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“ Yes, papa-no, papa." ..“ This is no answer," said Mr. C., laughing. “ You reply yes and no in the same breath. I asked you whether you had ever learned by rote any poetry without understanding it.”
Helen repeated Gray's celebrated Elegy, supposed to have been written in a country churchyard; the "Squire's Pew,' by Miss Taylor; as well as some passages from the “ Lady of the Lake;' and by the explanations with which they were accompanied, her judges were quite convinced that she thoroughly understood them.
“ And now, Clara, my dear,” said Mr. C., " after having waited patiently for so long a time, it is your turn to repeat some of your favourite pieces. Prove to me that you likewise understand what you learn, and that you do prefer simple descriptive truth to metaphorical ornament."
Under her mother's guidance and direction Clara had acquired an early acquaintance with many of our most eminent poets, and the descriptive parts of Thomson, Milton, and Cowper, together with some of those of our more modern writers, were perfectly familiar to her. Cowper, however, was her distinguished favourite, and she began with some extracts from the beautiful poem written on the receipt of his mother's picture, many years after her death. “ I heard the bell tolld on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that-bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! But was it such ? It was; where thou art gone Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more..
! Where once, we dwelt our name, it heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener, Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bawble coach, and wrapped
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
smile). Could those few pleasant days again appear, Might one wish bring them would I wish them
here? I would not trust my heart—the dear delight Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.
But, no-what here we call our life is such,
“ You see, papa, that I understand all this,” said Clara, after having given a concise explanation of the lines she had repeated.
« Ah,” said the little arch Rosina, “ how could you help understanding what every body, who has common sense, must understand? How could you help admiring what every little girl must admire ? Now, try her somewhere else, papa, in some more difficult place. I have often heard Clara admire Cowper's description of a greenhouse. Try her there."
“ Clara is a botanist,” said Mr. C., smiling. “ However, we will put her ingenuity to the test.” * Cowper's Lines on the receipt of his Mother's picture.
“ Can you repeat the lines to which Rosina alludes?"
(Clara repeats.) “ Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too. Unconscious of a less-propitious clime, - . There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug, While the winds whistle and the snows descend. The spiry myrtle, with unwithering leaf, Shines there, and flourishes. The golden boast : Of Portugal, and Western India there, The ruddier orange and the paler lime, Peep through their polished foliage at the storm, And seem to smile at what they need not fear. Th' amomum there with intermingling flowers And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts Her crimson honours, and the spangled beaux, Ficoides, glitter bright the winter long. All plants, of every hue, that can endure The winter's frown, if screened from his shrewd
bite, Live there and prosper. Those Ausonia claims, : Levantipe regions these; the Azores send Their jessamine; her jessamine reinote Caffraria : foreigners from many lands, They form one social shade, as if convened By magic summons of the Orphean lyre.” * “I will pass over the spiry myrtle
. Cowper's Garden."