Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/95

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85
THE READING-CLUB.

wave, the farther it recedes. Leopold stood firm, though he was shaken in every fibre of his frame by the shock. The retiring water—retiring only for an instant, to come again with even greater fury—gave him his opportunity, and he improved it. Swooping, like a strong eagle, beneath the narrow shelf of rock, he gained the broader sands beyond the reach of the mad billows. It blew a hurricane for some time. The stranded yacht was ground into little pieces by the sharp rocks, but her skipper and his fair passenger were safe. Oliver Optic.

THE STORY OF SIR ARNULPH.

[Matt. xxii. 37-39.—"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."]

An earnest man, in long-forgotten years,
Relieved the maladies and stanched the tears
Of pining multitudes, who sought his aid
When death their homesteads threatened to invade.
 
Blest with one only son (a gentle youth,
Trained in the fear of God, and love of truth),
He fondly hoped that Arnulph might aspire
Disease and death to baffle, like his sire.
 
But the boy, musing gloomily apart,
Avowed at length the impulse of his heart:
"To some calm cloister, father, I would go,
And there serve God." His father answered, "No.
 
"Thou doest well to wish to serve the Lord,
By thine whole life imperfectly adored;
But choose thy work amid the world, and then
Thou canst serve God, and bless thy fellow-men."
 
The boy, still yearning to achieve his plan,
Spake: "It were better to serve God than man."
"Pray God for help," the father said, "and he
Will solve the riddle of thy doubt to thee."