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part in our success as a people. For the conquest of this vast continent has been a task demanding ceaseless toil, and it has been the spirit of laughter and good humor that has helped Americans to keep life sweet, despite its tenseness. Last, you will come to a group of selections—“American Workers and Their Work”—that makes a fitting close to a study of our country through its literature. For the secret of our national prosperity is summed up in the ideal of faithful, honest labor. The work of the world calls out many different kinds of skillthe vision of the "dreamer” of great projects, the complicated planning and organizing of the leader, the skillful labor of the doer, but the one supreme essential for success is a loyal spirit of coöperation among all who join to carry on the vast industries on which our national progress is founded. And as you look at America today, busy and prosperous, you find in stories of American workers and their work a means for understanding the scenes in which you will soon be an actor—a farmer or mechanic or a governor or a captain of industry in the America of tomorrow.
The selections in this part of your book are only examples of a sort of study that you may carry as far as you wish. There is no lack of material. The more you read, the better you will understand America, so that you may give loyal service to America when you grow up. And then, when you are older, you may study England, or France, or any other great people in this way, so that you may know their ideals and what they have added to civilization. So doing, the danger of wars shall be decreased; for we do not easily hate people when we know their best instincts and desires; and the instincts and desires of a people are recorded in their songs, their stories, their expression of the meaning of life.
* From Poems of Sidney Lanier, copyright, 1884, 1891, by Mary D. Lanier ; published by Charles Scribner's Sons.
The laving laurel turned my tide;
Here in the hills of Habersham,
High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold;
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
And many a luminous jewel lone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
But oh! not the hills of Habersham,
And oh! not the valleys of Hall
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
NOTES AND QUESTIONS Biography. Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) was a native of Georgia. When he was a mere lad he entered the Confederate army and devoted the most precious years of his life to that service. He was a talented musician and often found it necessary to add to the earnings of his pen by playing in an orchestra. During his last years he lectured on English Literature in Johns Hopkins University, at Baltimore. Lanier has often been compared with Poe in the exquisite melody of his verse, while in unaffected simplicity and truthfulness to Nature he is not surpassed by Bryant or Whittier. His prose as well as his poetry breathes the very spirit of his loved southland. In the "Song of the Chattahoochee” and “On a Florida River,” we scent the balsam of the Georgia pines among which he lived, and the odor of magnolia groves, jessamine, and wild honeysuckle.
Discussion. 1. Who is represented as talking in this poem? 2. Find a line in the first stanza that tells the purpose of the river. 3. Find a line in the last stanza that tells why the river holds to this purpose. 4. What temptations to loiter does the second stanza mention? The third? The fourth? 5. Find lines in the last stanza which show that the river was not turned aside from its duty by anything it met. 6. Find the lines which show that the river expected to give itself in service to others when it reached the plain. 7. Do you feel that the poet is drawing a parallel between the Chattahoochee and life? Which method do you prefer—to let the reader make his own application to life, as in this poem, or to have the poet make it for him, as in Bryant's "To a Waterfowl”? 8. If the poet, in the second stanza, may have had in mind the small delights that make for contentment in life, what may he have had in mind in the third stanza? In the fourth? 9. Find examples of alliteration. 10. What do you notice in the structure of the third and the eighth lines of the first stanza? 11. Find other lines in the poem which have the same rime-scheme. 12. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: amain; thrall; laving; manifold; lures; avail.
Class Reading. Bring to class and read Tennyson's “The Brook.”
A WINTER IDYL
JOHN G. WHITTIER
The sun that brief December day
A sadder light than waning moon.
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A chill no coat, however stout, 10 Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
The coming of the snowstorm told.
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
Meanwhile we did our nightly chores20 Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
And, sharply clashing horn on horn, 25 Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;