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The Frost looked forth on a still, clear night, And whispered, “Now, I shall be out of sight; So, through the valley, and over the height,

In silence I'll take my way. I will not go on like that blustering train, The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain, That make such a bustle and noise in vain;

But I'll be as busy as they!”


So he flew to the mountain, and powdered its

crest, He lit on the trees, and their boughs he dressed With diamonds and pearls ; and over the breast

Of the quivering lake he spread
5 A coat of mail, that it need not fear
The glittering point of many a spear
Which he hung on its margin, far and near,

Where a rock could rear its head.

He went to the window of those who slept, 10 And over each pane like a fairy crept; Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,

By the morning light were seen Most beautiful things ! — there were flowers and

trees, There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees; There were cities and temples and towers; and

All pictured in silvery sheen !


But he did one ing that was hardly fair, — He peeped ', the cupboard, and finding there

That all had forgotten for him to prepare.

“Now, just to set them a-thinking, I'll bite this basket of fruit,” said he, “And this costly pitcher I'll burst in three ! And the glass of water they've left for me, Shall • tchick’to tell them I'm drinking.”



bevies (běv'iz) : flocks
bustle (bŭs'sl) : noisy motion
cupboard (kůb'berd): clos
margin (mär'jin): edge, border

pearl (pērl) : precious stone
sheen (shēn): gloss, glitter
whisper (hwis'per): to speak softly

HELPS TO STUDY A coat of mail was a suit of iron that soldiers wore in the days when they fought with swords and spears.

This old and familiar poem describes the frost in a playful manner. See if you can follow every trick and every wonder that the frost works.

1. How does the frost work; silently or noisily? 2. What is meant by the “ blustering train”? 3. What did Jack Frost do to the mountain ? To the trees? To the lake? 4. What did the frost do to the windowpanes ? When you next see its work, see if you can find anything like these fanciful pictures. 5. Witit mischief was he guilty of in the kitchen ?

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Yet, after all, I think the chief attraction of the brook to my brother and myself was the fine fishing it afforded us. Our bachelor uncle who lived with us was a quiet, genial man, much given to 5 hunting and fishing; and it was one of the great pleasures of our young life to accompany him to Great Hill, Brandy-brow Woods, the Pond, and,


best of all, to the Country Brook. We were quite willing to work hard in the cornfield or the haylot to finish the day's labor in season for an afternoon stroll through the woods and along the brookside.

I remember my first fishing excursion as if it were but yesterday. I have been happy many times in my life, but never more so than when I received that first fishing pole from my uncle's hand, and trudged off with him through the woods 10 and meadows. It was a still sweet day of early summer; the long afternoon shadows of the trees lay cool across our path; the leaves seemed greener, the flowers brighter, the birds merrier than ever before. My uncle, who knew by long experience 15 where were the best haunts of pickerel, considerately placed me at the most favorable point. I threw out my line as I had so often seen others do, and waited anxiously for a bite, moving the bait in rapid jerks on the surface of the water in imitation :o of the leap of a frog. Nothing came of it. “Try again,” said my uncle. Suddenly the bait sank out of sight. “Now for it,” thought I, “ here is a


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