne, and from the Lamb,
For, lo! his day of vengeance is arrived,
And who can hope to stand.'

LESSON XXVII.

To the Eagle.-PERCIVAL.

Bird of the broad and sweeping wing!

Thy home is high in heaven,
Where wide the storms their banners fling,

And the tempest clouds are driven.

Thy throne is on the mountain top;

Thy fields—the boundless air; And hoary peaks, that proudly prop

The skies—thy dwellings are.
Thou sittest like a thing of light,

Amid the noontide blaze:
The midway sun is clear and bright-

It cannot dim thy gaze.
Thy pinions, to the rushing blast

O'er the bursting billow spread,
Where the vessel plunges, hurry past,

Like an angel of the dead.
Thou art perched aloft on the beetling crag,

And the waves are white below,
And on, with a haste that cannot lag, ·

They rush in an endless flow.
Again, thou hast plumed thy wing for flight

To lands beyond the sea,
And away, like a spirit wreathed in light,

Thou hurriest wild and free.
Thou hurriest over the myriad waves,

And thou leavest them all behind;
Thou sweepest that place of unknown graves,

Fleet as the tempest wind. When the night storm gathers dim and dark,

With a shrill and boding scream,
Thou rushest by the foundering bark,

Quick as a passing dream.
Lord of the boundless realm of air!

In thy imperial name,
The hearts of the bold and ardent dare,

The dangerous path of fame.
Beneath the shade of thy golden wings,

The Roman legions bore,
From the river of Egypt's cloudy springs,

Their pride, to the polar shore.
For thee they fought, for thee they fell,

And their oath was on thee laid;
To thee the clarions raised their swell,
And the dying warrior prayed.

Thou wert, through an age of death and fears,

The image of pride and power, Till the gathered rage

of a thousand years Burst forth in one awful hour.

And then, a deluge of wrath it came,

And the nations shook with dread; And it swept the earth till its fields were flame

And piled with the mingled dead. Kings were rolled in the wasteful flood,

With the low and crouching slave; And together lay, in a shroud of blood,

The coward and the brave.

And where was then thy fearless flight?

«O’er the dark mysterious sea,
To the lands that caught the setting light,

The cradle of Liberty.
There, on the silent and lonely shore,

For ages, I watched alone,
And the world, in its darkness, asked no more,

Where the glorious bird had flown. But then came a bold and hardy few,

And they breasted the unknown wave; I caught afar the wandering crew;

And I knew they were high and brave. I wheeled around the welcome bark,

As it sought the desolate shore; And up to heaven, like a joyous lark,

My quivering pinions bore. And now that bold and hardy few

Are a nation wide and strong,
And danger and doubt I have led them through,

And they worship me in song;
And over their bright and glancing arms

On field and lake and sea,
With an eye that fires, and a spell that charms,

I guide them to victory.'

LESSON XXVIII.

The Union of the States.-Webster. From an Address delivered at Washington city on the Centennial Anniversary of

the Birth of Washington. There was in the breast of Washington one sentiment deeply felt, so constantly uppermost, that no proper occasion escaped without its utterance.-From the letter which he signed in behalf of the convention, when the constitution was sent out to the people, to the moment when he put his hand to that last paper, in which he addressed his countrymen, the union was the great object of his thoughts.

In that first letter, he tells them that to him, and his brethren of the convention, union is the greatest interest of every true American; and in that last paper he conjures them to regard that unity of government, which constitutes them one people, as the very palladium of their prosperity and safety, and the security of liberty itself. He regarded the union of these states, not so much one of our blessings, as the great treasure-house which contained them all.

Here, in his judgment, was the great magazine of all our means of prosperity; here, as he thought, and as every true American still thinks, are deposited all our animating prospects, all our solid hopes for future greatness. He has taught us to maintain this government, not by seeking to enlarge its powers on the one hand, nor by surrendering them on the other; but by an administration of them, at once firm and moderate, adapted for objects truly national, and carried on in a spirit of justice and equity.

The extreme solicitude for the preservation of the union, at all times manifested by him, shows not only the opinion he entertained of its usefulness, but his clear perception of those causes which were likely to spring up to endanger it, and which, if once they should overthrow the present system, would leave little hope of any

future beneficial reunion. Of all the presumptions indulged by presumptuous man, that is one of the rashest, which looks for repeated and favorable opportunities, for the deliberate establishment of a united government, over distinct and widely extended communities. Such a thing has happened once in human affairs, and but once: the event stands out, as a prominent exception to all ordinary history; and, unless we suppose

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