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Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
Of • Never, nevermore.'
But, the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Meant in croaking “ Nevermore.”
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
She shall press — ah, nevermore!
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim, whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. “ Wretch !” I cried, “thy god hath lent thee, by these angels he hath
sent thee Respite — respite and nepenthe — from thy memories of Lenore ! Quaff, oh! quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore !”
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!”
“ Prophet!” said I, “ thing of evil ! — prophet still, if bird or devil,
Quoth the Raven, “ Nevermore !”
“ Prophet!” said I, “ thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil,
Quoth the Raven, “ Nevermore !"
“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend !” I shrieked, upstart
ing: “ Get thee back into the tempest and the night's Plutonian shore ! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken I quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “ Nevermore !"
And the Raven, never fitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,
Shall be lifted — nevermore !
This volume is not intended to take the place of a Dictionary of Authors, whose names alone would fill a greater number of pages than can be given to the whole book; much less can it afford space for the exact enumeration of all the productions of those mentioned. More extended notices of them and their works can be obtained by the pupil, as an excellent general exercise, from Allibone's “ Die joary of Authors” and “The Encyclopædia Americana;" copies of which wo ks should be in every high-school library. To those who may be disappointed by not finding the name of a favorite author in the contemporary lists, we can only say, our space could not include everybody Undoubtedly, among modern ait ors whose places in our literature have not yet been fixed permanently by time and critics, some names of importance will have been overlookerl: athe same time, it is believed, that having studied carefully the selectio:s here gives, and become acquainted with the authors and books referred to in this volume, the pupil will have attended to the most important part of the liter:ture of the language, and been successfully introduced to its curiosities, philological and historical. .
John GODFREY SAXE. — Born June 2, 1816, Highgate, Vt. The pun and fun loving reader will find both in abundance in his two volumes of huinorous and satirical poems.
THEODORE Tilton. — Editor of " The New-York Independent.” A writer of great power and true poetic genius. One volume of poems.
Fitz-GREENE HALLECK. — “ Marco Bozzaris," and many other poems.
JAMES GATES PERCIVAL. — “Prometheus,” “The Dream of Day, and Other Poems."
RICHARD H. Dana.—" The Buccaneer," " Poems and Prose Writings," two volumes.
John PIERPONT. —" Airs of Palestine," volume of poems, and series of Readers.
Sarah Jane CLARKE, “ Grace Greenwool," now Mrs. S. J. Linninent, 1998 written several very popular volumes of prose and poetry, and books for caluurill.
LYDIA HUNTLEY SIGOURNEY. - Called the Mrs. Hemans of America.
Other Americans who have written in verse of more or less poetical merit, nearly all of whom have published one or more voluines: Park BENJAMIN.
GEORGE P. MORRIS.
LUCRETIA MARIA DAVIDSON.
MARY S. B. Dixi.
ANNA PYRE DINNIES. GEORGE HENRY BOKER.
MARY E. BROOKS ELIZABETH HOWELL.
ELIZADETI (AKES SMITH. AMELLA B. W'ELBY.
MARIA WHITE (LOWELL).
WILLIAM B. TAPPAN.
HENRY WARD BEECHER.
BORN JUNE 24, 1813, IN LITCHFIELD, CONN.
Pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., since 1847. Author of several volumes. -"Letters to Young Men,” “Star Papers, or Experiences of Art and Nature," and "Norwood," which first appeared in “ The New-York Ledger," a healthy, vigorous presentation of New-England village-life. “Life-Thoughts, gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher," by EDNA DEAN PROCTOR, and “Notes from Plymouth Pulpit," by AUGUSTA MOORE, illustrate well the freshness and richness of his style. Sincerely in love with Nature as well as with man, and untrammeled by traditions and dogmas, he speaks to his fellow-man with the eloquence of truth, with appreciative sympathy; and is the most popular pulpit orator in America.
1. JANUARY! Darkness and light reign alike. Snow is on the ground. Cold is in the air. The winter is blossoming in frost-flowers. Why is the ground hidden ? Why is the earth white? So hath God wiped out the past, so hath he spread the earth like an unwritten page for a new year! Old sounds are silent in the forest and in the air. Insects are dead, birds are gone, leaves have perished, and all the foundations of soil remain. Upon this lies, white and tranquil, the emblem of newness and purity, the virgin robes of the yet unstained year.
2. FEBRUARY! The day gains upon the night. The strife of heat and cold is scarce begun. The winds that come from the desolate north wander through forests of frost-cracking boughs, and shout in the air the weird cries of the northern bergs and ice-resounding oceans. Yet, as the month wears on, the silent work begins, though storms rage. The earth is hidden yet, but not dead. The sun is drawing near. The storms cry out. But the Sun is not heard in all the heavens. Yet he whispers words of deliverance into the ears of every sleeping seed and root that lies beneath the snow. The day opens; but the night shuts the earth with its frost-lock. They strive together; but the darkness and the cold are growing weaker. On some nights they forget to work.
3. MARCH! The conflict is more turbulent; but the victory is gained. The world awakes. There come voices from long-hidden birds. The smell of the soil is in the air. The sullen ice, retreating from open field and all sunny places, has slunk to the north of every fence and rock, The knolls and banks that face the east or south sigh for release, and begin to lift up a thousand tiny palms.
4. APRIL! The singing month. Many voices of many birds call for resurrection over the graves of flowers, and they come forth. Go see what they have lost. What have ice and snow and storm done unto them? How did they fall into the earth stripped and bare? — how do they come forth opening and glorified? Is it, then, so fearful a thing to lie in the grave? In its wild career, shaking and scourged of storms through its orbit, the earth has scattered away no treasures. The Hand that governs in April governed in January. You have not lost what God has only hidden. You lose nothing in struggle, in trial, in bitter distress. If called to shed thy joys as trees their leaves, if the affections be driven back into the heart as the life of flowers to their roots, yet be patient. Thou shalt lift up thy leaf-covered boughs again. Thou shalt shoot forth from thy roots new flowers. Be patient. Wait. When it is February, April is not far off. Secretly the plants love each other.
5. MAY! O flower-month! perfect the harvests of flowers; be not niggardly. Search out the cold and resentful nooks that refused the sun, casting back its rays from disdainful ice, and plant flowers even there. There is goodness in the worst. There is warmth in the coldness. The silent, hopeful, unbreathing sun, that will not fret or despond, but carries a placid brow through the unwrinkled heavens, at length conquers the very rocks; and lichens grow, and inconspicuously blossom. What shall not Time do that carries in its bosom Love?
6. June! Rest! This is the year's bower. Sit down within
it. Wipe from thy brow the toil. The elements are thy servants. The dews bring thee jewels. The winds bring perfume. The Earth shows thee all her treasure. The forests sing to thee. The air is all sweetness, as if all the angels of God had gone through it, bearing spices homeward. The storms are but as flocks of mighty birds that spread their wings, and sing in the high heaven. Speak to God now, and say, “O Father! where art thou ? ” and out of every flower and tree, and silver pool, and twined thicket, a voice will come, “ God is in me." The earth cries to the heavens, “God is here!” and the heavens cry to the earth, “God is here!” The sea claims him. The land hath him. His footsteps are upon the deep. He sitteth upon the circle of the earth. O sunny joys of the sunny month, yet soft and temperate, how soon will the eager months that come burning from the equator scorch you!
7. JULY! Rouse up! The temperate heats that filled the air are raging forward to glow and overfill the earth with hotness. Must it be thus in every thing, that June shall rush toward August? Or is it not that there are deep and unreached places for whose sake the probing sun pierces down its glowing hands ? There is a deeper work than June can perform. The Earth shall drink of the heat before she knows her nature or her strength. Then shall she bring forth to the uttermost the treasures of her bosom; for there are things hidden far down, and the deep things of life are not known till the fire reveals them.
8. August! Reign, thou fire-month! What canst thou do? Neither shalt thou destroy the earth, whom frosts and ice could not destroy. The vines droop, the trees stagger, the broad-palmed leaves give thee their moisture, and hang down; but every night the dew pities them. Yet there are flowers that look thee in the eye, fierce Sun, all day long, and wink not. This is the rejoicing month for joyful insects. If our unselfish eye would behold it, it is the most populous and the happiest month. The herds plash in the sedge; fish seek the deeper pools; forest fowl lead out their young; the air is resonant of insect orchestras, each one carrying his part in Nature's grand harmony. August, thou art the ripeness of the year! Thou art the glowing center of the circle!
9. SEPTEMBER! There are thoughts in thy heart of death. Thou art doing a secret work, and heaping up treasures for another year. The unborn infant-buds which thou art tending are more than all the living leaves. Thy robes are luxuriant, but worn with softened pride. More dear, less beautiful, than June, thou art the heart's month. Not till the heats of summer are gone, while all its growths remain, do we know the fullness of life. Thy hands are stretched out, and clasp the glowing palm of Au