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Ere I was old! Ah, woeful Ere!
Which tells me Youth's no longer here.
Oh Youth! For years so many and sweet
'Tis known that thou and I were one:
I'll think it but a fond conceit;
It cannot be that thou art gone!
Thy vesper bell hath not yet tollid;
And thou wert aye a masker bold.
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe that thou art gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this alter'd size ;
But springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes !
Life is but thought; so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.
Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve,
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,

When we are old :
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking leave;
Like some poor nigh-related guest
That may not rudely be dismiss’d,
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.-Coleridge.

Of age, the glory is to wish to die :
That wish is praise and promise ; it applauds
Past life, and promises our future bliss.
What weakness see not children in their sires !
Grand-climacterical absurdities !
Grey-hair'd authority, to faults of youth,
How shocking! it makes folly thrice a fool ;
And our first childhood might our last despise.
Peace and esteem is all that age can hope :
Nothing but wisdom gives the first ; the last
Nothing but the repute of being wise.
Folly bars both : our age is quite undone.

What folly can be ranker? Like our shadows,
Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.
No wish should loiter, then, this side the grave.
Our hearts should leave the world before the knell
Calls for our carcasses to mend the soil :
Enough to live in tempest, die in port.
Age should fly concourse, cover in retreat
Defects of judgment, and the will subdue ;
Walk thoughtful on the silent, solemn shore
Of that vast ocean it must sail so soon,
And put good works on board, and wait the wind
That shortly blows us into worlds unknown :
If unconsider'd, too, a dreadful scene !- Young.

114. AGED. Afflictions and Infirmities of the

The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon; With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side, His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again towards childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound.—Shakespeare.

Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness, and mere oblivion ; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


113. AGED. Absurdities of the O MY coevals ! remnants of ourselves ! Poor human ruins tottering o'er the grave ! Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees, Strike deeper their vile root, and closer cling, Still more enamour'd of this wretched soil ! Shall our pale, wither'd hands be still stretch'd out, Trembling, at once, with eagerness and age ? With avarice, and convulsions, grasping hard ? Grasping at air ; for what has earth beside ? Man wants but little ; nor that little long; How soon must he resign his very dust, Which frugal nature lent him for an hour !- Young. Absurd longevity! More, more, it cries ; More life, more wealth, more trash of every kind. And wherefore mad for more, when relish fails ? Object and appetite must club for joy Baubles, I mean, that strike us from without. Shall solly labour hard to mend the bow, While Nature is relaxing every string? Ask thought for joy: grow rich, and hoard within. Think you the soul, when this life's rattles cease, Ilas nothing of more manly to succeed ? Contract the taste immortal ; learn e'en now To relish what alone subsists hereafter. Divine or none, henceforth, your joys for ever.

Till length of years, And sedentary numbness, craze my limbs To a contemptible old age obscure.--Milton.

To what can I be useful, wherein serve,
But to sit idle on the household hearth,
A burd’nous drone, to visitants a gaze ?- Milton.

Thou must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will

change To wither'd, weak, and grey.--Milton.

Behold where age's wretched victim lies,
See his head trembling, and his half-closed eyes,

Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves; 116. AGED. Death of the
To broken sleep his remnant sense he gives,

AGE, like ripe apples, on earth's bosom drops ; And only by his pains, awaking, finds he lives.

While force our youth, like fruits, untimely crops.

Denham. When once men reach their autumn, sickly joys

117. AGED. Death Song for the Fall off apace, as yellow leaves from trees, At every little breath misfortune blows,

IN age and feebleness extreme Till, left quite naked of their happiness,

Who shall a sinful worm redeem ? In the chill blasts of winter they expire.- Young. Jesus, my only hope Thou art,

Strength of my failing flesh and heart; Now then the ills of age, its pains, its care,

Oh, could I catch a smile from Thee, The drooping spirit for its fate prepare ;

And drop into eternity !-Charles Wesley. And each affection failing, leaves the heart Loosed from life's charm, and willing to depart. 118. AGED. Example of the


Our green youth copies what grey sinners act, Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage.

When age commends the fact. --Dryden.

119. AGED. Flattery of the
The still returning tale, and lingering jest,
Perplex the fawning niece, and pamper'd guest, Here is one that wishes to live longer :
While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring Feels not his gout, nor palsy ; feigns himself

Younger by scores of years ; flatters his age And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear.- Johnson. With confident belying, with hopes he may

With charms, like Eson, have his youth restored ; In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, And with those thoughts so battens, as if fate Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise !

Would be as easily cheated on as he.-Ben Jonson. From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage flow,

120. AGED. Happiness of the Add Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.

Johnson. Behold a patriarch of years, who leaneth on the

staff of religion ; Thus pleasures fade away;

Lofty aspirations, deep affections, holy hopes, are Youth, talents, beauty thus decay,

his delight; And leave us dark, forlorn, and grey.---Scott. | His abhorrence is to strip from life its charitable

garment of ideal. What is the worst of woes that wait on age ?

| The shrewd world laughed at him for honesty, the What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?

vain world mouthed at him for honour, To view each loved one blotted from life's page,

The false world hated him for truth, the cold world And be alone on earth as I am now.

despised him for affection. Before the Chastener humbly let me bow

Still he kept his treasure, the warm and noble heart, O'er hearts divided, and o'er hopes destroy'd.

And in that happy old man survive the child and Byron.

lover. Tupper. 115. AGED. Characteristics of the

121. AGED. Hope in the THIRST of power and of riches now bear sway,

Old husbandmen I at Sabinum know, The passion and infirmity of age. - Frowde.

Who for another year dig, plough, and sow; These are the effects of doting age,

For never any man was yet so old, Vain doubts, and idle cares, and over-caution.

But hoped his life one winter more would hold. Dryden.

Denham. Age is froward, uneasy, scrutinous,

Fresh hopes are hourly sown Hard to be pleased, and parsimonious.-Denham. In furrow'd brows: To gentle life's descent,

We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain : Young men soon give, and soon forget affronts ; We take fair days in winter for the spring; Old age is slow in both.-Addison.

And turn our blessings into bane. — Young.

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But autumn makes them ripe, and fit for use :
So age a mature mellowness doth set
On the green promises of youthful heat.


125. AGRICULTURE. Nobility of

In ancient times, the sacred plough employ'd
The kings and awful fathers of mankind.
And some, with whom compared your insect tribes
Are but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm
Of mighty war, then, with unwearied hand,
Disdaining little delicacies, seized
The plough, and greatly independent lived.


128. AIM. The Christian's
Aim at the highest prize ; if there thou fail,

Thou'lt haply reach to one not far below.

Strive first the goal to compass : is too slow Thy speed, the attempt may ne'ertheless avail The next best post to conquer. Let not quail Eye, heart, or limb : but still right onward go;

The Judge shall heed thee, and a crown bestow, And bid thy name the loud-voiced herald hail. To the wish'd mark one racer only came

Of old victorious : to intwine his brow One only grasp'd the crown, and won the game,

Isthmian or proud Olympian. Happier thou Pursu'st thy course with no uncertain aim,

Secure to seize an amaranthine bough.--Mant.

129. ALLOTMENT. Diversities of

126. AGRICULTURE. Prayerful First offer incense ; then thy field and meads Shall smile and smell the better by thy beads; The spangling dew dreg'd o'er the grasse shall be Turn'd all to mell and manna there for thee. Butter of amber, cream, and wine, and oil Shall run, and rivers, all throughout thy soyl. Wod'st thou to sincere silver turn thy mold ? Pray once, twice pray, and turn thy ground to gold.


ANOTHER feature in the ways of God,
That wondrous seem'd, and made some men com-

Was the unequal gift of worldly things.
Great was the difference, indeed, of men
| Externally, from beggar to the prince.

The highest take, and lowest--and conceive
The scale between. A noble of the earth,
One of its great, in splendid mansion dwelt;

Was robed in silk and gold, and every day
Fared sumptuously; was titled, honour'd, served.
Thousands his nod awaited, and his will
For law received.

So slight, that virtue never could grow strong: And wouldst thou do one duty to His mind, The imposer's-over-burden'd thou shalt ask, And own thy need of grace to help, ere long.

R. C. Trench.

131. ALLUREMENTS. Earthly

O STREAMS of earthly love and joy,

On whose green banks we dwell, Gleaming in beauty to the eye,

Ye promise fair and well !

Ye lure us, and we venture in,

Cheated by sun and smiles ; Ye tempt us, and we brave your depths,

Won by your winning wiles. Too deep and strong for us !-We glide

Down your deceiving wave ; Like men by siren song beguiled

On to a siren grave.

Turn now thine eye, and look on poverty! Look on the lowest of her ragged sons : We find him by the way, sitting in dust; He has no bread to eat, no tongue to ask; No limbs to walk; no home, no house, no friend. See how his hand, if any hand he has, Involuntarily opens, and trembles forth, As comes the traveller's foot; and hear his groan. On him hail, rain, and tempest rudely beat ; And all the winds of heaven, in jocular mood, Sport with his wither'd rags, that, toss'd about, Display his nakedness to passers by, And grievously burlesque the human form. Observe him yet more narrowly: his limbs, With palsy shaken, about him blasted lie; And all his flesh is full of putrid sores, And noisome wounds, his bones of racking pains. Strange vesture this for an immortal soul ! Strange retinue to wait a lord of earth! It seems as Nature, in some surly mood, After debate and musing long, had tried How vile and miserable thing her hand Could fabricate, then made this meagre man: A sight so full of perfect misery, That passengers their faces turn'd away, And hasted to be gone; and delicate And tender woman took another path.

This great disparity of outward things Taught many lessons; but this taught in chief, Though learn'd by few: that God no value set, That man should none, on goods of worldly kind; On transitory, frail, external things, Of migratory, ever-changing sort; And further taught, that in the soul alone, The thinking, reasonable, willing soul, God placed the total excellence of man; And meant him evermore to seek it there.


O world, with all thy smiles and loves,

With all thy song and wine, What mockery of human hearts,

What treachery is thine !

Thou woundest, but thou canst not heal,

Thy words are warbled lies ;
Thy hand contains the poison'd cup,

And he who drinks it dies.

O world, there's fever in thy touch,

And frenzy in thine eye;
To lose and shun thee is to live,

To win thee is to die !-Bonar.



A FOUNT-O’ERSHADING tree stands near the high

way-side, And many a good fellow, pausing there, has died. For in the fountain's depths a dragon lies asleep : Sits on the tree a bird, his constant watch to keep. The bird's sweet song allures the unwary wanderer

near : Then sings he loud, so loud the dragon wakes to

hear. The thirsty traveller drinks, — the dragon darts

aloft,And on the tree the fatal bird sings soft.-Oriental.

THou cam'st not to thy place by accident,
It is the very place God meant for thee;
And shouldst thou there small scope for action see,
Do not for this give room to discontent,
Nor let the time thou owest to God be spent
In idly dreaming how thou mightest be,
In what concerns thy spiritual life, more free
From outward hindrance or impediment.
For presently this hindrance thou shalt find
That without which all goodness were a task

133. ALLUREMENTS. Looking on Turn thou thine eyes from each seducing sight, For looking whets the ready edge of appetite.

Oriental, tr. by W. R. Alger.

134. ALLUREMENTS. Resisting

137. AMBITION. Baseness of ungoverned

Dare to be great without a guilty crown; View it, and lay the bright temptation down. 'Tis base to seize on all.-Dryden.

138. AMBITION. Cheat of

Ulysses, sailing by the Siren's isle, Seal'd first his comrades' ears, then bade them fast Bind him with many a fetter to the mast, Lest those sweet voices should their souls beguile, And to their ruin flatter them, the while Their homeward bark was sailing swiftly past; And thus the peril they behind them cast, Though chased by those weird voices many a mile. But yet a nobler cunning Orpheus used : No fetter he put on, nor stopp'd his ear, But ever, as he pass'd, sang high and clear The blisses of the gods, their holy joys, And with diviner melody confused And marr'd earth's sweetest music to a noise.

R. C. Trench.

135. ALMS. Law of

In alms regard thy means, and others' merits.

Think Heaven a better bargain than to give Only thy single market-money for it,

Join hands with God to make a man to live. Give to all something; to a good poor man, Till thou change names, and be where he began.

What is AMBITION? 'Tis a glorious cheat! It seeks the chamber of the gifted boy And lifts his humble window, and comes in. The narrow walls expand, and spread away Into a kingly palace, and the roof Lifts to the sky, and unseen fingers work The ceilings with rich blazonry, and write His name in burning letters over all. And ever, as he shuts his 'wildered eyes, The phantom comes and lays upon his lids A spell that murders sleep, and in his ear Whispers a deathless word, and on his brain Breathes a fierce thirst no water will allay. He is its slave henceforth! His days are spent In chaining down his heart, and watching where To rise by human weaknesses. His nights Bring him no rest in all their blessed hours. His kindred are forgotten or estranged. Unhealthful fires burn constant in his eye. His lip grows restless, and its smile is curl'd Half into scorn-till the bright, fiery boy, That was a daily blessing but to see, His spirit was so bird-like and so pure, Is frozen, in the very flush of youth, Into a cold, care-fretted, heartless man.

Man is God's image; but a poor man is

Christ's stamp to boot : both images regard. God reckons for him, counts the favour His : Write, So much given to God; thou shalt be

heard. Let thine alms go before, and keep Heaven's gate Open for thee; or both may come too late.

George Herbert.

136. ALMSGIVING. A Reason for

I am a humble pensioner

Myself for daily bread; Shall I forget my brothers

Who seem in greater need ? I know not how it happen'd

That I had more than they,
Unless God meant that I should give

A part of it away.
The poorest highway beggar

And I have needs the same;
Close side by side we waited,

While God callid out the name.

And what is its reward ? At best, a name !
Praise--when the ear has grown too dull to hear,
Gold—where the senses it should please are dead;
Wreaths—where the hair they cover has grown grey,
Fame-when the heart it should have thrill'd is

All things but love--when love is all we want ;
And close behind comes Death, and ere we know
That ev'n these unavailing gifts are ours,
He sends us, stripp'd and naked, to the grave !

N. P. Willis,

139. AMBITION. Check to

Go, climb the rugged Alps, ambitious fool,
To please the boys and be a theme at school.
One world sufficed not Alexander's mind;
Coop'd up, he seem'd in earth and seas confined ;
And, struggling, stretch'd his restless limbs about
The narrow globe, to find a passage out.

Yet, enter'd in the brick-built town, he tried
| The tomb, and found the strait dimensions wide ;

So, brother, it but happen'd

The name he call'd was mine, The food was given for us both.

Here! Half of it is thine !

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