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Intermediate Language Lessons Part 3, Lesson 105, Selection For Study

This is the complete poem. Only two stanzas were shared in the lesson. The lesson is titled Neighbor Mine and was found in Town and City.
 

Neighbor Mine

There are barrels in the hallways,
Neighbor mine;
Pray be mindful of them always,
Neighbor mine.
If you’re not devoid of feeling,
Quickly to those barrels stealing,
Throw in each banana peeling,
Neighbor mine!

Do not drop the fruit you’re eating,
Neighbor mine,
On the sidewalks, sewer, or grating,
Neighbor mine.
But lest you and I should quarrel,
Listen to my little carol;
Go and toss it in the barrel,
Neighbor mine!

Look! whene’er you drop a paper,
Neighbor mine,
In the wind it cuts a caper,
Neighbor mine.
Down the street it madly courses,
And should fill you with remorses
When you see it scare the horses,
Neighbor mine!

Paper-cans were made for papers,
Neighbor mine;
Let’s not have this fact escape us,
Neighbor mine.
And if you will lend a hand,
Soon our city dear shall stand
As the cleanest in the land,
Neighbor mine.

--From Town and City

 

 

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Intermediate Language Lessons Part 3, Lesson 99, Home, Sweet Home

I included the instrumental of this poem which was originally a song. I also included a short bio of John Howard Payne.

The exercises at the end are there as an extension to the lesson. Don't feel like you have to use them.

 

HOME, SWEET HOME!

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home, Home, sweet, sweet Home!
There's no place like Home! There’s no place like Home!

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gayly, that came at my call, —
Give me them, — and the peace of mind, dearer than all!
Home, Home, sweet, sweet Home!
There's no place like Home! There’s no place like Home!

How sweet 'tis to sit 'neath a fond father's smile,
And the cares of a mother to soothe and beguile!
Let others delight mid new pleasures to roam,
But give me, oh, give me the pleasures of home!
Home! Home! sweet, sweet Home!
There's no place like Home! There’s no place like Home!

To thee I'll return, overburdened with care;
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam;
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
Home! Home! sweet, sweet Home!
There's no place like Home! There’s no place like Home!

_________________________________________

About the Author and Home, Sweet Home

It remained for an American who died in foreign lands to sing us our choicest home song. John Howard Payne was born in New York in 1791, and spent his childhood in a humble home in East Hampton, Long Island. At the age of thirteen, while clerk in a New York mercantile house, he secretly edited The Thespian Mirror. For a while he attended Union College, but the bankruptcy of his father caused the young man to quit college and to seek to support himself as an actor. At eighteen, he played the part of Young Norval in "Douglas" in the Park Theatre, New York, and later appeared in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

In 1813, he sailed for England where he appeared in the Drury Lane Theatre, London, successively as actor, manager, and playwright. He proved a very unsuccessful business manager, and hence suffered many financial embarrassments. In 1832, he returned to America. Ten years later, he was appointed as American Consul at Tunis, was recalled in 1845, and reappointed in 1851. He died in Tunis April 9, 1852, and was buried there in the cemetery of St. George. It was not until 1883 that his remains were at last brought to America, where they were finally interred in Washington with due ceremony, and with proper recognition of the wandering actor's home song.

The song "Home, Sweet Home," is a solo in Payne's Opera of Clari, or the Maid of Milan, which was first produced in Covent Garden Theatre in May, 1823. The music was adapted by Henry R. Bishop from an old melody which Payne had heard in Italy. The publisher of the song cleared two thousand guineas the first year, but Payne himself received very little of the profit.

Men everywhere have loved this exquisite home song. The soldier on the battlefield, the sailor on the trackless sea, and the lonely traveler with tear-dimmed eyes, have heard with thrills of delight the sweet strains of "Home, Sweet Home.'' We prize the song more highly because the author himself was a wanderer with no home he could call his own. His very loneliness, by way of contrast, seems to give this ideal home picture its truth and makes it touch deeply the hearts of men.

HOME, SWEET HOME

'Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again;
The birds singing gayly, that came at my call;
Give me them, and that peace of mind, dearer than all.

Home, home, sweet, sweet home,
There's no place like home,
There's no place like home.

— John Howard Payne.

The above is the song as originally written. Later the following stanzas were added:

I gaze on the moon as I tread the drear wild,
And feel that my mother now thinks of her child;
She looks on that moon from our own cottage door,
Through the woodbines whose fragrance shall cheer me no more.

If I return home overburdened with care,
The heart's dearest solace I'm sure to meet there;
The bliss I experience whenever I come,
Makes no other place seem like that of sweet home.

Farewell peaceful cottage! farewell happy home!
Forever I'm doomed a poor exile to roam;
This poor, aching heart must be laid in the tomb,
Ere it cease to regret the endearments of home.

NOTES
After careful study, listen to the song.
Listen to the instrumental (on the right side of the page).

Look up carefully the following words and expressions: palaces, humble, charm, hallow, exile, splendor, dazzles, lowly thatched cottage, drear wild, fragrance, overburdened, heart's dearest solace, bliss, doomed, endearments.

EXERCISES

1. Give a brief sketch of the life of the author of this poem.
2. What is there about the author's life that makes the poem more impressive?
3. When and in what setting was the poem written?
4. What experience had the author with "pleasures and palaces"?
5. Explain fully the meaning of "hallow."
6. What was the "charm from the skies"?
7. Why can it not be found elsewhere?
8. In what sense was the author "an exile from home"?
9. Explain "splendor dazzles in vain."
10. Why does the author prefer the "lowly thatched cottage"?
11. What else endears home to him?
12. What was "that peace of mind dearer than all"?
13. Just what is added to the poem in the extra three stanzas?
14. What now seems to you to be the fuller meaning of the second line of stanza 1?
15. Why is this song so universally loved?

 

 

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Intermediate Language Lessons Part 3, Lesson 79, Selection To Be Memorized

The Flag Goes By - Henry Holcolm Bennett

The first truly American flag had its origin in the following resolution adopted by the American Congress, June 14, 1777:

"Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

The first flag of this general design was displayed at the siege of Fort Stanwix. It is said to have been made from strips of a red flannel petticoat, and pieces of a white skirt, and a blue jacket. The first official flag under this resolution was made by Mrs. Elizabeth Ross of Philadelphia — familiarly known as "Betsy Ross" — at the request of a Committee of Congress accompanied by General Washington. This flag consisted of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with thirteen white stars arranged in a circle in a blue field. From time to time, as new states are admitted, new stars have been added to the union — the official design of the flag changing each Fourth of July after the admission of new states.

As to the meaning of our flag, Henry Ward Beecher says:

"The American flag means, then, all that the fathers meant in the Revolutionary War; it means all that the Declaration of Independence meant; it means all that the Constitution of a people, organizing for justice, for liberty, and for happiness, meant. The American flag carries American ideas, American history, American feelings. Beginning with the colonies and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: Divine Right of Liberty in Man. Every color, means liberty, every thread means liberty, every form of star and beam of light means liberty — liberty through law, and law for liberty. Accept it, then, in all its fullness of meaning. It is not a painted rag! It is a whole national history! It is the Constitution. It is the Government! It is the emblem of the sovereignty of the people!"

What wonder, then, that, with the poet, we instinctively throw up our hats and shout wild "huzzas" as the glorious old ensign of our republic passes by!

"Purity speaks from your folds of white,
Truth from your sky of blue,
Courage shines forth in the crimson stripes,
And leads to victories new."

--------------------------------

THE FLAG GOES BY
By Henry Holcomb Bennett

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State:
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land's swift increase;
Equal justice, right, and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor, — all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

 

SUGGESTIVE EXERCISES
1. Give a brief sketch of the history of our flag.
2. What feeling prompts the first "Hats off"?
3. What "more than the flag" is passing by?
4. Just what, in detail, does our flag stand for, or symbolize?
5. Give historic incidents to explain each of the references in stanzas three and four.
6. Why, then, is our flag regarded with such veneration?
7. Why do soldiers in battle fight till death to save a mere cloth called the flag?
8. Why repeat the first stanza in closing?
9. What effect has the appearance of our flag on all loyal hearts?

 

Intermediate Language Lessons Part 3, Lesson 22, Selection For Study

The poem as written in the book is incomplete. Here is the full poem.

Down to Sleep
H. H. Jackson

November woods are bare and still;
November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning's chill;
The morning's snow is gone by night;
Each day my steps grow slow, grow light,
As through the woods I reverent creep,
Watching all things lie "down to sleep."

I never knew before what beds,
Fragrant to smell, and soft to touch,
The forest sifts and shapes and spreads;
I never knew before how much
Of human sound there is in such
Low tones as through the forest sweep
When all wild things lie "down to sleep."

Each day I find new coverlids
Tucked in, and more sweet eyes shut tight;
Sometimes the viewless mother bids
Her ferns kneel down, full in my sight;
I hear their chorus of "good-night";
And half I smile, and half I weep,
Listening while they lie "down to sleep."

November woods are bare and still;
November days are bright and good;
Life's noon burns up life's morning chill;
Life's night rests feet which long have stood;
Some warm, soft bed in field or wood,
The mother will not fail to keep,
Where we can lay us "down to sleep."