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10. Where'er the wide old kitchen-hearth
Sends up its smoky curls,
And bless our farmer girls!
11. Then shame on all the proud and vain,
Whose folly laughs to scorn
Our wealth of golden corn!
12. Let earth withhold her goodly root;
Let mildew blight the rye,
The wheat-field to the fly:
13. But let the good old crop adorn
The hills our fathers trod;
From Whittier's "Songs of Labor."
DEFINITIONS.—1. Hoard, a large quantity of any thing laid up. Lăv'ish, profuse. 4. Mēadş, meadows. 9. Văp'id, spiritless, dull. Sămp, bruised corn cooked by boiling.
NOTE.—8. According to the ancient fable, Apollo, the god of music, sowed the isle of Delos, his birth-place, with golden flowers, by the music of his lyre.
XVII. THE VENOMOUS WORM.
John Russell (6. 1793, d. 1863) graduated at Middlebury College, Vt., in 1818. He was at one time editor of the “ Backwoodsman," published at Grafton, Ills., and later of the “ Louisville Advocate.” He was the author of many tales of western adventure and of numerous essays, sketches, etc. His language is clear, chaste and classical; his style concise, vigorous, and sometimes highly ornate.
1. Who has not heard of the rattlesnake or copperhead ? An unexpected sight of either of these reptiles will make even the lords of creation recoil; but there is a specjes of worm, found in various parts of this country, which conveys a poison of a nature so deadly that, compared with it, even the venom of the rattlesnake is harmless. To guard our readers against this foe of human kind is the object of this lesson.
2. This worm varies much in size. It is frequently an inch in diameter, but, as it is rarely seen except when coiled, its length can hardly be conjectured. It is of a dull lead color, and generally lives near a spring or small stream of water, and bites the unfortunate people who are in the habit of going there to drink. The brute creation it never molests. They avoid it with the same instinct that teaches the animals of India to shun the deadly cobra.
3. Several of these reptiles have long infested our settlements, to the misery and destruction of many of our fellowcitizens. I have, therefore, had frequent opportunities of being the melancholy spectator of the effects produced by the subtile poison which this worm infuses.
4. The symptoms of its bite are terrible. The eyes of the patient become red and fiery, his tongue swells to an immoderate size, and obstructs his utterance; and delirium of the most horrid character quickly follows. Sometimes, in his madness, he attempts the destruction of his nearest friends.
5. If the sufferer has a family, his weeping wife and helpless infants are not unfrequently the objects of his frantie fury. In a word, he exhibits, to the life, all the detestable passions that rankle in the bosom of a savage; and such is the spell in which his senses are locked, that no sooner has the unhappy patient recovered from the paroxysm of insanity occasioned by the bite, than he seeks out the destroyer for the sole purpose of being bitten again.
6. I have seen a good old father, his locks as white as snow, his step slow and trembling. beg in vain of his only son to quit the lurking-place of the worm. My heart bled when he turned away; for I knew the fond hope that his son would be the “staff of his declining years,” had supported him through many a sorrow.
7. Youths of America, would you know the name of this reptile? It is called the WORM OF THE STILL.
DEFINITIONS.—1. Rěp'tìleş, animals that crawl, as snakes, lizards, etc. Re-coil', to start back, to shrink from. 2. Cōʻbra, a highly venomous reptile inhabiting the East Indies.
In-fěst'ed, troubled, annoyed. 3. Súb'tile, acute, piercing. In-fūs'es, introduces. 4. Ob-strúets', hinders. De-lir'i-ům, a wandering of the mind. 5. Rănk'le, to rage. Păr'ox-ýşm, a fit, a convulsion. 7. Wõrm, a spiral metallic pipe used in distilling liquors. Still, a vessel used in distilling or making liquors.
XVIII. THE FESTAL BOARD.
1. COME to the festal board to-night,
For bright-eyed beauty will be there,
And garlanded her hair.
2. Come to the festal board to-night,
For there the joyous laugh of youth
Of bosoms pure and stainless truth.
3. Come to the festal board to-night,
For friendship, there, with stronger chain, Devoted hearts already bound
For good or ill, will bind again.
4. Nature and art their stores outpoured;
Joy beamed in every kindling glance; Love, friendship, youth, and beauty smiled; What could that evening's bliss enhance?
5. And years have flown; but where are now
The guests, who round that table met?
As on the banquet's eve it set ?
6. How holds the chain which friendship wove?
It broke; and soon the hearts it bound
Envy, and strife, and blood were found.
7. The merriest laugh which then was heard,
Has changed its tones to maniac screams, As half-quenched memory kindles up
Glimmerings of guilt in feverish dreams.
8. And where is she, whose diamond eyes
Golconda's purest gems outshone?
Say, where is she, the beauteous one?
9. Beneath yon willow's drooping shade,
With eyes now dim, and lips all pale,
“A broken heart.” This tells her tale.
10. And where is he, that tower of strength,
Whose fate with hers for life was joined ?
How high has soared his daring mind ?
11. Go to the dungeon's gloom to-night;
His wasted form, his aching head,
Lies, shuddering, on a felon's bed.
12. Ask you of all these woes the cause ?
The festal board, the enticing bowl,
And maddened passions spurned control.
13. Learn wisdom, then. The frequent feast
Avoid ; for there, with stealthy tread
Till death, at last, the banquet spread.
14. And shun, oh shun, the enchanted cup!
Though, now, its draught like joy appears,
And sadly mixed with blood and tears.
DEFINITIONS. — 1. Fěs'tal, mirthful, joyous. Gär'land-ed, adorned with wreaths of flowers. 3. De-võt'ed, solemnly set apart. 4. En-hånçe', increase. 6. Sủn'dered, separated. 7. Glịm'merings, faint views, glimpses. 8. Ro'se-ate, blooming, rosy. 11. Fěl'on, a public criminal. 12. En-tiç'ing, attracting to evil. Spûrned', rejected with disdain. 13. Lūre, to attract, to entice. 14. En-chånt'ed, affected with enchantment, bewitched.
NOTES.—8. Golconda is an ancient city and fortress of India, formerly renowned for its diamonds. They were merely cut and polished here, however, being generally brought from Par. teall, a city farther south.