“He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.” (Exodus 35:35 NKJV)

The Project Gutenberg EBook of McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader by William Holmes McGuffey This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at http://www.gutenberg.net Title: McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader Author: William Holmes McGuffey Release Date: February 14, 2005 [EBook #15040] Language: English

While working on some posts for my Birds of the Bible for Kids blog, I came across this in the McGuffey’s Fifth Grade Reader. How many old Samplers do you have around that were completed by your ancestors. Just thought you might enjoy seeing what the children in fifth grade were reading years ago in our “public” schools.

McGuffey’s Fifth Grade Eclectic Reader —Mrs. M. E. Sangster.


1. Out of the way, in a corner
Of our dear old attic room,
Where bunches of herbs from the hillside
Shake ever a faint perfume,
An oaken chest is standing,
With hasp and padlock and key,
Strong as the hands that made it
On the other side of the sea.

2. When the winter days are dreary,
And we’re out of heart with life,
Of its crowding cares aweary,
And sick of its restless strife,
We take a lesson in patience
From the attic corner dim,
Where the chest still holds its treasures,
A warder faithful and grim.

3. Robes of an antique fashion,
Linen and lace and silk,
That time has tinted with saffron,
Though once they were white as milk;
Wonderful baby garments,
‘Boidered with loving care
By fingers that felt the pleasure,
As they wrought the ruffles fair;

4. A sword, with the red rust on it,
That flashed in the battle tide,
When from Lexington to Yorktown
Sorely men’s souls were tried;
A plumed chapeau and a buckle,
And many a relic fine,
And, an by itself, the sampler,
Framed in with berry and vine.

5. Faded the square of canvas,
And dim is the silken thread,
But I think of white hands dimpled,
And a childish, sunny head;
For here in cross and in tent stitch,
In a wreath of berry and vine,
She worked it a hundred years ago,
“Elizabeth, Aged Nine.”

6. In and out in the sunshine,
The little needle flashed,
And in and out on the rainy day,
When the merry drops down plashed,
As close she sat by her mother,
The little Puritan maid,
And did her piece in the sampler,
While the other children played.

7. You are safe in the beautiful heaven,
“Elizabeth, aged nine;”
But before you went you had troubles
Sharper than any of mine.
Oh, the gold hair turned with sorrow
White as the drifted snow.
And your tears dropped here where I’m standing,
On this very plumed chapeau.

8. When you put it away, its wearer
Would need it nevermore,
By a sword thrust learning the secrets
God keeps on yonder shore;
And you wore your grief like glory,
You would not yield supine,
Who wrought in your patient childhood,
“Elizabeth, Aged Nine.”

9. Out of the way, in a corner,
With hasp and padlock and key,
Stands the oaken chest of my fathers
That came from over the sea;
And the hillside herbs above it
Shake odors fragrant and fine,
And here on its lid is a garland
To “Elizabeth, aged nine.”

10. For love is of the immortal,
And patience is sublime,
And trouble a thing of every day,
And touching every time;
And childhood sweet and sunny,
And womanly truth and grace,
Ever call light life’s darkness
And bless earth’s lowliest place.
—Mrs. M. E. Sangster.

DEFINITIONS.—2. Ward’er, a keeper, a guard. 3. An-tique’, old, ancient.
Saf’fron, a deep yellow. 4. Cha-peau’, a hat. 8. Su-pine’, listless. 10.
Im-mort’al, undying.

NOTES.—6. Puritan. The Puritans were a religious sect who fled from persecution in England, and afterwards settled the most of New England.

A sampler is a needlework pattern; a species of fancywork formerly much in vogue.

ABC’s of the Gospel