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melody of the Sirens, and should cast himself into the broad sea. And they filled their ears with the white wax, and addressed themselves to their daily labours.
Ulysses, bearer of many toils, stood imprisoned at his own mast. And when mid-day was bright in the sky, and the sun looked down fiercely on land and sea, Sicily arose, like a blue cloud from the horizon, lovely in the hazy distance. Capes there were and headlands, that jutted out upon the foaming sea: but chief among the thousand promontories, was the giant height of Pelorus. And less than a league from its foot, an island lifted itself up from the deep. Thither the vessel bent her way for the gods sent a favouring gale.
But when he was as far from the beach as an archer, at three shots, might send a winged arrow, Ulysses caught a distant strain, sweet and luscious as honey. It stole into his mind,-it overpowered all his resolve, he was captive to the melody of the Sirens. Louder it came and louder, and evermore sweeter still. Who can describe its loveliness? it was not as the melody of earth. And every moment that the hero listened, his love for Ithaca grew less. The voice of the three sisters came lovelier over the waters; the perils of the homeward return seemed more terrible. Long time he struggled with his shame: at last the melody prevailed.
"Loose me, loose me," labouring companions.
said the hero, shouting to his Speed the vessel whither ye will; but let me abide with the Sirens."
In vain he commanded the crew; they could not hear his words. Steadily the vessel went forward; steadily the rowers laboured. And the mind of Ulysses was rent within him; for it was agony to depart from the island. And when they came to the nearest point, he raged like an imprisoned lion. Thrice he strained at the bands, and thrice the bands repressed him. But when for the fourth time he put forth his strength, and the thongs would, perchance, have yielded, up rose Perimedes, leader of men, and Eurylochus, the equal of the gods; and they bound him more closely to the mast, and confined him with threefold thongs. In vain he besought them to forbear, and stretched forth his hands to the gods. Onwards went the vessel and onward, passing the dangerous shore. And as the melody died away, Ulysses returned to himself. And
he longed, as before, for Ithaca, and Penelope and young Telemachus. But not till the island had faded in the horizon, did, his comrades unbind his arms. Then they removed the waxen safeguard, and returned their thanks to the gods.
We also, while we are passing over the waters of this world, are beset with three Sirens. Their voice is sweeter than honey, but it is death to listen to them. They are called the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life. Our only safety is in stopping our ears against their music. We need not think of listening, and yet remaining unharmed. And happy is he, who, when he is inclined to give ear to their voice, has a friend to restrain him from evil. And yet more happy is that friend, for he will save a soul from destruction.-J. M. Neale.
SLEEP AND DEATH.
THE Angel of sleep, and the Angel of death, fraternally embracing each other, wandered over the earth. It was eventide. They laid themselves down beside a hill not far from the habitations of men. A melancholy silence reigned around, and the evening bell of the distant hamlet had ceased.
Silently and quietly, as is their wont, the two kindly genii of the human race lay in confidential embrace, and night began to steal on.
Then the Angel of sleep rose from his mossy couch, and threw around, with careful hand, the unseen grains of slumber. The evening wind bore them to the quiet dwellings of the wearied husbandmen. Now the feet of sleep embraced the inhabitants of the rural cots, from the hoary-headed old man who supported himself with his staff, to the infants in the cradle. The sick forgot their pains, the mourners their grief, and poverty its cares. All eyes were closed.
And now, after his task was done, the bountiful angel of sleep lay down again by the side of his sterner brother. When the morning dawn arose, he exclaimed in joyous innocency, "men praise me as their friend and benefactor. Oh! what a bliss it is, unseen and secretly, to befriend
them! How happy are we, the invisible messengers of the great God! How lovely is our quiet vocation."
Thus spake the friendly Angel of sleep. And the Angel of death sighed in silent grief; and a tear, such as the immortals shed, trembled in his great dark eye. "Alas," said he, "that I cannot, as thou, delight myself with cheerful thanks. Men call me their enemy, and pleasure spoiler."
"Oh! my brother, rejoined the Angel of sleep," will not the good also, when awaking, recognize in thee a friend and benefactor, and thankfully bless thee? Are not we brothers, and messengers of one father?"
Thus spake he, and the eyes of the Angel of Death sparkled, and more tenderly did the brotherly genii embrace each other.-Krümmacher.
OBIDAH, the son of Abensina, left the caravansera early in the morning, and pursued his journey through the plains of Indostan. He was fresh and vigorous with rest; he was animated with hope; he was incited by desire; he walked swiftly forward over the valleys, and saw the hills gradually rising before him. As he passed along, his ears were delighted with the morning song of the bird of paradise, he was fanned by the last flutters of the sinking breeze, and sprinkled with dew by groves of spices; he sometimes contemplated the towering height of the oak, monarch of the hills; and sometimes caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, eldest daughter of the spring: all his senses were gratified, and all care was banished from the heart.
Thus he went on till the sun approached his meridian, and the increasing heat preyed upon his strength; he then looked round about him for some more commodious path. He saw, on his right-hand, a grove that seemed to wave its shades as a sign of invitation; he entered it, and found the coolness and verdure irresistibly pleasant. He did not, however, forget whither he was travelling, but found a narrow way bordered with flowers, which appeared to have the same direction with the main road, and
was pleased that, by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the rewards of diligence, without suffering its fatigues. He therefore, still continued to walk for a time, without the least remission of his ardour, except that he was sometimes tempted to stop by the music of the birds, whom the heat had assembled in the shade, and sometimes amused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits that hung upon the branches. At last the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills and thickets, cooled with fountains, and murmuring with water-falls. Here Obidah paused for a time, and began to consider whether it were longer safe to forsake the known and common track; but remembering that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders, in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.
Having thus calmed his solicitude, he renewed his pace, though he suspected that he was not gaining ground. This uneasiness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might soothe or divert him. He listened to every echo, he mounted every hill for a fresh prospect, he turned aside to every cascade, and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region with innumerable circumvolutions. In these amusements the hours passed away unaccounted, his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward lest he should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past. While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempest gathered round his head. He was now roused by his danger to a quick and painful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happiness is lost when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove, and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.
He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power; to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some issue where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself on the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature. He rose with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with his sabre in his hand, for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage and expiration; all the horrors of darkness and solitude surrounded him; the winds roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.
Work'd into sudden rage by wintry show'rs,
Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length not fear, but labour began to overcome him his breath grew short, and his knees trembled, and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to his fate, when he beheld through the brambles the glimmer of a taper. He advanced towards the light, and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude.
When the repast was over, "Tell me," said the hermit, 66 by what chance thou hast been brought hither: I have been now twenty years an inhabitant of the wilderness, in which I never saw a man before." Obidah then related the occurrence of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.
Son," said the hermit, "let the errors and follies, the dangers and escape of this day, sink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigour, and full of expectation; we set forward with spirit and hope, with gaiety and with diligence, and travel on awhile in the straight road of piety towards the mansions of rest. In a short time we remit our fervor, and endeavour to find some mitigation of our duty, and some more easy means