MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
wretched than to rise. 
    His house was known to all the vagrant train;
    He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain;
    The long-remember’d beggar was his guest,
    Whose beard descending swept his aged breast,
    The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
    Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
    The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
    Sat by his fire, and talked the night away. 
    Wept o’er his wounds or tales of sorrow done,
    Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won. 
    Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
    And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
    Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
    His pity gave ere charity began. 
      Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
    And e’en his failings leaned to virtue’s side;
    But in his duty prompt at every call,
    He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all;
    And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
    To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies,
    He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
    Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way. 
      Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
    And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,
    The reverend champion stood.  At his control
    Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
    Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
    And his last faltering accents whispered praise. 
      At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
    His looks adorned the venerable place;
    Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
    And fools, who came to scoff remained to pray. 
    The service past, around the pious man,
    With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
    E’en children followed with endearing wile,
    And plucked his gown, to share the good man’s smile. 
    His ready smile a parent’s warmth expressed;
    Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed: 
    To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
    But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. 
    As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
    Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
    Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
    Eternal sunshine settles on its head. 
    Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
    With blossom’d furze unprofitably gay,
    There in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
    The village master taught his little school. 
    A man severe he was, and stern to view;
    I knew him well, and every truant knew;
    Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
    The day’s disasters in his morning face;
    Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee
    At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
    Full well the busy whisper circling round
    Conveyed the dismal tidings
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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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