Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/111

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of early education, will find in Poetry an assistant not to be despised. Its melody is like a harp, [95] to the infant ear, like a trumpet stirring up the new-born intellect. It breaks the dream with which existence began, as the clear chirping of the bird wakes the morning sleeper. It seems to be the natural dialect of those powers which are earliest developed. Feeling and Fancy put forth their young shoots ere they are expected, and Poetry bends a spray for their feeblest tendrils, rears a prop for their boldest aspirings.

Even its first intercourse with the young mind, may be for a higher purpose than amusement. Entering the nursery, hand in hand with song, it need not confine itself to unmeaning carols, or to useless echoes. It may be as the sun-beam to the broken soil. Quickening perception, and giving pleasant food to memory, it leads to that inquisitive research, which next to application, ensures proficiency in the more severe sciences, and higher departments of knowledge.

Still, its principal and best affinity is with the heart. Its power of creating tender and indelible impressions, has not always been fully appreciated. This stamps it as an efficient co-adjutor in moral and religious instruction. It comes forth as the usher and ally of the mother. It goes with her into the mental field, in the freshness of the grey dawn, ere tares have sprung up