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THE MODERN SPEAKER.

THE VOICE OF SPRING.

I Am coming, little maiden,
With the pleasant sunshine laden,
With the honey for the bee,
With the blossom for the tree,
With the flower and with the leaf;
Till I come the time is brief.

I am coming, I am coming!
Hark, the little bee is humming ;
See, the lark is soaring high
In the bright and sunny sky;
And the gnats are on the wing ;-
Little maiden, now is Spring !

See, the yellow catkins cover
All the slender willows over ;
And on mossy banks so green,
Starlike primroses are seen ;
And their clustering leaves below,
White and purple violets blow.
Hark! the little lambs are bleating;
And the cawing rooks are meeting

B

In the elms, a noisy crowd;
And all birds are singing loud;
And the first white butterfly
In the sun goes flitting by.

Little maiden, look around thee!
Green and flowery fields surround thee ;
Every little stream is bright;
All the orchard trees are white ;
And each small and waving shoot
Has for thee sweet flower or fruit.

Turn thy eyes to earth and heaven,
God for thee the Spring has given ;
Taught the birds their melodies;
Cloth'd the earth, and clear'd the skies;
For thy pleasure or thy food,
Pour thy soul in gratitude !
So mayst thou ’mid blessings dwell, –
Little maiden, fare thee well!

MARY HOWITT.

THE BEE.

MARK how the neat assiduous bee,
Pattern of frugal industry,

Pursues her earnest toil;
All day the pleasing task she plies
And to her cell at ev'ning hies,

Enrich'd with golden spoil.

She warns us to employ the hours,
In gathering stores from learning's flowers;

For these will ever last :
These mental charms will fill the place
Of ev'ry beauty, ev'ry grace,
When smiling youth is past.

MRS. HEMANS. THE OLD MAN'S COMFORTS,

AND HOW HE GAINED THEM.

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,

The few locks which are left you are grey ; You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man, Now tell me the reason,

I

pray.

In the days of my youth, Father William replied,

I remember'd that youth would fly fast, And abus'd not my health and my vigour at first,

That I never might need them at last.

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,

And pleasures with youth pass away, And yet you lament not the days that are gone; Now tell me the reason,

I

pray.

In the days of my youth, Father William replied,

I remember'd that youth could not last; I thought of the future, whatever I did,

That I never might grieve for the past.

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,

And life must be hastening away ; You are cheerful, and love to converse upon death!

Now tell me the reason, I pray.

I am cheerful, young man, Father William replied,

Let the cause thy attention engage; In the days of my youth I remember'd

my

God! And He hath not forgotten my age.

SOUTHEY.

THE VINEYARD.

Matt. xx.

The God of mercy walks his round

From day to day, from year to year, And warns us each with awful sound,

“ No longer stand ye idle here.”

Ye whose young cheeks are rosy bright,

Whose hands are strong, whose hearts are clear, Waste not of youth the morning light;

Oh fools, why stand ye idle here?

And

ye

whose scanty locks of grey Foretell your latest travail near, How fast declines your useless day,

And stand ye yet so idle here ?

One hour remains, there is but one,

How many a grief and many a tear, Through endless ages, must atone

For moments lost and wasted here!

HEBER.

THE DAISY

THERE is a flower, a little flower,

With silver crest and golden eye,
That welcomes every changing hour,

And weathers every sky.

The prouder beauties of the field

In gay but quick succession shine,
Race after race their honours yield,

They flourish and decline.

But this small flower, to Nature dear,

While moons and stars their courses run,
Wreathes the whole circle of the year,

Companion of the sun.
It smiles upon the lap of May,

To sultry August spreads its charms,
Lights pale October on his way,

And twines December's arms. The purple heath and golden broom,

On moory mountains catch the gale,
O'er lawns the lily sheds perfume,

The violet in the vale.
But this bold floweret climbs the hill,

Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
Plays on the margin of the rill,

Peeps round the fox's den. Within the garden's cultur'd round,

It shares the sweet carnation's bed; And blooms in consecrated ground

In honour of the dead.

The lambkin crops its crimson gem,

The wild-bee murmurs on its breast, The blue-fly bends its pensile stem

Light o'er the skylark's nest. 'Tis Flora's page:-in every place,

In every season fresh and fair, It opens with perennial grace,

And blossoms everywhere.

On waste and woodland, rock and plain,

Its humble buds unheeded rise; The rose has but a summer's reign, The daisy never dies.

J. MONTGOMERY.

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