Shout a welcoming to
Hail its early buds and flowers!
It is hastening on to bring
Unto us its joyous hours.
Birds on bough and brake are singing,
All the new-clad woods are ringing;
In the brook, see Nature flinging
Beauties of a thousand dyes,
As if jealous
of the beauties
Mantling the skies.
Hail to Beauty! Hail to Mirth!
All Creation’s song is gladness;
Not a creature dwells on earth
God would have bowed down in sadness!
Everything this truth is preaching,
God in all his works is teaching,
As if man by them beseeching
To be glad, for he doth bless;
And to trust
him, for he’s mighty
In his tenderness.
It was at the close of a beautiful autumnal day that Edward Dayton was to leave the place of his nativity. For many years he had looked forward, in joyous anticipation, to the time when he should repair to the city, and enter upon the business of life. And now that that long looked-for and wished-for day had arrived, when he was to bid an adieu to the companions of his youth, and to all the scenes of his childhood, it was well for him to cast a retrospective glance; and so he did.
Not far distant, rearing its clear white steeple far above the trees, stood the village church, up the broad, uncarpeted aisle of which he had scores of times passed; and, as the thought that he might never again enter those sacred walls came to his mind, a tear glistened in his eye that he could not rudely wipe away.
Next was the cot of the pastor. He had grown old in the service of his Master, and the frosts of nearly three-score winters rested their glory upon his head. All loved and respected him, for with them he had wept, and with them he had rejoiced. Many had fallen around him; withered age and blooming youth he had followed to the grave; yet he stood forth yet, and, with clear and musical voice, preached the truths of God.
An old gray building, upon whose walls the idler’s knife had carved many a rude inscription, was the village school. There, amid those carvings, were seen the rough-hewn initials of many a man now “well-to-do in the world.” Some, high above the rest, seemed as captains, and almost over-shadowed the diminutive ones of the little school-boy, placed scarce thirty inches from the ground.
Edward was a pet among the villagers. He had taken the lead in all the frolickings, and many a bright-eyed lass would miss his presence, and loud, clear laugh, at the coming “huskings.”
Young and old reluctantly bade him “good-by,” and, as the stage wound its circuitous way from the village, from many a heart ascended a prayer that He who ruleth over all would prosper and protect him.