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SPEAK gently! it is better far
To rule by love than fear : Speak gently! let no harsh words mar
The good we might do here.
Speak gently ! Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind; And gently friendship’s accents flow-
Affection's voice is kind.
Speak gently to the little child !
Its love be sure to gain ;
Teach it in accents soft and mild :
It may not long remain.
Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear : Pass through this life as best they may;
'Tis full of anxious care.
Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart; The sands of life are nearly run
Let such in peace depart.
Speak gently, kindly, to the poor,
Let no harsh tone be heard ;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word.
TIE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT.
Speak gently to the erring: know
They may have toiled in vain :
Perchance unkindness made them so :
· Oh, win them back again!
Speak gently! He who gave his life
To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, “ Peace! be still !" Speak gently !-'tis a little thing,
Dropp'd in the heart's deep well; The good, the joy which it may bring
Eternity shall tell.
53. THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT.
The days are cold, the nights are long,
The north wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast,
All merry things are now at rest,
Save thee, my pretty love!
The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth ;
There's nothing stirring in the house,
Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse-
Then why so busy thou ?
Nay, start not at that sparkling light,
'Tis but the moon that shines so bright
On the window-pane bedropped with rain.
Then, little darling ! sleep again,
And wake when it is day.
54. THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold ;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, ·
That host with their banners at sunset were seen :
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd ;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed, with his nostril all wide,
But through it there roll'd not the breath of his pride :
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turs,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider, distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted, like snow, in the glance of the Lord !
The hand of peace is frank and warm,
And soft as ringdove's wing;
And he who quells an angry thought
Is greater than a king.
Now in her face with laughing eye
I see him gaily peep,
And now at rest,
Upon her breast,
He gently sinks to sleep.
His lips are red, his teeth like pearls,
The rogue! he has but two;
His golden hair,
How soft and fair ;
His eyes, how bright and blue !
His tiny hands are white and plump,
And waking or asleep,
Beneath his clothes
His little toes
How cunningly they peep!
Oh! many things are beautiful;
The bird that sings and flies,
The setting sun,
When day is done,
The rainbow in the skies.
My own pet lamb is innocent,
And full of play is he;
With dew-drops wet
Is sweet and fair to me.
But there is one more beautiful,
Gay, tender, sweet, and mild,
A baby boy
With heart of joy,
A loved and loving child.
SWEET mercy ! how my very heart has bled.
To see thee, poor Old Man and thy grey hairs
Hoar with the snowy blast; while no one cares
To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and palsied head.
My Father! throw away this tattered vest
That mocks thy shivering ! take my garment-use
A young man's arm ! I'll melt these frozen dews
That hang from thy white beard and numb thy breast.
My Sara, too, shall tend thee like a Child ;
And thou shalt talk. in our fire-side's recess,
Of purple pride, that scowls on wretchedness.
He did not so, the Galilean mild,
Who met the Lazars turned from rich men's doors,
And called them friends, and healed their noisome sores.