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And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
This it is, and nothing more.”
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Merely this, and nothing more.
Surely,” said I, “ surely that is something at my window-lattice:
'Tis the wind, and nothing more!
Perched and sat, and nothing more.
Quoth the Raven, “ Nevermore! ”
With such name as “ Nevermore.”
Then the bird said, “ Nevermore !”
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
Doubtless," said I, “ what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore, Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
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
bosom's core, This and more
sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining, with the lamplight gloating o'er,
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 ! 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 “ Dictionary of Authors " and " The Encyclopædia Americana;” copies of which works should be in every high-school library. To those who may disappointed by pot finding the name of a favorite author in the contemporary lists, we can only say, our space could not include everybody Undoubtedly, among modern authors whose places in our literature have not yet been fixed permanently by time and critics, some names of importance will have been overlooked: at the same time, it is believed, that having studied carefully the selections here given, 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 literature 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 humorous 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 Bozz:ıris," 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 Greenwood,” now Mrs. S. J. Lippincott, has written several very popular volumes of prose and poetry, and books for children.
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 volumes: PARK BENJAMIN.
GEORGE P. MORRIS. CHARLES SPRAGUE.
LUCRETIA MARIA DAVIDSON. JULIA WARD HOWE.
MARY S. B. DANA. Walt WHITMAN.
ANNA PYRE DINNIES. GEORGE HENRY BOKER.
MARY E. BROOKS. ELIZABETH HOWELL.
ELIZABETH OAKES SMITH. AMELIA B. WELBY.
MARIA WHITE (LOWELL).
WILLIAM B. Tarrax.
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 Enna 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 bougls, 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-lidden 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