Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

mean to send you back to your mother, and take a Moth-wife like myself.”

Poor Spy-fly said, “Thank you, sir,” and rose up to go home; but she was so weak and dizzy when she got out into the light, that she fell down at every few yards. In vain she tried to go on; her strength was entirely spent, and she was found quite dead not far from her old home.

Widow Wasp had received a message by a Harrylong-legs that her daughter was returning home ; so she went out with Snippa to meet her and welcome her back ; but they only found her cold body, which they buried under a daisy.

And now Snippa was the only one left of all Widow Wasp's sons and daughters.

“Don't leave me, dear," said the poor old mother.

No, I'll never leave you," said the good little daughter.

You remember the old Wasp who came with the last message of Buz-fuz? Well, he had a young son -a very steady, well-behaved Wasp—who wanted a wife ; and the old Wasp, whose name was Boomer, had been much pleased with the good feeling and kindness shown by Snippa at her brother's death. He went often to spend an evening with Widow Wasp, carrying little gifts, such as a scrap of tart, or a drop of jelly, or a grain of sugar; and always he found Snippa happy and busy, and attentive to her mother. So one day he said to the widow, “My dear friend, , your daughter is just the wife I want for my son; and, if you like, I'll bring him here to-morrow.”

This was agreed to, and the young Wasp was presented to Snippa as her future husband.

He was very quiet and good-looking, and not at all apt to sting; and Snippa was quite pleased with him, especially as he was ready to attend on her mother, and make her happy in her old age.

So these two young Wasps, instead of setting to work for themselves, resolved to make both their parents comfortable; which they did, lining their cozy little dwellings with the softest and glossiest leaves and then they prepared their own house for their little ones ; and Widow Wasp lived to see a large family of grand-children, who were all brought up in good habits by their parents, and lived in peace and comfort all their days.

THE BEGGAR MAN.

AROUND the fire, one wintry night,

The farmer's rosy children sat ;
The fagot lent its blazing light,

And jokes went round, and careless chat.
When, hark ! a gentle hand they hear

Low tapping at the bolted door;
And thus, to gain their willing ear,

A feeble voice was heard implore

“ Cold blows the blast across the moor,

The sleet drives hissing in the wind;
Yon toilsome mountain lies before,

A dreary treeless waste behind.
“My eyes are weak and dim with age,

No road, no path can I descry ;

And these poor rags ill stand the rage

Of such a keen, inclement sky.

“So faint I am—these tottering feet

No more my palsied frame can bear ; My freezing heart forgets to beat,

And drifting snows my tomb prepare.

Open your hospitable door,

And shield me from the biting blast; Cold, cold it blows across the moor

The weary moor that I have passed.”

With hasty steps the farmer ran,

And close beside the fire they place The poor, half-frozen beggar man,

With shaking limbs and pale blue face.

The little children flocking came,

And chafed his frozen hands in theirs ; And busily the good old dame

A comfortable mess prepares.

Their kindness cheered his drooping soul,

And slowly down his wrinkled cheek The big round tear was seen to roll,

Which told the thanks he could not speak.

The children then began to sigh,

And all their merry chat was o'er; And yet they felt, they knew not why,

More glad than they had been before.

THE SAILOR BOY'S PRAYER.

WE were but a few days out from the harbour when a severe storm of five days' continuance overtook us.

I must tell you of an act performed by a sailor boy at the height of the storm. He was literally a boy, and far better fitted for thumbing a spellingbook than furling a sail in a storm.

The ship was rolling fearfully. Some of the rigging got entangled at the main-mast head, and it was necessary that some one should go up and put it right. It was a perilous job.. I was standing near the mate, and heard him order that boy to do it. He lifted his cap, and glanced at the swinging mast, the raging sea, and the steady, determined countenance of the mate. He hesitated, and remained silent for a moment; then, rushing across the deck, he went down into the forecastle. In about two minutes, however, he returned, laid his hands upon the ratlines, and went up with a will. My eyes followed him till my head was dizzy ; then I turned and remonstrated with the mate for sending the boy aloft. “He wont come down alive! Why did you send him ?”

“I did it,” replied the mate, “ to save life. We've sometimes lost men overboard, but never a boy. See how he holds, like a squirrel! He is very careful : he'll come down safe, I hope.

Again I looked till tears dimmed my eyes, and I was compelled to turn away, expecting every moment to catch a glimpse of his last fall.

In about fifteen or twenty minutes he came down, and walked aft with a smile on his countenance.

In the course of the day I took occasion to speak to him, and I asked him why he hesitated when ordered aloft.

"I went, sir," said the boy, “to pray." “Do you pray?"

Yes, sir : I thought that I might not come down alive, and I went to commit my soul to God.”

“Where did you learn to pray ?”

“At home: my mother got me to go to the Sunday-school, and my teacher urged me to pray to God to keep me; and I do."

“What was that you had in your jacket-pocket ?” “My Testament, which my teacher gave me.

I thought, if I did perish, I would have the Word of God close to my heart.”

THE LILY AND THE ROSE,

Within the garden's peaceful scene

Appeared two lovely foes,
Aspiring to the rank of queen-

The Lily and the Rose.

The Rose soon reddened into rage,

And, swelling with disdain,
Appealed to many a poet's page,

To prove her right to reign.

The Lily's height bespoke command,

A fair, imperial flower ;
She seemed designed for Flora's hand,

The sceptre of her power.

« ElőzőTovább »