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ON A BICYCLE
HENRY CHARLES BEECHING
With lifted feet, hands still,
Swifter and yet more swift,
Speed slackens now, I float
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.
Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er,
Shall find wings waiting there.
A SONG FROM THE SUDS
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT
Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
And sturdily wash and rinse and wring,
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
I am glad a task to me is given,
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health and strength and hope, And I cheerfully learn to say,
“Head, you may think, Heart, you may feel, But, Hand, you shall work alway!"
EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN
No clouds are in the morning sky,
The sumac spreads its gleam;
At every turn the maples burn,
The quail is whistling free,
The partridge whirs, and the frosted burs
Are dropping for you and me.
Ho! Hilly ho! heigh O!
In the clear October morning.
Away! Away! our fire streams bright
And their arrowy sparkles of frosty light
Away! Away! for the stars are forth,
And on the pure snows of the valley,
Away! Away! o'er the sheeted ice,
Away, away we go;
On our steel-bound feet we move as fleet
What though the sharp north winds are out,
'Midst the laugh and shout of the jocund rout,
Let others choose more gentle sports,
Seek for their share of mirth;
But as for me, away! away!
Where the merry skaters be
Where the fresh wind blows, and the smooth ice glows,
There is the place for me.
BLACK BEAUTY'S TRAINING
The Story Told by a Horse
The first place that I can well remember, was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water lilies grew at the deep end. Over the hedge on one side we looked into a plowed field, and on the other we looked over a gate at our master's house, which stood by the roadside. At the top of the meadow was a plantation of fir trees, and at the bottom there was a running brook overhung by a steep bank.
Whilst I was young I lived upon my mother's milk as I could not eat grass. In the daytime I ran by her side, and at night I lay down close by her. When it was hot, we used to stand by the pond in the shade of the trees, and when it was cold, we had a nice warm shed near the plantation.
As soon as I was old enough to eat grass, my mother used to go out to work in the daytime, and come back in the evening.
There were six young colts in the meadow besides me; they were older than I was; some were nearly as large as grown-up horses. I used to run with them, and had great fun; we used to gallop all together round and round the field, as hard as we could go. Sometimes we had rather rough play, for they would frequently bite and kick as well as gallop.
One day when there was a good deal of kicking, my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then she said:
"Black Beauty, I wish you to pay attention to what I am going to say to you. The colts who live here are very good colts, but they are cart-horse colts, and of course they have not learned manners. You have been well bred and well born; your father has a great name in these parts, and your grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races; your grandmother had the sweetest temper of any horse I ever knew, and I think you have never seen me kick or bite. I hope you will grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways. Do your work with a good will, lift your feet up well when you trot, and never bite or kick even in play."
I have never forgotten my mother's advice; I knew she was a wise old horse, and our master thought a great deal of her. Her name was Duchess, but he often called her Pet.
Our master was a good kind man. He gave us good food, good lodging, and kind words; he spoke as kindly to us as he did to his little children. We were all fond of him, and my mother loved him very much. When she saw him at the gate, she would neigh with joy, and trot up to him. He would pat and stroke her and say, "Well, old Pet, and how is your little Darkie?" I was dull black, so he sometimes called me Darkie; then he would give me a piece of bread, which was very good, and sometimes he brought a carrot for my mother. All the horses would come to him, but I think we were his favorites. My mother always took him to the town on a market day in a light gig.
There was a plowboy, Dick, who sometimes came into our field to pluck blackberries from the hedge. When he had eaten all he wanted, he would have what he called fun with the colts, throwing stones and sticks at them to make