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And homeward went rejoicing
Upon that Christmas morn, Declaring unto every one,
That Jesus Christ was born. That he was born, — the Saviour,
The promised one of old; That they had seen the son of God
To every one they told. And, like unto the shepherds,
We wander far and near, And bid ye wake, good Christians,
The joyful news to hear. Awake, arise, good Christians,
Let nothing you dismay, Remember Christ the Saviour
Was born upon this day!
'Mid the mighty, 'mid the mean,
LITTLE CHILDREN. SPORTING through the forest wide; Playing by the water-side ; Wandering o'er the heathy fells ; Down within the woodland dells; All among the mountain wild, Dwelleth many a little child ! In the baron's hall of pride; By the poor man's dull fireside :
Blessings on them! they in me
This volume has been written literally among Birds and Flowers; and has been my pleasant occupation through the last summer months; and now it is completed, my earnest wish is, that it may convey to many a young heart a relish for the enjoyment of quiet, country pleasures; a love for every living creature, and that strong sympathy which must grow in every pure heart for the great human family. West-End COTTAGE, ESHER,
September 28th, 1837.
Dost watch the stormy sunset
In tempests of the west; And see the old moon riding slow With the new moon on her breast ?
Dost mark the billows heaving
Before the coming gale;
That turns the seaman pale ?
Lov'st thou the lightning's flash; The booming of the mountain waves —
The thunder's deafening crash ?
Thou art a bird of woe!
Of the misery thou dost know!
A good ship and a fair;
And many a soul was there!
And 'neath the caverned wave:
Nor skill of man could save.
Went upward to the sky;
Nor human aid was nigh.
Went'st screaming o'er the foam ;Are there no tidings from that ship
Which thou canst carry home? Yes! He who raised the tempest np,
Sustained each drooping one; And God was present in the storm,
Though human aid was none !
One moment he beholds his flowers,
The next they are forgot : He eateth of his rarest fruits
As though he ate them not. It is not with the poor man so;
He knows each inch of ground, And every single plant and Power
That grows within its bound. He knows where grow his wall-flowers,
And when they will be out; His moss-rose, and convolvulus
That twines his pales about. He knows his red sweet-williams;
And the stocks that cost him dear, That well-set row of crimson stocks,
For he bought the seed last year. And though unto the rich man
The cost of flowers is nought, A sixpence to a poor man
Is toil, and care, and thought. And here is his potatoe-bed,
All well-grown, strong, and green ; How could a rich man's heart leap up
At anything so mean!
And a thankful man is he,
How rich his board will be
And how his merry little ones
Beside the fire will stand, Each with a large potatoe
In a round and rosy hand. The rich man has his wall-fruits,
And his delicious vines; His fruit for every season ;
His melons and his pines. The poor man has his gooseberries ;
His currants white and red; His apple and his damson tree,
And a little strawberry-bed. A happy man he thinks himself,
A man that 's passing well,To have some fruit for the children,
And some besides to sell.
THE POOR MAN'S GARDEN. Ay yes, the poor man's garden!
It is great joy to me,
Before his door to see!
His gardeners young and old;
Nor worketh in the mould. It is not with the poor man s0,
Wealth, servants, he has none; And all the work that's done for him
Most by himself be done. All day upon some weary task
He toileth with good will;
His garden-plot to till.
And 'neath his garden trees;
He seems to take his ease.
Around the rich man's trellissed bower
Gay, costly creepers run;
To screen him from the sun.
And there before the little bench,
O'ershadowed by the bower, Grow southern-wood and lemon-thyme,
Sweet-pea and gilliflower;
Rich-scented side by side;
And here comes the old grandmother,
When her day's work is done ;
To cheer it in the sun.
The good man comes to get
White pink, and mignonelle. And here, on Sabbath-evenings,
Until the stars are out,
He walketh all about.
Him doth it satisfy;
That does not fill his eye.
For though his grounds are wide,
With soul unsatisfied.
Far more than herbs and flowers ; Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,
And joy for weary hours.
The old, mossy apple-tree;
I know every apple-tree !
Bringing dark days, frost, and rime; But the apple is in vogue
At the Christmas-time;
Folks are full of glee ;
Of the primest tree ;
Of the brave old apple-tree!
LET them sing of bright red gold ;
Let them sing of silver fair; Sing of all that's on the earth,
All that's in the air; All that is in the sunny air,
All that's in the sea;
Of the apple-tree!
The ripe, rosy apple-tree !
Which they ponder day and night; Easier leaves than theirs I read, —
Blossoms pink and white; Blossom-leaves all pink and white,
Wherein I can see
The old apple-tree;
The ripe, rosy apple-tree !
Soon as harvest-toil is o'er,
Be they less or more;
• Is well-known to me ;
Of the apple-tree;
Lo! there the hermit of the waste,
The ghost of ages dim, The fisher of the solitudes,
Stands by the river's brim! Old Heron, in the feudal times,
Beside the forest stream, And by the moorland waters,
Thus didst thou love to dream. And over towers and castles high,
And o'er the armed men, Skirmishing on the border-lands,
Or crouching in the glen; Thy heavy wings were seen to flit,
Thy azure shape was known To pilgrim and to anchorite,
In deserts scorched and lone. Old Heron, in those feudal times
Thou wast in dangerous grace,
All for the royal chase.
Than one which wore a crown;
From the skies to strike thee down. And out came trooping courtly dames,
And men of high degree, On steeds ca parisoned in gold,
With bridles ringing free. Came king and queen; came warrior stout;
Came lord and lady fair,
Into the autumn air.
The monk with crown new-shorn,
In the last Lent forlorn.
The bow is gone,
the hawk is thrown For ever from the hand; And now we live a bookish race,
All in a cultured land.
The keepers with their dogs in leash;
The falconers before,
The hooded tercel bore.
By stream or sedgy mere, The laugh, the shout, the cries of dogs
And men, came to thine ear.
Yet here and there some remnant
Of those old woodland times; Some waste lies brown; some forest spreads;
Some rocky streamlet chimes. And there, beside the waters,
On moorland and on wold, I find thee watching still,
Thou fisherman of old.
And starting from thy reverie,
And springing from the bent, Into the air, from joyous hearts,
Another shout was sent.
Up, up, into the azure skies
On circling pinions strong,
While the falcon sped along.
Thy strenuous pinions go, While shouts and cries, and wondering eyes,
Still reach thee from below: But higher, and higher, like a spirit of fire,
Sull o'er thee hangs thy foe;
Thy cruel foe, still seeking
With one down-plunging aim, To strike thy precious life
For ever from thy frame! . But doomed perhaps, as down he darts
Swift as the rushing wind, Impaled upon thy up-turned beak,
To leave his own behind.
Old Heron, all those times are past,
Those jocund troops are fed ;
The dogs, the hawks are dead !
In shattered abbeys lone,
In midnight vaults of stone!
Portcullis, moat, and mound
Some rarely-trodden ground.
Those chantries and crosses,
Grow tawny serns and mosses.
Baronial times are o'er!
Green is the lakelet's shore.
Where waved the wild-rush free, And whistled moorland-grasses sere,
Fat cattle roam the lea.
Oh fair, fair is the forest,
When summer is in prime! And I love to lie by mountain lake,
On its slopes of heath and thyme! In the thyme so richly fragrant,
In the heath that blooms so fair, And list the quaint bird-voices
From the moorland and the air. All those that lead their sweetest lives
Far from the haunt of men, Are sending forth their gladness
In many a wild cry then. The curlew and the plover,
The gor-cock on the brae, Send, with the singing of the lark,
Their voices far away! The coot and moor-hen from the reeds,
Or where the waters run Crystal and warm and glittering,
O'er the pebbles in the sun. And from the air, in circling flight,
Comes suddenly the crowd Of all the wild-duck army,
With pinions rustling loud ; And, dashing down into the lake,
The splashing waters bound In drops and showers of silver,
And in snow-flakes all around. Such is the joy that wakens,
That clamours, and that lives, In all the winged creatures,
Where nature still survives; Where nature still survives
In her regions wild and free ; So lives in all her creatures,
Old fisherman, but thee! Whene'er I meet thee, Heron,
By river broad and deep. Where mountain-torrents run and moan
Or ponded waters sleep;
In stony regions grey,
The rose of May its pride display'd
Whene'er I see thee, Heron,
Thy cheer is silent still; Solemnly watching by the wave,
Or o'er the dusky hill, Waving thy shadowy wings
In motion grave and slow, Like a spirit of the solemn past
That museth on its woe!
Finds no congenial tone,
And seeketb that alone!
Flit on from dream to dream;
The spirit of the stream ;
The storied times of old;
The sturdy bowmen bold.
Or 'mid the human throng,
The harper and his song. And it is pleasant thus to dream
In this kingdom of the free, Now laws are strong and roads are good,
Of outlaw 'neath his tree. Now knowledge falls like sunshine,
And peace walks in our towns — Oh pleasant are the feudal days
And the bloody strife of crowns ! Then hail to thee, old Heron!
Flit on to lakes and streams; And by their waters dreaming,
Still prompt these pleasant dreams!
Long have been dead those ladies gay :
The memory of an ancient race ! What exact species of rose this is I do not know; it appears not to be approved of in modern gardens, -at least if it be, it is so much altered by cultivation as to have lost much of its primitive character. I saw it in three different situations in Nottinghamshire. In the small remains of gardens and old labyrinthine shrubbery at Awthorpe Hall,- which, when we were there, had just been taken down.-lhe residence of the good Colonel John Hutchinson and his sweet wise Lucy ;-in the very gardens which, as she relates in his life, he laid out and took so much pleasure in. It was growing also, with tall shoots and abundance of powers, in the most forlorn of gardens at an old place called Burton Grange, a house so desolate and deserted as to have gained from a poetical friend of ours the appropriate name of The Dead House. It was a dreary and most lonesome place; the very bricks of which it was built were bleached by long exposure to wind and weather; there seemed no life within or about it. Every trace of furniture and wainscot was gone from its interior, and its principal rooms were the depositories of old ploughs and disused ladders; yet still its roof, floors, and windows were in decent repair. It had once upon a time been a well-conditioned house ; had been moated, and its garden-wall had been terminated by stately stone pillars surmounted by well-cut urns, one of which, at the time we were there, lay overgrown with grass in the ground beneath ; the other, after a similar fall, had been replaced, but with the wrong end uppermost. To add still more to its lonesomeness, thick, wild woods encompassed it on three sides, whence of an evening, and often too in the course of the day, came the voices of owls and other gloomy wood-creatures.
“There's not a flower in the garden,” said a wa man who, with her husband and child, we found, to our astonishment, inhabiting what had once been th scullery,—“not a flower but fever-few and the roe of May, and you 'll not think it worth geuing." She was mistaken; I was delighted to find this sweet and favourite rose in so ruinous a situation. Again, we found it in the gardens of Annesley Hall,
THE ROSE OF MAY. An there's the lily, marble pale, The bonny broom, the cistus frail, The rich sweet-pea, the iris blue, The larkspur with its peacock hue ; Each one is fair, yet hold I will That the rose of May is fairer still. 'Tis grand 'neath palace-walls to grow ; To blaze where lords and ladies go; To hang o'er marble founts, and shine In modern gardens trim and fine; But the rose of May is only seen Where the great of other days have been. The house is mouldering stone by stone ; The garden-walks are overgrown ; The flowers are low, the weeds are high ; The fountain-stream is choked and dry; The dial-stone with moss is green, Where'er the rose of May is seen.