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40                                   FRANKLIN-SQUARE
Sounds.—We are all so accustomed to trust to our sight to guide us in most of our actions, and to think of things as we see them, that we often forget how very much we owe to sound. And yet nature speaks to us so much by her gentle, her touching, or her awful sounds, that the life of a deaf person may be even more hard to bear than that of a blind one. Have you ever amused yourself with trying how many different sounds you can distinguish if you lis­ten at an open window in a busy street ? You will probably be able to recognize easily the jolting of the heavy wagon or dray, the rumble of the omnibus, the smooth roll of the private carriage, and the rattle of
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the light butcher's cart; and even while you are lis-tening for these, the crack of the carter's whip, the cry of the costermonger at his stall, and the voices of the passers-by will strike upon your ear. Then, if you give still more close attention, you will hear the doors open and shut along the street, the footsteps of the passengers, the scraping of the shovel of the mud-carts; nay, if he happen to stand near, you may even hear the jingling of the shoeblack's pence as he plays pitch and toss upon the pavement. If you think for a moment, does it not seem wonderful that you should hear all these sounds so that you can recognize each one distinctly while all the rest are
4. He modest merit sought to find,
And pay it its desert; He had no malice in his mind,
No ruffle on his shirt. His neighbors he did not abuse,
Was sociable and gay; He wore not rights and lefts for shoes,
But changed them every day.
going on around you ? But suppose you go into the quiet country. Surely there will be silence there. Try some day and prove it for yourself; lie down on the grass in a sheltered nook and listen attentively. If there be ever so little wind stirring you will hear it rustling gently through the trees; or even if there is not this, it will be strange if you do not hear some wandering gnat buzzing, or some busy bee humming as it moves from flower to flower. Then a grass­hopper will set up a chirp within a few yards of you, or, if all living creatures are silent, a brook not far off may be flowing along with a rippling, musical sound. These and a hundred other noises you will
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5. His knowledge, hid from public gaze,
He never brought to view; He made a noise town-meeting days,
As many people do. Thus, undisturbed by anxious care,
His peaceful moments ran; And everybody said he was
A fine old gentleman.
hear in the most quiet country spot; the lowing of cattle, the song of the birds, the squeak of the field-mouse, the croak of the frog, mingling with the sound of the woodman's axe in the distance, or the dash of some river torrent. And besides these quiet sounds, there are still other occasional voices of na­ture which speak to us from time to time. The howling of the tempestuous wind abroad in its fury, the roaring of the sea-waves in a storm, the crash of thunder and its reverberations among the hills, and the mighty noise of the falling avalanche; such sounds as these tell us how great and how terri­ble nature can be in her varied moods.—Buckley.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III