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“ And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
And eat my supper there.
In bed she moaning lay,
And then she went away.
And, all the summer dry,
My brother John and I.
And I could run and slide,
And he lies by her side."
"If they two are in heaven ?"
“O master! we are seven.
But they are dead, those two are dead,
Their spirits are in heaven."
THE SHEEP AND THE BIRDS.
A FATHER and his son were once sitting under a tree upon a hill. It was near sunset, and a flock of sheep was feeding near them. A strange man came by, who had a dog with him. As soon as the sheep saw the dog, they became alarmed, and ran into some thorny bushes which grew near by. Some of their wool caught upon the thorns, and was torn off.
When the boy saw this, he was troubled, and said, “ See, father, how the thorns tear away the wool from the poor sheep. These bushes ought to be cut down so that hereafter they may not harm the sheep." His father was silent a while, and then said, “So you think the bushes ought to be cut down ?" “Yes,” answered his son; "and I wish I had a hatchet to do it with.” The father made no reply, and they went home.
The next day they came to the same place with a hatchet. The boy was full of joy, and very eager to have his father begin to cut down the bushes. They sat down upon the hill, and the father said, “ Do you hear how sweetly the birds sing? Are they not beautiful creatures ? Do you not delight in their
Oh, yes,” replied the boy; "the birds are the most beautiful of all creatures.”
As they were speaking, a bird flew down among the bushes, picked off a tuft of wool, and carried it away in his beak to a high tree. See," said the father ; "with this wool the bird is making a soft bed for its young in the nest.
How comfortable the little things will be ! and the sheep could well spare a little of their fleece. Do you now think it well to cut down the bushes ?” “No," said the boy ; “we will let them stand.”
“Remember, my dear son," said the father, “that the ways of God are not always easy to understand.
It seemed to you very hard yesterday that the poor sheep should lose their wool; but to-day you see that, without this wool, the little bird could not have made its warm nest. So, many things happen to us which seem hard ; but God ordains them for our good, and they are meant in kindness and love."
The Frost looked forth one still, clear night,
In silence I'll take my way.
But I'll be as busy as they.”
Then he flew to the mountain, and powdered its
Of the quivering lake he spread
Where a rock could rear its head.
He went to the windows of those who slept,
Most beautiful things : there were flowers and trees ; There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees; There were cities with temples and towers; and these
All pictured in silver sheen.*
But he did one thing that was hardly fair ;-
“Now just to set them a-thinking,
THE YOUNG WITNESS.
Not very long ago, a little girl, only nine years old, was brought forward as a witness in the trial of a person for stealing. The robbery had been committed in the house of the little girl's father. She had seen it. Her testimony was very important. The lawyer who was defending the thief did not want this little girl to appear as a witness; he knew that what she had to say would be very much against his side of the question. So, when she was brought in, he said to her,
"Emily, do you know the nature of an oath ?” "I don't know what you mean, sir," said she.
“ There, may it please your honour," said the lawyer to the judge ; "she doesn't understand the nature of
Is not this sufficient evidence that she is not fit for a witness ? Her evidence cannot be taken.” “Let us see,” said the judge.
« Come here, my little girl. Tell me if you
have ever taken an oath ? The red blood rose to her face and neck at the
very thought of it, as she answered,
“I do not mean a profane oath,” said the judge. "Were you ever a witness in court before ?"
“Do you know what book this is ?" said the judge, handing her a Bible ?
“Yes, sir ; it is the Bible.”
“Now, my little dear, place your hand upon this book.”
She put her hand upon it tremblingly. He then repeated to her the form of the oath taken by one who is to be a witness. With her hand upon the Bible, she said, “I do solemnly swear that what I am now about to say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.”
“Now, my dear,” said the judge, "you have sworn as a witness. Do you know what the result will be if you do not speak the truth ?”