The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

[Illustration:  AUTUMN.]


[Illustration:  Letter S.]

    See, Winter comes to rule the varied year,
    Sullen and sad, with all his rising train—­
    Vapours, and clouds, and storms.  Be these my theme,
    These—­that exalt the soul to solemn thought
    And heavenly musing.  Welcome, kindred glooms;
    Congenial horrors, hail:  with frequent foot,
    Pleased have I, in my cheerful morn of life,
    When nursed by careless solitude I lived,
    And sung of nature with unceasing joy;
    Pleased have I wander’d through your rough domain,
    Trod the pure virgin snows, myself as pure;
    Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst,
    Or seen the deep-fermenting tempest brew’d
    In the grim evening sky.

* * * * *

Nature! great parent! whose unceasing hand
Rolls round the seasons of the changeful year,
How mighty, how majestic are thy works! 
With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul,
That sees astonish’d, and astonish’d sings! 
Ye, too, ye winds! that now begin to blow
With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you. 
Where are your stores, ye powerful beings, say,
Where your aerial magazines reserved
To swell the brooding terrors of the storm? 
In what far distant region of the sky,
Hush’d in deep silence, sleep ye when ’tis calm?

* * * * *

’Tis done; dread Winter spreads his latest glooms,
And reigns tremendous o’er the conquer’d year. 
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies! 
How dumb the tuneful!  Horror wide extends
His desolate domain.  Behold, fond man! 
See here thy pictured life!  Pass some few years
Thy flowering spring, thy summer’s ardent strength,
And sober autumn fading into age,
The pale concluding winter comes at last
The shuts the scene.  Ah! whither now are fled
Those dreams of greatness? those unsolid hopes
Of happiness? those longings after fame? 
Those restless cares? those busy bustling days? 
Those gay-spent festive nights? those veering thoughts,
Lost between good and ill, that shared thy life? 
All now are vanish’d; virtue sole survives,
Immortal, never-failing friend of man—­
His guide to happiness on high.


[Illustration:  WINTER.]


* * * * *


[Illustration:  Letter T.]

There are few who have not felt the charms of music, and acknowledged its expressions to be intelligible to the heart.  It is a language of delightful sensations, that is far more eloquent than words:  it breathes to the ear the clearest intimations; but how it was learned, to what origin we owe it, or what is the meaning of some of its most affecting strains, we know not.

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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