But think about it a little; don’t let time slip away by the minute, hour, day, without getting something out of it! Look at the clock now and then, and listen to the pendulum, saying of every minute, as it flies,—“Going! going! gone!”
Helen Hunt Jackson.
From “Bits of Talk.” Copyright, Little, Brown & Co., Publishers.
* * * * *
PROSING, talking in a dull way.
In the following sentences, instead of the words in italics, use others that have the same general meaning:
I heard these words ringing out from a room so crowded with people that I could but just see the man’s face. How fast and steadily the present time is slipping away!
Punctuate the following:
Go to the ant thou sluggard consider her ways and be wise.
* * * * *
yearn car’ ol mus’ ing stee’ ple mag’ ic al
You bells in the steeple, ring,
ring out your changes,
How many soever they be,
And let the brown meadowlark’s note, as he ranges,
Come over, come over to me!
Yet birds’ clearest carol,
by fall or by swelling,
No magical sense conveys;
And bells have forgotten their old art of telling
The fortune of future days.
“Turn again, turn again!”
once they rang cheerily,
While a boy listened alone;
Made his heart yearn again, musing so wearily
All by himself on a stone.
Poor bells! I forgive you;
your good days are over,
And mine, they are yet to be;
No listening, no longing, shall aught, aught discover:
You leave the story to me.
The foxglove shoots out of the
green matted heather,
And hangeth her hoods of snow;
She was idle, and slept till the sunshiny weather:
Oh, children take long to grow!
I wish and I wish that the spring
would go faster,
Nor long summer bide so late;
And I could grow on like the foxglove and aster,
For some things are ill to wait.
I wait for the day when dear
hearts shall discover,
While dear hands are laid on my head,
“The child is a woman—the book may close over,
For all the lessons are said.”
I wait for my story: the
birds cannot sing it,
Not one, as he sits on the tree;
The bells cannot ring it, but long years, O bring it!
Such as I wish it to be.
* * * * *
“TURN AGAIN, TURN AGAIN!” Reference is here made to Dick Whittington, a poor orphan country lad, who went to London to earn a living, and who afterwards rose to be the first Lord Mayor of that city.
NOTE.—This poem is the second of a series of seven lyrics, entitled “The Songs of Seven,” which picture seven stages in a woman’s life. For the first of the series, “Seven Times One,” see page 44 of the Fourth Reader. Read it in connection with this. “Seven Times Two” shows the girl standing at the entrance to maidenhood, books closed and lessons said, longing for the years to go faster to bring to her the happiness she imagines is waiting.