Imatges de pÓgina
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YOUTH'S CHOICE;

OR,

THE TWO TEACHERS.

AN ALLEGORY.

It was a day—one, such as Eden saw
Ere Sin's destructive venom cast a blight
O’er her rich stores in tempting clusters grown l-
The earth was green, as if polluting tread
Had ne'er defaced creation's pristine bue,
And Flora's younglings op'd their lovely eyes
To greet the gazer with their glances bright;
Gay Zephyr whisper'd tales among the boughs,
That bent caressingly to court his stay,
And, as he fled, gave forth their trembling sighs
In silv'ry rustling sounds, like Ocean's breath;

The brook took up the burden, as it flow'd,
Babbling in anger at inconstancy;
The busy insects' hum was heard around;
And the birds' gladsome chorus pierced the sky :-

'Twas such a day as this, a youth, as fair As all creation's fairness could compound, Reclined at ease, to bask in Nature's

grace And learn her scenes to comprehend and love: There, where he lay, no sight or sound of Art Could come to vie with God's almighty work : Behind, a forest dense, by man scarce trod; On either hand, a mountain cloud-enwrapp'd; Beneath the fertile bank a riv'let ran, On its bright surface bearing shadows strange: A painter might have copied from that dell Fair Contemplation, in her fav’rite home. Such was the youth's bright image, as he lay With upturn'd eye and brow serenely calm.

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Anon, two shadowy forms rise on his view:

One, mild and grave, with steady piercing eye,

And lofty placid brow, and scanty locks,
With form erect and firm in majesty ;-
The other, graceful as the lovely bird
That wings its way beneath a tropic sky,
With plumage which the eye can scarce behold
For dazzling gorgeousness of varied hue-
And all as radiant was this lovely sprite;
But such a sosten'd light play'd o'er her form
That the pleased eye could dwell with fond delight
Upon the fairy creature evermore !

The youth gazed on them each with wond'ring glance; And many wishes

grew

within his breast That he could learn from whence they came, and why, Though strange, they seem'd familiar to his mind. While thus he thought, with sober step advanced He of the visage grave; and thus he spake :

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My name is REASON, youth! and far and near
My fame extends. My voice can still the soul
When fiercest passions rage in jarring strife:
As, when the tempest gathers to one spot,

To spend its fury o'er the trembling earth,
God's bow appearing breaks the threat'ning clouds,
And, lo! the smiling face of Peace appears.
When Fear, with phantom-minions fills the heart,
And all amazed its quicken'd pulses beat,
I whisper, that no danger can assail
Like its own weakness, and 'tis brave again!
When Discontent, with moody wrinkled brow,
Sits frowning monarch of the human mind,
Inflicting with a despot’s rod the scourge
Of direst suff'ring the sick soul can know !
Then teach I, how with evil good is mix'd,
And that a keener zest such conflicts give
For all : he joys that man may hope to grasp.
I give youth optics to discern the false
From the true gems that in his pathway lie,
And charge hiin trust not that he hath not proved,
But choose the real from the fancied good!
When stern Misfortune, with her squalid train,
Besets his path, and no escape

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near, I teach him that Submission brings a host To fortify and guard froin fell Despair;

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I bid bim mark the bending feeble reed
In safety rise when storms are overpast,
Whilst the proud oak-king's stubborn sides are rent,
And low his glories lieto rise no more !”

Reason here paused; and stood, with folded arms
And patient mien, as if secure of sway.

With frank and modest grace the youth replied :

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“Thy pow'rs, indeed, are wondrous, rev’rend sage,
And I will store them in my memory;
But much I like yon form of gentle grace,
And fain would list the music from her lips.
Come hither, nymph, and tell me of thy skill :
If like thy form, not long thou 'lt vot’ries need;
For all would wear thy chains to win thy smile!”

Felt, but scarce seen, she moved towards the youth,
And spread her filmy robe before his eyes,
Reason's unbending form to shut from view;
Then, with a voice of softest harmony,
She whisper'd in his ear:-

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