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I think of human sorrow
But as of clouds that brood Upon the bosom of the day, And the next moment pass away ; And with a trusting heart I say
Thank God, all things are good!
And when they hoot and when they shout,
Oh bush, of ivy-trees the prime,
"Twere well for us, thou rare old tree,
The stock-dove builds in the old oak wood,
The summer sun is shining
Upon a world so bright!
To minister delight.
And all their veinèd leaves ;
My spirit joy receives.
When the birds' songs I hear;
The morning doth appear !
That from the Throne flows free; Of weary pilgrims on its brink, Who, thirsting, have come down to drink; Or that unfailing Stream I think,
When earthly streams I see! I think of pain and dying,
As that which is but nought, When glorious morning, warm and bright, With all its voices of delight, From the chill darkness of the night, Like a new life, is brought.
Away to the woods with the silvery rind, And the emerald tresses afloat on the wind ! For 'tis joy to go to those sylvan bowers When summer is rich with leaves and flowers; And to see, 'mid the growth of all lovely things, The joyous pheasant unfold his wings, And then cower down, as if to screen His gorgeous purple, gold, and green! The streams run on in music low, "T will be joy by their flowery banks to go; "T will be joy to come to the calamus beds, Where a broken root such odour sheds; And to see how the water-sedge uplifls Its spires and crowns — the summer's gists; To see the loosestrife's purple spear, And the wind through the waving reeds to hear. Then on through hazelly lanes away To the light green fields all clear of hay, Where along the thick hedge-side we greet, Tall purple vetch and meadow-sweet; Past old farm house and water-mill, Where the great colt's-foot grows wild at will; Where the water-rat swiins calm and cool, And pike bask in the deep mill-pool. So on and away to the mossy moor, Stretching on for many a mile before, A far-seen wild, where all around Some rare and beautiful thing is found ; Green mosses many, and sundew red, And the cotton-rush with its plumy head; The spicy sweet-gale loved so well, And golden wastes of the asphodel!
Yet on and on, o'er the springy moss, –
Oh! beautiful bird, in thy stately pride,
HARVEST.FIELD FLOWERS. COME down into the harvest-fields
This autumn morn with me; For in the pleasant antumn-fields
There's much to hear and see; On yellow slopes of waving corn
The autumn sun shines clearly ; And 't is joy to walk, on days like this,
Among the bearded barley.
Within the sunny harrest-fields
We 'll gather flowers enow; The poppy red, the marigold,
The bugles brightly blue; We'll gather the white convolvulus
That opes in the morning early ; With a cluster of nuts, an ear of wheat,
And an ear of the bearded barley. Bright over the golden fields of corn
Doth shine the autumn sky; So let's be merry while we may,
For time goes hurrying by. They took down the sickle from the wall
When morning dews shone pearly; And the mower whets the ringing scythe
To cut the bearded barley.
The robin sings his song;
And autumn stays not long.
They carried to-day so early, Along the lanes, with a rustling sound,
Their loads of the bearded barley.
The sea is fresh, the sea is fair,
And the sky calm overhead,
Like a king in his royal bed!
A joyful bird is he,
On the breast of the heaving sea!
And the gulls together crowd,
To the sea that is roaring loud ;And let the sea roar ever so loud,
And the winds pipe ever so high, With a wilder joy the bold sea-gull,
Sendeth forth a wilder cry, —
And he loves with the storm to sail;
And to breast the driving gale!
Like a sea-weed, to and fro;
As the gusty tempests blow.
And sails in a wild delight
Like a foam-cloud, calm and white.
But he fears not wreck nor need,
As a strong man rides his steed!
He makes on the shore his nest,
But he loveth the sea the best!
He goes 'mid surging foam ;
For the sea is his truest home!
And among the frozen snow,
Will the wanton sea-gull go.
Nor those desert-regions chill;
The sea.gull hath its will!
And the seal, and the sea-horse grim,
A full, merry feast for him!
As he screams in his wheeling flight:
All cometh to him aright!
Nor any his will gainsny;
That was crowned but yesterday! The Gull, notwithstanding the gormandizing and rather disgusting character given of it by Bewick,
Oh the white sea-gull, the wild sea-gull,
A joyful bird is he,
In the arms of a sunny sea !
And the white gull lies asleep,
Goes merrily over the deep.
And her people stand to note,
As still as an anchored boat.
figures beautifully in his inimitable wood-cuts ; giving the very spirit of wildness and freshness to his seaside sketches.
The Gull may occasionally be found far inland, domesticated in old-fashioned gardens, where it is an indulged and amusing habitant, feeding on slugs and worms, and becoming thus a useful assistant to the gardener. In this state it seems entirely to throw off its wild native character, and assumes a sort of mock. heroic style, which is often quite ludicrous. We have seen one strutting about the straight alleys of such a garden, with the most formal. yet conscious air imaginable, glancing first 10 one side, then to the other, evidently aware of your notice, yet pretending to be busied about his own concerns. It was impossible to conceive that this bird, walking " in his dig. nified way," upon his two stiff little legs, and so full of self-importance, had ever been a free, wild, winged creature, wheeling about and screaming in the storm, or riding gracefully upon the sunshiny waters. His nature had undergone a land-change; he was transformed into the patron of poodles, and the condescending companion of an old black cat. With these creatures, belonging to the same place, he was on very friendly terms, maintaining, nevertheless, an air of superiority over them, which they permitted, either out of pure good-nature, or because their sim. plicity was imposed upon. They were all frequently fed from the same plate, but the quadrupeds never presumed to put in their noses till the Gull was satisfied, and to his credit it may be told, that he was not insatiable, although a reasonably voracious bird on ordinary occasions.
We saw last summer, also, a Gull well known to northern lourists, which for twenty years has inhabit. ed one of the inner green-courts at Alnwick Casile, and has outlived two or three companions. It is an interesting bird, of a venerable appearance; but, as it has been described in books, more need not be said of it.
In one of the towers of this same Castle, also, we were shown a pair of perfect bird-skeletons, under a glass shade, the history of which is mysterious. They are the skeletons of a pair of jackdaws, which had built in one of the upper towers of the Castle, and had been found in their present state, apparently nestled together. From the account given us by the porter, an intelligent old man, they appeared not to have been discovered in any confined place, where they might have died from starvation, but by their own tower, on the open roof, as if they had been death-stricken side by side.
I cannot tell you half the sights
Of beauty you may see,
And many a shady tree.
The honey-suckles twine ;
And the dark-blue columbine.
In some dusk woodland spot ;
And the wood forget-me-not.
L'nscared by lawless men;
And the golden-crested wren.
The timid and the bold;
It is not to be told.
Among the leaves so green,
The brightest e'er was seen.
Without a fear of ill;
And freely drink their fill!
The merry little things;
And flirt their dripping wings.
Down from their leafy tree,
Great joy it was to me!
I've seen them nimbly go;
A welcome kind and low.
As if, in hearisome cheer,
“ 'Tis merry living here!"
I saw that all was good,
All round us, if we would !
Beneath the old wood-shade,
Nor is, of aught, afraid.
And roots so fresh and fine, Beneath their feet, nor is there strise 'Mong them for mine and thine.
SUMMER WOODS. COME ye into the summer-woods;
There entereth no annoy ; All greenly wave the chestnut leaves,
And the earth is full of joy.
There is enough for every one,
But now and then might with him be seen, And they lovingly agree;
Two other old men with look profound, We might learn a lesson, all of us,
Who peered 'mong the leaves of the mandrake green Beneath the green-wood tree!
And lightened with care the soil around.
Or he had a foe whom art must quell,
So he sent to the learned man with speed
To gather for him a mandrake-spell.
When the air was still and the stars were out, And there, in ils driest and deepest mould, Came the three the mandrake root to pull,
The dark-green, poisonous mandrake grew. With the help of the ban-dog fierce and stout. That garden's lord was a learned man, —
Oh, the mandrake-root! and they listened all three, It is of an ancient time we tell,
For awful sounds, and they spoke no word, He was grim and stern, with a visage wan,
And when the owl screeched from the hollow tree, And had books which only he could spell.
They said 'twas the mandrake's groan they heard. He had been a monk in his younger days,
And words they muttered, but what none knew, They said, and travelled by land and sea,
With motion slow of hand and foot ; And now, in his old, ancestral place,
Then into the cave the three withdrew,
And carried with them the mandrake root.
They all were scholars of high degree,
So they took the root of the mandrake fell, And the depth of its lake no line had found.
And cut it and carved it hideously,
And muttered it into a charmed spell.
Then who had been there, by dawn of day,
The charmed mandrake root they bore.
And the old lord up in his chamber sat,
Blessing himself, sedate and mute, The playful water-snakes were seen.
That he thus could gift the wise and great
With more than gold — the mandrake root.
The reverence attached to the mandrake may be Stood goal-limbed statues of sullen lead. classed among the very oldest of superstitions, for the
Hebrews of the patriarchial ages regarded it as a The garden beds they were long, and all plant of potent influence. The Greeks, who held it
With a tangle of flowers were overgrown; in the same estimation, called it after Circe, their celAnd each was screened with an ancient wall,
ebrated witch, and also after Atropos, the eldest of Or para pet low of mossy stone.
the three Fates. The Romans adopted the same And from every crevice and broken ledge opinions respecting it, and Pliny relates the ceremo
The harebell blue and the wall.Power sprung; nies which were used in obtaining the root. And from the wall, to the water's edge,
In the middle ages, when the traditional superstiWild masses of tendrilled creepers hung;
tions of the ancients were grafted upon the popular
ignorance, the mandrake was a powerful engine in For there was a moat outside where slept the hands of the crafiy.
Deep waters with slimy moss grown o'er, It was believed that when the mandrake was taken And a wall and a tower securely kept
from the earth, it uttered a dreadful shriek; and that By a ban-dog fierce at a graled door. any human being who was presumptuous enough to
remove ir, was suddenly struck dead. Dogs, thereThis garden's lord was a scholar wise, A scholar wise, with a learned look;
fore, were used for this purpose. The earth was
carefully lightened, and the plant fastened to the aniHe studied by night the starry skies,
mal's tail; he was then made to draw it forth, and And all day long some ancient book.
pay whatever penalty the demon of the plant thought There were lords hard by who lived by spoil, fit to impose u pon the disturber of his rest. The preBut he did the men of war eschew;
tenders to medical skill in those days made great proThere were lowly serfs who tilled the soil, fit by the little hideous images which they fashioned But with boiling serfs he had nought to do. out of the mandrake root, and sold as charms against
every kind of sickness and misfortune. They were brought over from Germany in the reign of Henry
THE HEDGEHOG. the VIII., under the name of Abrunes, and by the Thou poor little English porcupine, help of certain pretended magical words, the know
What a harassed and weary life is thine! ledge of which the credulous obtained at a great And thou art a creature meek and mild, price, were said to increase whatever money was That wouldst not harm a sleeping child. placed near them. It was believed, also, at that time,
Thou scarce can'st stir from thy tree-root, that the mandrake was produced from the decaying
But thy foes are up in hot pursuit; flesh of malefactors hung upon the gibbet, and was to be found only in such situations. Dr. Turner, who
Thou might'st be an asp, or hornèd snake, lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth, declares, that
Thou poor little mariyr of the brake! he had divers times taken up the roots of the man Thou scarce can't put out that nose of thine ; drake, but had never found them under the gallows; Thou can'st not show a single spine, Dor of the form which the pedlars, who sold them in
But the urchin-rabble are in a rout, bores, pretended them to have been. This form was With terrier curs to hunt thee out. that of an ugly little man, with a long beard hanging
The poor Hedgehog! one would think he knew down to his feet. Gerard, the herbalist, also, who
His foes so many, his friends so few, wrote thirty years later, used many endeavours to
For when he comes out, he's in a fright, convince the world of the impositions practised upon And hurries again to be out of sight, them, and states, that he and his servant frequently
How unkind the world must seem to him, dug up the roots without receiving harm, or hearing any shrieks whatever.
Living under the thicket dusk and dim, The mandrake grows naturally in Spain, Portugal,
And getting his living among the roots,
or the insects small, and dry hedge-fruits. Italy, and the Levant, and it is also indigenous to China. It was introduced into this country about How hard it must be, to be kicked about, 1564. It is a handsome plant, and would, in particu If by chance his prickly back peep out; lar situations, be ornamental to our gardens, indepen To be all his days misunderstood, dent of the strange, old associations connected with When he could not harın us if he would! it, which would always make it an interesting object.
He's an innocent thing, living under the blame I have seen it, however, only in one garden, that of
That he merits not, of an evil name; the King of the Belgians, at Claremont.
He is weak and small, - and all he needs, "It is,” says Mr. Phillips, in his pleasant garden
Lies under the hedge among the weeds. companion, the Flora Historica, from which work the abose historical notices of the mandrake have been
He robs not man of rest or food, principally taken, “a species of deadly nightshade,
And all that he asks is quietude ; which grows with a long taper root like the parsnip,
To be left by him, as a worthless stone, running three or four feel deep; these roots are fre
Under the dry hedge-bank alone! quently forked, which assisted to enable the old Oh, poor little English porcupine, quarks to give it the shape of a monster. This plant What a troubled and weary life is thine! does not send up a stalk, but, immediately from the I would that my pity thy foes could quell, crown of the root arises a circle of leaves, which at For thou art ill-used, and meanest well! first stand erect, but when grown to their full size, which is about a foot in length and five inches broad. of an ovate-lanceolate shape, waved at the edges, these spread open and lie on the ground; they are
THE CUCKOO. of a dark-green, and give out a setid smell. About the month of April the flowers come out among the
“PEE! pee pee!" says the merry Pee-Bird ; leaves, each on a scape about three inches long; they
And as soon as the children hear it, are of a bell shape with a long tube, and spread out
The Cuckoo 's a-coming,” they say, “ for I heard, into a five-cleft corolla. The colour is of an herba. Up in his tree the merry Pee-Bird, ceous white, but frequently has a tinge of purple. The days go on, one, two, three;
And he 'll come in three days, or near it!" The flower is succeeded by a globular soft berry, | And the livile bird singeth “ pee! pee! pee!" when full grown, as large as a common cherry, but
Then on the morrow,
't is of a yellowish-green colour, when ripe and full of Dulp, intermixed with numerous reniform seeds."
They hear the note of the old Cuckoo; If any of my readers should wish to cultivate this Up in the elm-tree, through the day, plant of “old renown," they should do it by sowing
Just as in gone years, shouting away ;
"Cuckoo," the Cuckoo doth cry, the seed in autumn, soon afier it is ripe ; as the seed kept till spring seldom produces plants. It should be
And the little boys mock him as they go by. sei in a lighs, dry soil, and of a good depth, so that | The wood-perker laughs to hear the strain, the root may not be chilled or obstructed ;
And says “the old fellow is come back again; should be taken not to disturb it when it has once Hle sitteth again on the very same tree, obtained a considerable size.
| And he talks of himself again! - he! he! he !"