McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader
by William Holmes McGuffey
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1. I must away to the wooded hills and vales, Where broad, slow streams flow cool and silently And idle barges flap their listless sails. For me the summer sunset glows and pales, And green fields wait for me.

2. I long for shadowy founts, where the birds Twitter and chirp at noon from every tree; I long for blossomed leaves and lowing herds; And Nature's voices say in mystic words, "The green fields wait for thee."

3. I dream of uplands, where the primrose shines And waves her yellow lamps above the lea; Of tangled copses, swung with trailing vines; Of open vistas, skirted with tall pines, Where green fields wait for me.

4. I think of long, sweet afternoons, when I May lie and listen to the distant sea, Or hear the breezes in the reeds that sigh, Or insect voices chirping shrill and dry, In fields that wait for me.

5. These dreams of summer come to bid me find The forest's shade, the wild bird's melody, While summer's rosy wreaths for me are twined, While summer's fragrance lingers on the wind, And green fields wait for me.


Francis Bret Harte (b. 1839,—) was born in Albany, N.Y. When seventeen years old he went to California, where he engaged in various employments. He was a teacher, was employed in government offices, worked in the gold mines, and learned to be a compositor in a printing office. In 1868 he started the "Overland Monthly," and his original and characteristic poems and sketches soon made it a popular magazine. Mr. Harte has been a contributor to some of the leading periodicals of the country, but principally to the "Atlantic Monthly."

1. "The sky is clouded, the rocks are bare; The spray of the tempest is white in air; The winds are out with the waves at play, And I shall not tempt the sea to-day.

2. "The trail is narrow, the wood is dim, The panther clings to the arching limb; And the lion's whelps are abroad at play, And I shall not join in the chase to-day."

3. But the ship sailed safely over the sea, And the hunters came from the chase in glee; And the town that was builded upon a rock Was swallowed up in the earthquake shock.


Thomas S. Grimke (b. 1786, d. 1834). This eminent lawyer and scholar was born in Charleston, S.C. He graduated at Yale College in 1807. He gained considerable reputation as a politician, but is best known as an advocate of peace, Sunday schools, and the Bible. He was a man of deep feeling, earnest purpose, and pure life.

1. There is a classic the best the world has ever seen, the noblest that has ever honored and dignified the language of mortals. If we look into its antiquity, we discover a title to our veneration unrivaled in the history of literature. If we have respect to its evidences, they are found in the testimony of miracle and prophecy; in the ministry of man, of nature, and of angels, yea, even of "God, manifest in the flesh," of "God blessed forever."

2. If we consider its authenticity, no other pages have survived the lapse of time that can be compared with it. If we examine its authority, for it speaks as never man spake, we discover that it came from heaven in vision and prophecy under the sanction of Him who is Creator of all things, and the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

3. If we reflect on its truths, they are lovely and spotless, sublime and holy as God himself, unchangeable as his nature, durable as his righteous dominion, and versatile as the moral condition of mankind. If we regard the value of its treasures, we must estimate them, not like the relics of classic antiquity, by the perishable glory and beauty, virtue and happiness, of this world, but by the enduring perfection and supreme felicity of an eternal kingdom.

4. If we inquire who are the men that have recorded its truths, vindicated its rights, and illustrated the excellence of its scheme, from the depth of ages and from the living world, from the populous continent and the isles of the sea, comes forth the answer: "The patriarch and the prophet, the evangelist and the martyr."

5. If we look abroad through the world of men, the victims of folly or vice, the prey of cruelty, of injustice, and inquire what are its benefits, even in this temporal state, the great and the humble, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, the learned and the ignorant reply, as with one voice, that humility and resignation, purity, order, and peace, faith, hope, and charity are its blessings upon earth.

6. And if, raising our eyes from time to eternity; from the world of mortals to the world of just men made perfect; from the visible creation, marvelous, beautiful, and glorious as it is, to the invisible creation of angels and seraphs; from the footstool of God to the throne of God himself, we ask, what are the blessings that flow from this single volume, let the question be answered by the pen of the evangelist, the harp of the prophet, and the records of the book of life.

7. Such is the best of classics the world has ever admired; such, the noblest that man has ever adopted as a guide.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Clas'sic, a work of acknowledged excellence and authority. 2. Au-then-tic'i-ty, of established authority for truth and correctness. Sanc'tion (pro, sank'shun), authority, support. 3. Ver'sa-tile, readily applied to various subjects. 4. Vin di-cat-ed, defended, justified. E-van'gel-ist, a writer of the history of Jesus Christ. 6. Ser'aph, an angel of the highest order.


George P. Morris (b. 1802, d. 1864) was born in Philadelphia. In 1823 he became one of the editors of the "New York Mirror," a weekly literary paper, In 1846 Mr. Morris and N. P. Willis founded "The Home Journal." He was associate editor of this popular journal until a short time before his death.

1. This book is all that's left me now,— Tears will unbidden start,— With faltering lip and throbbing brow I press it to my heart. For many generations past Here is our family tree; My mother's hands this Bible clasped, She, dying, gave it me.

2. Ah! well do I remember those Whose names these records bear; Who round the hearthstone used to close, After the evening prayer, And speak of what these pages said In tones my heart would thrill! Though they are with the silent dead, Here are they living still!

3. My father read this holy hook To brothers, sisters, dear; How calm was my poor mother's look, Who loved God's word to hear! Her angel face,—I see it yet! What thronging memories come! Again that little group is met Within the walls of home!

4. Thou truest friend man ever knew, Thy constancy I've tried; When all were false, I found thee true, My counselor and guide. The mines of earth no treasures give That could this volume buy; In teaching me the way to live, It taught me how to die.


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