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Thou hast looked on the gleaming wealth of old,

And wrecks where the brave have striven; The deep is a strong and fearful hold,

But thou its bar hast riven!

A wild and weary life is thine,

A wasting task and lone;
Though treasure-grots for thee may shine,

To all besides unknown.

A weary life! but a swift decay

Soon, soon shall set thee free!
Thou 'rt passing fast from thy toils away,

Thou wrestler with the sea !

In thy dim eye, on thy hollow cheek,

Well are the death-signs read; Go, for the pearl in its cavern seek,

Ere hope and power be fled.

And bright in beauty's coronal

That glistening gem shall be; A star to all the festive hall;

But who shall think on thee?

None; as it gleams from the queen-like head,

Not one, 'mid throngs, will say, " A life hath been, like a rain-drop, shed,

For that pale and quivering ray,"

Woe for the wealth thus dearly bought!

And are not those like thee,
Who win for earth the gems of thought ?

O wrestler with the sea !

Down to the gulfs of the soul they go,

Where the passion-fountains burn, Gathering the jewels far below,

From many a buried urn:

Wringing from lava-veins the fire

That o'er bright words is poured ; Learning deep sounds, to make the lyre

A spirit in each chord.

But oh! the price of bitter tears,

Paid for the lonely power,
That throws at last, o'er desert years,

A darkly glorious dower!
Like flower-seeds, by the wild wind spread,

So radiant thoughts are strewed;
The soul whence those high gifts are shed,

May faint in solitude.
And who will think, when the strain is sung,

Till a thousand hearts are stirred,
What life-drops from the minstrel wrung,

Have gushed with every word ?
None, none ! his treasures live like thine,

He strives and dies like thee;
Thou that hast been to the pearl's dark shrine,
O wrestler with the sea !

MRS. HEMANS.

LESSON CXIV.

EXCELSIOR.
The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore,'mid snow and ice,
A banner, with the strange device,

Excelsior!

His brow was sad : his eye beneath
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung,
The accents of that unknown tongue,

Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,

Excelsior!

“ Try not the pass !" the old man said; “Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide !"

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There, in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,
Excelsior!

H. W. LONGFELLOW

LESSON C XV.

A NAME IN THE SAND.
ALONE I walked the ocean strand ;
A pearly shell was in my

hand :
I stooped and wrote upon the sand

My name, the year, the day.
As onward from the spot I passed,
One lingering look behind I cast:
A wave came rolling high and fast,

And washed my lines away.

And so, methought, 't will shortly be
With every mark on earth from me;
A wave of dark oblivion's sea

Will sweep across the place,
Where I have trod the sandy shore
Of time, and been to be no more,
Of me, my day, the name I bore,

To leave nor track nor trace.

And yet, with Him who counts the sands,
And holds the waters in his hands,
I know the lasting record stands,

Inscribed against my name,
Of all this mortal part has wrought;
Of all this thinking soul has thought;
And from these fleeting moments caught,

For glory, or for shame. Miss. H. F. GOULD.

LESSON CXVI.

VOICE OF THE WAVES.

[Written near the scene of a recent ship-wreck.] ANSWER, ye chiming waves,

That now in sunshine sweep! Speak to me from thy hidden caves,

Voice of the solemn deep!

Hath man's lone spirit here

With storms in battle striven? Where all is now so calmly clear,

Hath anguish cried to heaven?

Then the sea's voice arose,

Like an earthquake's under-tone: “ Mortal, the strife of human woes

Where hath not nature known?

“ Here, to the quivering mast,

Despair hath wildly clung,
The shriek upon the wind hath passed,

The midnight sky hath rung.

“And the youthful and the brave

With their beauty and renown,
To the hollow chambers of the wave

In darkness have gone down.

“ 'They are vanished from their place;

Let their homes and hearths make moan! But the rolling waters keep no trace

Of pang or conflict gone."

Alas! thou haughty deep!

The strong, the sounding far!
My heart before thee dies :-1 weep

To think on what we are.

To think that so we pass,

High hope, and thought, and mind, Even as the breath-stain from the glass,

Leaving no sign behind.

Saw'st thou naught else, thou main ?

Thou and the midnight sky?
Naught save the struggle, brief and vain,

The parting agony?

And the sea's voice replied,

“ Here nobler things have been; Power with the valiant, when they died,

To sanctify the scene :

Courage, in fragile form,

Faith, trusting to the last, Prayer, breathing heavenward through the storm,

But all alike have passed."

Sound on, thou haughty sea!

These have not passed in vain:
My soul awakes, my hope springs free

On victor wings again.

Thou, from thine empire driven,

Mayst vanish with thy powers ;
But, by the hearts that here have striven,
A loftier doom is ours.

MRS. HEMAXS.

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