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Its head grew steady-again it went,

And travelled a half-yard higher ; 'Twas a delicate thread it had to tread,

And a road where its feet would tire.
Again it fell, and swung below,

But again it quickly mounted ;
Till, up and down, now fast, now slow-

Nine brave attempts were counted. “ Sure,” cried the king, “that foolish thing

Will strive no more to climb;
When it toils so hard to reach and cling,

And tumbles every time.”
But up the insect went once more,

Ah me! 'tis an anxious minute ;
He's only a foot from his cobweb door,

Oh, say, will he lose or win it?
Steadily, steadily, inch by inch,

Higher and higher he got ; And a bold little run, at the very last pinch,

Put him into his native cot. “ Bravo, bravo !” the king cried out,

“ All honour to those who try ; The spider up there defied despair ;

He conquered, and why shouldn't I ?” And Bruce of Scotland braced his mind,

And gossips tell the tale, That he tried once more, as he tried before,

And that time did not fail. Pay good heed, all ye who read,

And beware of saying “I can't”; 'Tis a cowardly word, and apt to lead

To idleness, folly, and want.
Whenever you find your heart despair

Of doing some goodly thing;
Con' over this strain, try bravely again,

And remember the Spider and King.

i Con, think.



IF thou shouldst ever come to Modena,
Stop at a palace near the Reggio Gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini? ;
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain thee; but, before thou go,
Enter the house-prithee,4 forget it not,
And look awhile upon a picture there.
'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth ;
She sits inclining forward, as to speak,
Her lips half open, and her finger up,
As though she said, “ Beware !”-her vest of gold,
Broidered with flowers, and clasped from head to foot,
An emerald stone in every golden clasp ;
And on her brow, fairer

than alabaster,
A coronet? of pearls. But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overflowings of an innocent heart,
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled,
Like some wild melody! Alone it hangs
Over a mouldering heirloom, its companion
An oaken chest, half-eaten by the worm.
She was an only child; from infancy
The joy, the pride of an indulgent sire, 8
Her mother dying of the gift she gave-.
The precious gift, what else remained to him?
The young Ginevra was his all in life.
Still, as she grew, for ever in his sight,
She was all gentleness, all gaiety,

Modena, a city in the north of Italy. ? Reggio Gate, the gate from which runs the road to Reggio, a town not far from Modena.

3 Orsini, an illustrious Italian family. 4 Prithee, I pray thee. 5 Emerald, a precious stone of a green colour. 6 Alabaster, a kind of marble. 7 Coronet, a small crown. 8 Sire, father.

Her pranks the favourite themel of every tongue.
But now the day was come, the day, the hour;
And in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.
Great was the joy; but at the bridal feast,
When all sat down, the bride was wanting there -
Nor was she to be found ! Her father cried,
" 'Tis but to make a trial of our love !"
And filled his glass to all ; but his hand shook,
And soon from guest to guest the panic spread ;
'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Laughing and looking back, and flying still,
Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas ! she was not to be found,
Nor from that hour could anything be guessed,
But that she was not ! Weary of his life,
Francesco flew to Venice, and forthwith
Flung it away in battle with the Turk.
Orsini lived ; and long might'st thou have seen
An old man wandering as in questof something,
Something he could not find-he knew not what.
When he was gone, the house remained awhile
Silent and tenantless 4—then went to strangers.
Full fifty years were passed and all forgot,
When on an idle day, a day of search
'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,
That mouldering chest was noticed ; and 'twas said
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,

Why not remove it from its lurking place?”
'Twas done as soon as said ; but on the way
It burst-it fell ; and, lo ! a skeleton ;
With here and there a pearl, an emerald stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold ;
All else had perished-save a nuptialó ring
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both-

.”—There then had she found a grave !

1 Theme, subject. 2 Venice, a city in the north-east of Italy. 3 Quest, search. 4 Tenantless, without tenants or inhabitants. 5 Lurking, hiding. 6 Nuptial ring, wedding ring.

Within that chest had she concealed herself,
Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy ;
When a spring lock, that lay in ambush' there,
Fastened her down for ever!

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS .-H. G. Bell.1814–1874.
I looked far back into other years, and lo! in bright

I saw, as in a dream, the forms of ages passed away.
It was a stately convent : with its old and lofty walls,
And gardens with their broad green walks, where soft the

footstep falls ; And o'er the antique 4 dial-stone the creeping shadow

passed, And, all around, the noon-day sun a drowsy radiance cast. No sound of busy life was heard, save from the cloister 5

dim The tinkling of the silver bell, or the sisters' holy hymn. And there five noble maidens 6 sat beneath the orchard

trees, In that first budding spring of youth when all its prospects

please ; And little recked ? they, when they sang, or knelt at vesper

prayers, That Scotland knew no prouder names-held none more

dear than theirs ;And little ev'n the loveliest thought, before the holy

shrine, Of royal blood and high descent from the ancient Stuart


line ;

1 Ambush, a hiding-place.

2 Mary, Queen of Scots, the daughter of James V., king of Scotland ; succeeded her father when only eight years old, in 1542.

3 Stately convent, a priory on the island of Inchmahome, in the lake of Monteith (Perthshire), whither Mary was sent, when about three years old, for safety.

4 Antique, old-fashioned. 5 Cloister, a monastery or nunnery.

6 Five noble maidens, Mary Carmichael, Mary Hamilton, Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, and Mary the Queen. 7 Recked, cared. Vesper prayers, evening prayers.


Calmly her happy days flew on, uncounted in their flight, And as they flew, they left behind a long-continuing light.


to see

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of years,

The scene was changed. It was the court, the gay court

of Bourbon," And 'neath a thousand silver lamps a thousand courtiers

throng : And proudly kindles Henry's ? eye-well pleased, I ween, The land assemble all its wealth of grace and chivalry Grey Montmorency,“ o'er whose head has passed a storm Strong in himself and children, stands the first among his

peers ; And next the Guises," who so well fame's steepest heights

assailed, And walked ambition’s diamond ridge, where bravest

hearts have failed And higher yet their path shall be, stronger shall

their might, For before them Montmorency's star shall pale its waning

light. Here Louis, Prince of Condé,4 wears his all-unconquered

sword, With great Coligni 4 by his side : each name a household

word. And there walks she of Medicis, that proud Italian line, The mother of a race of kings—the haughty Catherine. The forms that follow in her train a glorious sunshine

makeA milky way of stars that grace a comet's glittering wake; But fairer far than all the rest who bask on Fortune's tide, Effulgent 6 in the light of youth, is she, the new-made


1 Court of Bourbon, court of France.

2 Henry, Henry II., King of France, to whose son (Francis) Mary was betrothed before she left Scotland. 3 1 ween, I know.

4 Montmorency, Guises, etc., celebrated French nobles and princes.

5 She of Medicis, the celebrated Catherine de Medici, descendant of a wealthy and powerful Italian family, and Queen of France.

6 Effulgent, bright, splendid.

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