What is Life?

A breath, a moment, a day or an hour?
Or is it some dream of years gone by?
For one, I have seen a reality,
That no dream can paint, with the bright colors
Of experience.
My footsteps, from a mere childhood to manhood,

Have trod in many paths, which only
Can be hid, when reason is dethroned.
I have acted a part in three scenes in
The great drama of life. A loved child,
Parent, and grandparent. Have trod the paths
Of youth in its variety. Have drank from
That fount of Education, to which all
Look back from manhood, even from old age,
With that mournful pleasure, that no one
But a participator in that boon
Can ever know.

For who can speak the joys
Of New England's school-days, but her scholars?
The happiness, that has been confined
Within the walls of some old school-room,
Where both sexes, from the child of four years
To him who stood forth in all his manhood,
Were subject to him, whose eye was their law,
Never can be painted by mortals.

Oh happy days!
Do you not love to dwell upon the past,
And review those scenes, in which Nature
Was drawn in all its brilliant colors?
Methinks I can now almost hear the rap, rap,
For silence, from our honored master, which
Has been broken by some well known truant,
Who had longed for, and now must receive
The ferule of those good old days.
I have acted a part in the next scene.
A fond parent has been doubly blest*
With that charge, which has been so little studied,
The responsibility of training
Children in the way of life.

I once smiled upon a loved son, †
And saw death touch his beauteous form,
Which was a passport for his pure spirit

To his God - to my God - through His dear Son

The third and last scene!
The untried paths of parents are being trod
By children of my youth. They love to point,
With a parent’s love, to these buds of manhood,
Which are blessings lent.

Life is not a dream
To one who has seen so many blessings.

I have seen the hand of God
In those flowers and thorns which beset my path.
God has been my shield and buckler.
By Faith, I see the Light which points me
To the immortal scene of glory, where
Each actor will join the great chorus
Redeemed by Grace—in honor of the Lamb.

* Twins now thirty-seven years old.
† Edward Everett died aged 17 months

WM. BICKNELL.

HARTFORD, ME., Sept -16, 1880.