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LITERARY COLLECTION,

DESIGNED FOR

School-Room and Family Circle:

CONTAINING

MORE THAN SIX HUNDRED FAVORITE SELECTIONS IN PROSE AND POETRY,
SECTIONS FOR ARBOR DAY, BIRD DAY, DECORATION DAY,

DAYS WITH THE POETS, ETC.

ohn iersol

J. P. MCCASKEY.

1

Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,

Who gave us nobler lives and nobler cares,

The Poets—who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays.

Wordsworth.

If I can scatter flowers along the path, or put some touches of a rosy sunset
into the life, of any human being; if I can sow in any human heart the seeds
that awake immortal desire for the heavenly manna,—be it by kindly word
or deed, by sentiment or song,—then I feel that I have walked with God."

NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO:
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY.

1

THE FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY OF AGASSIZ.

MAY 28, 1857.
It was fifty years ago

In the pleasant month of May
In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,

A child in its cradle lay.
And Nature, the old nurse, took

The child upon her knee,
Saying: “ Here is a story-book

Thy Father has written for thee."
“ Come, wander with me,” she said,

“ Into regions yet untrod;
And read what is still unread

In the manuscripts of God.”
And he wandered away and away

With Nature, the dear old nurse,
Who sang to him night and day

The rhymes of the universe.
And whenever the way seemed long,

Or his heart began to fail,
She would sing a more wonderful song,

Or tell a more marvelous tale.
So she keeps him still a child,

And will not let him go,
Though at times bis heart beats wild

For the beautiful Pays de Vaud;
Though at times he hears in his dreams

The Ranz des Vaches of old,
And the rush of mountain streams

From glaciers clear and cold.
And the mother at home says “ Hark!

For his voice I listen and yearn;
It is growing late and dark,

And my boy does not return !"
1 Pā'-e deh-vo, his home in Switzerland, from which the large granite boulder was brought
which stands, with brief inscription, at his grave in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston.

» Röngz dā Väsh, simple melodies of the mountaineers of Switzerland, sometimes sung, but usually played on a long trumpet, known as the Alpine horn.

Teach this beautiful little poem to the average person, a class, a school, or an assembly of quick-witted people, in from thirty to sixty minutes. To do this, you must know it yourself, and teach with animation. It is a very profitable exercise, and interesting to everybody. The method of work suggested in the following pages we have found both simple and practical.

W. P. 6

COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY J. P. McCASKEY.

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Genry S. Chritis

9-15-39
ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

3 This book is named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, in the desire to aid in extending and perpetuating the habit for which our best-loved President is widely known, that of committing to memory poems that he enjoyed. He was a unique man, who did many things that are unusual, but seem very human and natural for gracious and tender souls like himself. He kept intellectual company with choice, lovable spirits, because he was of their kin, and so he grew more and more like unto them, and more and more into the confidence and affections of a mighty people, until they had taken him to their heart of hearts, as no man before in our national history. He was a great man, raised up by Provi. dence at a time when the nation sorely needed so pure a patriot, so far-sighted a leader, so wise a statesman. He was essentially religious, with a deep conviction of the abiding presence and overruling power of God; but at times a sense of the tremendous responsibility upon him made him know profoundly the mean. ing of his favorite poem, “Oh, Why should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud ?" As the years pass his memory grows in fragrance, redolent of the sweet spirit of good-will to men. Let it be kept green in the schools by following his good example, and adopting —knowing it to be his, and speaking of it as his—this wholesome Lincoln habit of committing to memory.

“ Commit to Memory" is the thought of the book--and appears upon every second page to emphasize its purposenot everything, only a modest fraction, perhaps a fourth, or fifth, or sixth, of what is found in these pages, choosing the best, or that which is most enjoyed by those into whose hands the book may come. Know many of these things in the dark. Know them when you are apart from books, or sick, or tired, or lonely. Then go away with the poet, the hymn-writer or the seer, with the wise and the good of the past or of our own time, and in the study of the imagination commune with them in blessed companionship. It is a great thing thus to hear what these men and women say or sing of nature, or life, or destiny. Consider also what higher life is assured to the boy or girl who begins all this in school days.

The “Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz" is taken to illustrate a ready and simple method of learning or teaching a poem in a very short time, so as to know and place the stanzas in order or to give any stanza out of its proper order. A key-word or phrase is taken from the first line of each verse, as indicated by the heavy type in the poem on the preceding page, and numbered upon the fingers, or in the air, upon the windows of the room in the order in which they come, the pictures on the wall, the desks, the pupils themselves, anything that will serve as a mechanical aid in fixing the attention; and upon these eight words or phrases in the poem named the school is drilled rapidly, fixing the verses by quick and frequent repetition, so as to recall them promptly, when

one,” seven, four," "two," or any other keyword may be called ; then the first lines in their order and at random; then the verse, forwards and backwards in order of lines, until the entire

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