Abbildungen der Seite


OH! many a shaft at random sent

Finds mark the archer little meant;

And many a word at random spoken

May soothe or wound the heart that's broken.




OH, the winds were all a-blowing down the blue, blue sky,
And the tide was outward flowing, and the rushes flitted by;
All the lilies seemed to quiver
On the fair and dimpled river,

All the west was golden red;
We were children four together,
In the pleasant summer weather,
And merrily down we sped.

Oh, the town behind us faded in the pale, pale gray,
As we left the river shaded, and we drifted down the bay;
And across the harbor bar,

Where the angry breakers are,—

You and Grace, and Tom and I,—
To the Golden Land with laughter,
Where we'd live in peace thereafter,
Just beyond the golden sky.

Oh, the winds were chilly growing o'er the gray, gray sea,
When a white-winged bark came blowing o'er the billows on our lee.

Cried the skipper all a-wonder:

"Mercy on us! over yonder

Bear a hand, my lads, with me—

Four young children all together,
In this pleasant evening weather,
Go a-drifting out to sea!"

All our prayers were unavailing, all our fond, fond hopes,
For our Golden Land had vanished with its fair and blooming slopes,
As the skipper, with loud laughter,
Towed our little shallop after,-
Homeward by the dreary bay.
Fast our childish tears were flowing,
Chill the western wind was blowing,
And the gold had turned to gray.

E. VINTON BLAKE, in St. Nicholas.



A CERTAIN bird in a certain wood,
Feeling the spring-time warm and good,
Sang to it in melodious mood.

On other neighboring branches stood
Other birds who heard his song:

Loudly he sang and clear and strong;

Sweetly he sang, and it stirred their gall

There should be a voice so musical.

They said to themselves: “We must stop that bird,
He's the sweetest voice was ever heard.

That rich, deep chest-note, crystal clear,

Is a mortifying thing to hear.

We have sharper beaks and hardier wings,
Yet we but croak: this fellow sings!"

So they planned and planned, and killed the bird

With the sweetest voice was ever heard.




VARIETY is the opposite of uniformity, or sameness, and we soon grow weary of sameness; hence variety in composition is one of the sources of excellence.

It keeps up

the attention of the reader or hearer, and, for this reason, conduces to the vivacity and strength of the discourse. On this point Blair says: "Sentences constructed in a similar manner, with the pauses falling at equal intervals, should never follow one another. Short sentences should be intermixed with long and swelling ones, to render discourse sprightly as well as magnificent. Even discords, properly introduced, abrupt sounds, departures from regular cadence, have sometimes a good effect. Monotony is the great fault into which writers are apt to fall who are fond of harmonious arrangement; and to have only one tune or measure is not much better than having none at all."

Variety of expression may be secured in two ways: (1) By changing the arrangement, or structure, of the sentence. (2) By changing the phraseology, or language, used to express the thought.


Change of structure may be secured:

(1) By changing the voice of the verb. Thus:

Active-Cæsar defeated Pompey.
Passive-Pompey was defeated by Cæsar.

(2) By substituting an interrogative for a declarative sen


The interrogative form is often the more forcible. Thus:
Interrogative-Is this the character of true manhood?
Declarative-This is not the character of true manhood.
(3) By substituting an exclamatory for a declarative sen-


Declarative-It is a beautiful sunset.

Exclamatory-What a beautiful sunset!

(4) By the use of "there" or "it" as an introductory Thus:


1. There is no place like home.

2. No place is like home.

The first of these sentences is more impressive; the impressiveness is effected by the use of the introductory "there."

(5) By substituting the direct form of statement for the indirect. Thus :

Direct-General Wolfe said, "I die happy.'

Indirect General Wolfe said that he died happy.

(6) By transposing the parts of the sentence.

This transposition may take place in either prose or poetry, but it occurs most frequently in poetry. Thus:

Natural order-Honor and shame rise from no condition. Transposed-Honor and shame from no condition rise. (7) By abridging clauses.

(8) By substituting phrases for words, or words for phrases.

(9) By expanding words or phrases into clauses.*

METHOD I. To change the voice of a verb.


DIRECTION. - Vary the structure of the following sentences by changing the verbs in the active voice to the passive, and those in the passive to the active :

I. Some one calls a blush the color of virtue.

2. Snow is melted by the sun.

3. The general surrendered the fort.

4. Much practice is required to write well.

5. Health is promoted by temperance; ruined by intemperance.

6. Great men are measured by their character.

7. The sweet song of the birds delighted his ears.

8. Hands of angels hidden from mortal eyes, shifted the scenery of the heavens.

9. Neglect of duty often produces unhappiness.

10. What evil has smitten the pinnace?

II. The Norman Conquest introduced Chivalry and the Feudal System into England.

12. In 1512, Albert Dürer was first employed by the Emperor Maximilian.

13. The press of England is guarded by the hearts and arms of Englishmen.

14. This system did not promote the good order of society.

15. A cold, sleety rain accompanied the cart and the foot travelers all the way to the city.

16. Every gentleman, born a soldier, scorns any other occupation. 17. The writings of Cicero represent, in the most lively colors, the ignorance, the errors, and the uncertainty of the ancient philosophers with regard to the immortality of the soul.

*NOTE. The last three methods have been treated under "Transformation of Elements."

« ZurückWeiter »