The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

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ON JORDAN’S BANKS.

    On Jordan’s banks the Arab camels stray,
    On Sion’s hill the False One’s votaries pray—­
    The Baal-adorer bows on Sinai’s steep;
    Yet there—­even there—­O God! thy thunders sleep: 

    There, where thy finger scorch’d the tablet stone;
    There, where thy shadow to thy people shone—­
    Thy glory shrouded in its garb of fire
    (Thyself none living see and not expire).

    Oh! in the lightning let thy glance appear—­
    Sweep from his shiver’d hand the oppressor’s spear! 
    How long by tyrants shall thy land be trod? 
    How long thy temple worshipless, O God!

    BYRON.

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FORTITUDE.

Without some degree of fortitude there can be no happiness, because, amidst the thousand uncertainties of life, there can be no enjoyment of tranquillity.  The man of feeble and timorous spirit lives under perpetual alarms.  He sees every distant danger and tremble; he explores the regions of possibility to discover the dangers that may arise:  often he creates imaginary ones; always magnifies those that are real.  Hence, like a person haunted by spectres, he loses the free enjoyment even of a safe and prosperous state, and on the first shock of adversity he desponds.  Instead of exerting himself to lay hold on the resources that remain, he gives up all for lost, and resigns himself to abject and broken spirits.  On the other hand, firmness of mind is the parent of tranquillity.  It enables one to enjoy the present without disturbance, and to look calmly on dangers that approach or evils that threaten in future.  Look into the heart of this man, and you will find composure, cheerfulness, and magnanimity; look into the heart of the other, and you will see nothing but confusion, anxiety, and trepidation.  The one is a castle built on a rock, which defies the attacks of surrounding waters; the other is a hut placed on the shore, which every wind shakes and every wave overflows.

BLAIR.

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THE IVY IN THE DUNGEON.

[Illustration:  Letters “The".]

    The Ivy in a dungeon grew
    Unfed by rain, uncheer’d by dew;
    Its pallid leaflets only drank
    Cave-moistures foul, and odours dank.

    But through the dungeon-grating high
    There fell a sunbeam from the sky: 
    It slept upon the grateful floor
    In silent gladness evermore.

    The ivy felt a tremor shoot
    Through all its fibres to the root;
    It felt the light, it saw the ray,
    It strove to issue into day.

    It grew, it crept, it push’d, it clomb—­
    Long had the darkness been its home;
    But well it knew, though veil’d in night,
    The goodness and the joy of light.

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