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Long trails of cistus-flowers
Creep on the rocky hill; And beds of strong spear-mint
Grow round about the mill; And from a mountain tarn above,
As peaceful as a dream, Like to child unruly, Though schooled and counselled truly,
Foams down the wild mill-stream! The wild mill-stream it dasheth,
In merriment away,
So busy all the day!
The mountain-roses fall; And fern and adder's tongue
Grow on the old mill-wall. The tarn is on the upland moor,
Where not a leaf doth grow; And through the mountain-gashes, The merry mill-stream dashes
Down to the sea below: But, in the quiet hollows,
The red trout groweth prime, For the miller and the miller's son
To angle when they've time. Then fair berall the stream
That turns the mountain-mill; And fair befall the narrow road
That windeth up the hill! And good luck to the countryman,
And to his old grey mare, That upward toileth steadily, With meal-sacks laden heavily,
In storm as well as fair!
And to the miller's son;
While mountain-walers run!
To see the red squirrel frisk hither and thither,
And the water-rat plunging about in his mirth; And the thousand small lives that the warm summer
weather, Calls forth to rejoice on the bountiful earth! Then the mountains, how fair! to the blue vault of
heaven Towering up in the sunshine, and drinking the
light, While adown their deep chasms, all splintered and
riven, Fall the far-gleaming cataracts silvery white ! And where are the flowers that in beauty are glow
ing In the garden and fields of the young, merry spring, Like the mountain-side wilds of the yellow broom
blowing, And the old forest pride, the red wastes of the ling? Then the garden, no longer 'tis leafless and chilly, But warm with the sunshine and bright with the
sheen Of rich flowers, the moss rose and the bright tiger-lily,
Barbaric in pomp as an Ethiop Queen.
The larkspur, the pink, and the sweet mignionette, And the blue fleur-de-lis, in the warm sunlight shin
ing, As if grains of gold in its petals were set! Yes, the summer,—the radiant summer's the fairest, For green-woods and mountains, for meadows and
bowers, For waters, and fruits, and for fowers the rarest,
And for bright shining butterflies, lovely as flowers!
SUMMMER. y dey may boast of the spring-time when Aowers are
the fairest, And birds sing by thousands on every green tree; They may call it the loveliest, the greenest, the
rarest; — But the summer is the season that's dearest to me! For the brightness of sunshine ; the depth of the
shadows; The crystal of waters; the fulness of
green, And the rich flowery growth of the old pasture
meadows, In the glory of summer can only be seen. Oh, the joy of the green-wood! I love to be in it,
And list to the hum of the never-still bees, And to hear the sweet voice of the old mother linnet,
Calling unto her young 'mong the leaves of the trees !
TIE FALCON. Hark! hark! the merry warden's horn Far o'er the wooded hills is borne, Far o'er the slopes of ripening corn,
On the free breeze away!
For 'tis a inerry day!
With waiting-woman by ;
To shroud those ladies high.
And presently they are arrayed,
And down the stately stairs they go, Where dainty pages stand a-row, To greet them with obeisance low,
And follow in the train.
Yours were the days of civil feud;
Of Woodstock's bloody bower!
To moat and castle-wall; To serf and baron, page and dame ; To abbot sleek, as spaniel tame; To kings who could not sign their name;
To times of wrong and thrall! Times are not now as they were then; Ours is a race of different men, Who loathe the sword and love the pen ;
For right, not rapine, bold. No more, as then, the ladies bright Work tapestry-work from morn till night; The very children read and write,
Like learned clerks of old !
Oh, Falcon proud, and goshawk gay,
Your resting perch by night;
That can control your flight!
And then into the castle-hall,
For they will hawk to-day.
In such a bright array! The kennelled hounds' long bark is heard ; The falconer talking to his bird ; The neighing steeds; the angry word
Ol grooms irnpatient there. But soon the bustle is dismissed ;The falconer sets on every wrist A hooded hawk, that's stroked and kissed
By knight and lady fair.
Each with a bird on hand;
Fall in and join the band.
To moorlands wild and grey;
Impatient for their prey.
Nor once the game is missed!
For the hawk upon his wrist!
And kings were your compeers!
The times of other years !
Lying in London Tower;
Yet, noble bird, old fame is thine ; Still livest thou in the minstrel's line ; Sull in old pictures art the sign
Of high and pure degree; And still, with kindling hearts we read How barons came to Runymede, Falcon on wrist, 1o do the deed,
That made all England free!
THE CHILD AND THE FLOWERS
Put up thy work, dear mother;
Dear mother come with me, For I've found within the garden,
The beautiful sweel-pea' And rows of stately hollyhocks
Down by the garden-wall, All yellow, white, and crimson,
So many-hued and tall'
And hending on their stalks, mother,
Are roses white and red; And pale-stemmed balsams all a-blow,
On every garden-bed. Put up thy work, I pray thee,
And come out, mother dear! We used to buy these fowers, But they are growing here!
Oh, mother! little Amy
Would have loved these flowers to sce;Dost remember how we tried to get
For her a pink sweet-pea ?
Dost remember how she loved
Those rose-leaves pale and sere? I wish she had but lived to see
The lovely roses here! Put up thy work, dear mother,
And wipe those tears away! And come into the garden
Before 'tis set of day!
THE FLAX FLOWER.
O the little flax-flower,
It groweth on the hill,
It bever standeth still.
One day it is a seed,
Scarce better than a weed.
As blue as is the sky;
We say, as we go by.
It groweth for the poor,
Beside his coitage-door.
That shimmer in the sun,
And shortly shall be spun.
Of seed will yield him store;
Blue shining round his door. Oh, the little flax-flower!
The mother, then says she, *Go pull the thyme, the heath, the fern
But let the flax-fvwer be!
It groweth for our own;
But leave the flax alone!
Mach cometh to his share;
That we have tilled with care.
The good man and the little ones,
They pace it round about ;
For it the rain to fall;
Great count of what is small !"
It groweth on the hill,
It never standeth still!
As if it loved to thrive;
Within its stem alive!
And may the kindly showers,
Give seed unto its flowers ! It is so rare a thing now-a-days to see flax grown in any quantity, that my English readers will not feel the full force of the above little poem. The English cottager has not often ground which he can use for this purpose ; and, besides, he can purchase calico for the wear of his family at a much cheaper cost than he could grow flax. Nor is the English woman "handy” at such matters. She would think it a great hardship to till, perhaps, the very ground upon which it was grown; to pull it with the help of her children only, and, 10 her other household cares and occupations, to add those of preparing, spinning, and it might be, to help even to weave it into good homespun cloth. Seventy or eighty years ago, however, this was not uncommon in England ; and it is still common, and in some districts even general in Scotland. Burns alludes to the growth of flax in many of his poems; and in the “ Coutar's Saturday Night,” the mother reckons the age of the cheese from the time of the fax flowering.
The household interest which is taken in the flaxfield presented itself strongly to us in many a wild glen, and in many a desolate mountain-side in the Highlands of Scotland, in the summer of 1836. You came, in the midst of those stony and heathy wilder. nesses, upon a few turf-erections, without windows and without chimneys; the wild grasses of the moor and the heath itself grew often upon the roof, for all had originally been cut from the mountain-side; and, but for the smoke which issued from the door, or the children that played about it, you might have doubted of its being a human dwelling. Miserable, however, as such homes may appear at first sight, they are, as it were, the nalural growth of the mountain-moor. land, and the eye soon finds in them much that is picturesque and characteristic.
About such places as these are frequently, too, patches of cultivated ground; the one of potatoes, and perhaps oats or barley, the other of fax. Thus grow, at the very door of this humble human tenement, the food and clothing of the family. How essential this growih is to them, may be seen from the nature of the ground. It is frequently the most diffi. cult that can be conceived to bring into cultivation
* Oar squire he hath the holt and hill,
Great halls and noble rent; We only have the flax-field,
Yet therewith are content. We waich it morn, we watch it night,
And when the stars are out,
one mass, as it seems, of stones, with the scantiest The owl in hollow oak, the man in den, intermixture of soil. These stones, many of which Chamber, or office, dusky and obscure, are of immense size, are with infinite toil and pa. Are creatures very heavy and demure; tience gathered from the earth, and piled into walls But soon their turn comes round, and then, round the little fields, otherwise the mountain sheep, Oh, what sharp claws and pitiless beak have they and perhaps the wild roes, would soon lay the whole To feather, fleece, and worry up their prey!
Here the mother, as well as the father, labours, and indeed the flux seems especially to belong So sang the noble bard, who, like the swallow,
"A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind,” to her, for she must spin it before she can convertit Flew through for climes and soared where sew can into family use.
follow. In the same way is the household provided with it is true; and therefore still we find woollen garments; they are all home-spun and home. made, even to many a goodly tartan. The “tarry That comes, as Wordsworth says, “ when winds are
That gentle spirits love the robin, woo" of Scotland, like the “ lint flower," is a national
And often thanks you in a serenade.
Which seems to say—“I'd do as well without you,"
Night or day In birds, as men, there is a strange variety,
Will be away, In both your dandies and your petiis maitres ;
Though hooted, shot at, nor once coaxed or beckoned ? Your clowns, your grooms, in feathered legs or gaiters; In town or country — in the densest alley Your hawks, and gulls, and harpies to satiety.
Of monstrous London - in the loneliest valley — On sea or land it matters not an ace -
On palace-roof -- on cottage thatch, You find the feathered or unfeathered race
On church or chapel — farm or shop, of bipeds, showing every form and figure,
The Sparrow 's still “the bird on the house-top." But everywhere the sharp-clawed and the bigger
I think 'twas Solomon who said so, Falcons that shoot, and men that pull the trigger
And in the Bible having read so, Still pressing on the lesser and forlorn!
You find that this ubiquity "T is hard to bear, and yet it must be borne,
Extends itself far up into antiquity. Although we walk about in wrath and scorn,
Yes, through all countries and all ages To see the hecioring, lording, and commotion
While other birds have sung in woods or cages, For ever going on in earth or ocean!
This noisy, impudent and shameless varlet The conquerors fierce; those thievish chaps, the Though neither noble. rich, nor clad in scarlet, lawyers,
Would have the highest place without the asking That chirp and gabble, wheedle and hamboozle ;
Upon your roof the lazy scamp is basking –
Flying and Muttering up and down
From peep of day to evening brown. Your cormorants acting the sedate and grand :
You may be sleeping, sick, or writing, The singers, and the Paganinis,
And needing silence – there's the Sparrow, Who filch your fruit, and pocket up your guineas; Just at your window - and enough to harrow The tomtit, mime ;- the wren, small poet;
The soul of Job in its severest season. The silly creatures that by scores
There, as it seemeth, for no other reason Nurse cuckoo-imps, that out of doors
But to confound you ; – he has got, Have turned their children, and they never know it! l'p in the leaden gutter burning hot, I walk in cities, 'mong the human herds,
Every low scape-grare of the Sparrow-clan,
Loons of all ages,-grandsire, boy and man, And then I think of birds :
Old beldame Sparrow, Wenches bold, I walk in woods among the birds, and then
All met to wrangle, rame, rant, and scold. I think of men!
Send out your man! shoot! blow to powder 'T is quite impossible in one or other
The villanous company, that fiercer, louder To walk and see not – man and bird are brother.
Drive you distracted. There! bang! goes the gun, The owl can't see in day-light; —
And all the little lads are on the run Oh no! he's blind and stupid
To see the slaughter ;-not a bird is slainA very fon). — a blockhead plain to see!
There were some feathers flew - a leg was broke, But just step out and look at him at night,
But all went off as if it were a joke When all the world is slumbering, sa ve he
In come your man – and there they are again! My word! you 'll find him then as brisk as Cupid ! With open eyes and beak that has the knack
of all the creatures, that were ever set To snap up mouse or rabbit by the back?
Upon two legs, there's nothing to be met
Save some congeners in our own sweet race, At home, abroad, wherever seen or heard,
Unlike all others of the feathered race.
The bully of his tribe --- 10 all beyond
It may be thought that I have here dealt hard Men made to elbow, bustle, cheat or steal,
measure to the Sparrow, but the character I have Careless of scorn, incapable to feel
given of him will be recognised by those who know Indignity or shame — vulgar and vain,
him, as true. Cowper calls them, a thievish race, Hunger and cold their only sense of pain.
that scared as often as you please,
As oft return, a pert, voracious kind; Just of this class, amongst all feathered things, Is this Jack Sparrow. He's no bird that sings, and that every farmer knows them to be. What He makes no grand pretences; has no fine
multitudes do you see dropping down upon, or rising Airs of high breeding – he but wants to dine. from the wheat as it is ripening in the fields. ForHis dress is brown, his body stiff and stout,
merly a price was set upon their heads and eggs, by Coarse in his nature, made to prog about.
country parishes. In many places a penny was given What are his delicate fancies? Who e'er sees for a Sparrow's head, and the same for three or four The Sparrow in his sensibilities?
eggs; but this is now done away with, and the farmThere are the nightingales, all soul and song, er must destroy them himself, or pay dearly for ii in Moaning and warbling the green boughs among.
his corn. There are the larks that on etherial wing,
Nothing can exceed the self-complacence of this Sing to high Heaven as heavenly spirits sing ; bird. You see him build his nest amongst the richThere are the merle, the mavis, birds whose lays est tracery of a church roof or window; within the Inspired the minstrel songs of other days;
very coronet or escutcheon set up over the gate of There are the uandering tribes, the cuckoo sweet; hall or palace. We saw this summer, the hay and Swallows that singing on your chimneys meet, litter of his nest hanging out from the richly-cut iniThrough spring and summer, and anon are flown tial-letters of William and Mary over one of the prinTo lands and climes, io sages yet unknown.
cipal windows of Hampton Court. Nay he would Those are your pets ;-hirds of genins those build in a span-new V. R. set up only yesterday, or That have their nerves and feel reined woes. in the queen's very crown itself though it were Bat these Jack Sparrous; why they love far more worih a kingdom, if it were only conveniently placed Than all this singing nonsense, your barn-door! for his purpose. He thinks nothing 100 good for him. They love your cherry-tree — your rows of peas, But the most provoking part of his character is, Your ripening cord crop, and to live at ease! the pleasure which he takes in teasing, molesting and You find no Sparrow in the far-off-woods –
hectoring over birds of the most quiet and inoffenNo-he's not fond of hungry solitudes.
sive nature. He builds about your houses, and He heller loves the meanest hamlet - where thinks no other bird has any business to do the same. Apeti's to be had, the Sparrow will be there, The martin, which loves to build under the eaves of Sturdy and bold, and wrangling for his share. our dwellings, after crossing the seas from some far The teppler linnel bathes her sides and wings country, - - has especially to bear his insolence and In running brooks and purest foresi-springs. aggressions. There is a pretty story in the “ Evenings The Sparrow rolls and scuffles in the dust - at Ilome," of two of these interesting birds, who had That is his washing or his proper rust.
their nest usurped by a Sparrow, getting together
their fellows, and building him up in the nest, where Before your carriage as you drive to town he was left a prisoner arnid his plunder. But the To bis base meal the Sparrow settles down; genileness of the martin is so great, that such an inHe kooss the safely.distance to an inch,
tance of poetical justice is more curious, than likely l'p to that point he will not move or flinch ;
to occur a second tine. But every summer the You think your horse will crush him-no such thing- sparrow fors it over ihe martin, and freqnently That cachman's whip might clip his fluttering wing, drives it away by its imperunence. We watched Or take his head off in a twink - but he
his behaviour this year with a good deal of ailention. Kross better sull and liveth blithe and free.
Two pairs of martins came and built their nests be
neath the eaves of the stable, near each other. At home he plagues the martins with his noise – Scarcely were the nests half finished, when several Ther build, he takes possession and enjoys; sparrows were seen watching on the tiles close to Or if he want it not, he takes it suill,
them, chirping loudly, and conceitedly, and every Jis because leasing others is his will.
now and then flying at the martins.
The nesis, free hour to hour, from tedious day to day however, were completed; but no sooner was this He is o drive the rightful one away.
this done, than the sparrows took possession of them,