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He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Embittering all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the power
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
The well-inform'd philosopher,
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
And hopes in spite of pain;
If Winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet Spring comes dancing forth, And Nature laughs again.
What if thine heaven be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last;
Expect a brighter sky.
The God that strings the silver bow
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays His arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen:
But oh, if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvas in.
WILLIAM COWPER, 1731-1800.
WITHOUT haste! without rest!
Bind the motto to thy breast!
Bear it with thee as a spell;
Storm or sunshine, guard it well!
Heed not flowers that round thee bloom;
Bear it onward to the tomb!
Haste not let no thoughtless deed
Mar for e'er the spirit's speed;
Ponder well, and know the right,
Onward, then, with all thy might;
Haste not-years can ne'er atone
For one reckless action done!
Rest not! life is sweeping by,
Do and DARE before you
Something mighty and sublime
Leave behind to conquer time;
Glorious 'tis to live for aye
When these forms have pass'd away!
Haste not! rest not! calmly wait;
Meekly bear the storms of fate;
Duty be thy polar guide-
Do the right, whate'er betide!
Haste not-rest not-conflicts past,
God shall crown thy work at last!
-German of Goethe.
LIFE'S HIGHER AIMS.
No more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
With avarice painful vigils keep ;
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breathed for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase heaven has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
No-all that's worth a wish—a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought.
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let nobler views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wondrous way,
Or learn the muse's moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temperance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty, blest.
Thus taste the feast by nature spread,
Ere youth and all its joys are fled;
Come taste with me the balm of life,
Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife.
I boast whate'er for man was meant,
In health, and Stella, and content;
And scorn! oh! let that scorn be thine!
Mere things of clay, that dig the mine.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, 1709-1785.
WHO lags for dread of daily work,
And his appointed task would shirk,
Commits a folly and a crime;
A soulless slave-a paltry knave-
A clog upon the wheels of Time.
With work to do, and store of health,
The man's unworthy to be free,
Who will not give, that he may live,
His daily toil for daily fee.
No! let us work! We only ask
Reward proportion'd to our task:
We have no quarrel with the great ;
No feud with rank-with mill or bank
No envy of a lord's estate.
If we can earn sufficient store
To satisfy our daily need;
And can retain, for age and pain, A fraction, we are rich indeed.
No dread of toil have we or ours;
We know our worth, and weigh our powers;
The more we work the more we win :
Success to Trade! success to Spade!
And to the corn that's coming in!
And joy to him who o'er his task
Remembers toil is Nature's plan;
Who, working, thinks-and never sinks His independence as a man.
Who only asks for humblest wealth,
Enough for competence and health;
And leisure, when his work is done,
To read his book by chimney-nook,
Or stroll at setting of the sun :
Who toils, as every man should toil,
For fair reward, erect and free.
These are the men-the best of menThese are the men we mean to be! CHARLES MACKAY, 1814-