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Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!”
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,

Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,

Excelsior!

A traveler, by the faithful hound,
Half buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,

Excelsior!

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,

Excelsior!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882]

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH

UNDER a spreading chestnut-tree

The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,

With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms

Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,

His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,

He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,

For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,

You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge

With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,

When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the

open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,

And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly

Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,

And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,

He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,

And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,

Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,

How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes

A tear out of his eyes.
Toiling,-rejoicing, --sorrowing,

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,

Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,

For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life

Our fortunes must be wrought; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882]

FOUR THINGS

FOUR things a man must learn to do
If he would make his record true:
To think without confusion clearly;
To love his fellow-men sincerely;
To act from honest motives purely;
To trust in God and Heaven securely.

Henry Van Dyke (1852–

LABOR AND LOVE

LABOR and love! there are no other laws

To rule the liberal action of that soul

Which fate hath set beneath thy brief control, Or lull the empty fear that racks and gnaws; Labor! then like a rising moon,

the cause Of life shall light thine hour from pole to pole,

Thou shalt taste health of purpose, and the roll Of simple joys unwind without a pause. Love! and thy heart shall cease to question why

Its beating pulse was set to rock and rave;

Find but another heart this side the grave To soothe and cling to,—thou hast life's reply. Labor and love! then fade without a sigh, Submerged beneath the inexorable wave.

Edmund Gosse (1849–

WHAT IS GOOD

“WHAT is the real good?"
I asked in musing mood.

Order, said the law court;
Knowledge, said the school;
Truth, said the wise man;
Pleasure, said the fool;
Love, said the maiden;
Beauty, said the page;

Freedom, said the dreamer;
Home, said the sage;
Fame, said the soldier;
Equity, the seer;-

Spake my heart full sadly,
“The answer is not here."

Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
"Each heart holds the secret;
Kindness is the word.”

John Boyle O'Reilly (1844-1890)

FAITH

BETTER trust all and be deceived,
And weep that trust and that deceiving,
Than doubt one heart that, if believed,
Had blessed one's life with true believing.

Oh, in this mocking world, too fast
The doubting fiend o’ertakes our youth;
Better be cheated to the last
Than lose the blessed hope of truth.

Frances Anne Kemble (1809-1893)

A CHARGE

If thou hast squandered years to grave a gem
Commissioned by thy absent Lord, and while

'Tis incomplete,
Others would bribe thy needy skill to them-

Dismiss them to the street!

Should'st thou at last discover Beauty's grove,
At last be panting on the fragrant verge,

But in the track,
Drunk with divine possession, thou meet Love-

Turn, at her bidding, back.

When round thy ship in tempest Hell appears,
And every specter mutters up more dire

To snatch control
And loose to madness thy deep-kenneled Fears-

Then to the helm, 0 Soul!

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Last, if upon the cold, green-mantling sea,
Thou cling, alone with Truth, to the last spar,

Both castaway,
And one must perish–let it not be he
Whom thou art sworn to obey.

Herbert Trench (1865

TO-DAY

So here hath been dawning

Another blue Day:
Think, wilt thou let it

Slip useless away?

Out of Eternity

This new Day is born;
Into Eternity,

At night, will return.

Behold it aforetime

No eye ever did:
So soon it for ever

From all eyes is hid.
Here hath been dawning

Another blue Day:
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881]

“MY DAYS AMONG THE DEAD ARE PASSED”

My days among the Dead are passed,

Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old:

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