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rather, sent fresh from hell, to test the resisting strength of virtuous resolution, should tempt me back, with all the wealth and all the honors which a world can bestow; not for all that time and all that earth can give, would I cast from me this precious pledge of a liberated mind, this talisman against temptation, and plunge again into the dangers and the horrors which once beset my path;;-so help me Heaven! sir, as I would spurn beneath my very feet all the gifts the universe could offer, and live and die as I am, poor but ober.
THE WIDOW.-C. F. GELLERT.
[Translated by Longfellow.]
Dorinda's youthful spouse,
Whom as herself she loved, and better too-
As o'er his couch in agony she knelt,
And clasped the hand, and kissed the cheek, of clay.
The priest, whose business 'twas to soothe her, came;
The more they soothed, the more Dorinda cried;
A ceaseless wringing of the hands
Was all she did; one piteous "Alas!"
The only sound that from her lips did pass:
Full four-and-twenty hours thus she lay.
Meanwhile a neighbor o'er the way
Had happened in, well skilled in carving wood.
And, partly at her own request,
Partly to show his reverence for the blest,
And save his memory from untimely end,
Resolved to carve in wood an image of his friend.
Success the artist's cunning hand attended;
A masterpiece soon makes its way to light.
The folk ran up and screamed, so soon as Stephen met their sight:
"Ah, Heavens! Ah, there he is! Yes, yes, 'tis he!
O happy artist! happy wife!
Look at the laughing features! Only see
The open mouth, that seems as if 'twould speak
I never saw before in all my life
Such nature, no, I vow, there could not be
They brought the wooden spouse,
That now alone the widow's heart could cheer,
Where he and she had dwelt one blessed year.
To weep away the remnant of her life.
In all that time to living creature spoken,
Just as she looked, a stranger stood below.
He has some business with you must be done,-
"Madam 'twill not do;
A moment the young widow stands perplexed,
The image that so long had soothed her woe.
Dorinda comes at length, and, sooth to say, alone.—
Go instantly, and boil the pot of fish."
Dorinda goes back to her room again.
The maid ransacks the house to find a stick
She calls Dorinda out, in agony.
Ah, madam, hear the solemn truth," says she;
"There's not a stick of fish-wood in the house.
Suppose I take that image down and split it? That Is good hard wood, and to our purpose pat." "The image? No, indeed!-But-well-yes, What need you have been making all this touse?” "But, ma'am, the image is too much for me; I cannot lift it all alone, you see;
'Twould go out of the window easily."
"A lucky thought! and that will split it for you, too. The gentleman in future lives with me;
I may no longer nurse this misery."
Up went the sash, and out the blessed Stephen flew.