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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, And keeps the miller and his son So busy all the day!

Into the mad mill-stream

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 befall 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 good luck to the miller,

And to the miller's son; And ever may the mill-wheel turn While mountain-waters run!


THEY may boast of the spring-time when flowers 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's 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!

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

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 glowing

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.

Oh, the beautiful flowers, all colours combining,

The larkspur, the pink, and the sweet mignionette, And the blue fleur-de-lis, in the warm sunlight shin


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 flowers the rarest,
And for bright shining butterflies, lovely as flowers!


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!
The bolts are drawn; the bridge is o'er
The sullen moat, and steeds a score
Stand saddled at the castle-door,
For 'tis a merry day!

With braided hair, of gold or jet,
There's many a May and Margaret,
Before her stately mirror set,

With waiting-woman by;
There's scarlet cloak, and hat and hood;
And riding-dress of camlet good,
Green as the leaf within the wood,
To shroud those ladies high.

And presently they are arrayed,
And plaits are smoothed and folds are laid,
And all the merry gabble stayed

That showered down like rain;

And down the stately stairs they go, Where dainty pages stand a-row, To greet them with obeisance low, And follow in the train.

And then into the castle-hall,
Come crowding gallant knights and tall,
Equipped as for a festival,

For they will hawk to-day.
And then outbreaks a general din
From those without, as those within
Upon the terrace-steps are seen,

In such a bright array!

The kennelled hounds' long bark is heard;
The falconer talking to his bird;
The neighing steeds; the angry word
Of grooms impatient 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.

And sitting in their saddles free,
The brave, the fair of high degree,
Forth rides that gallant company,
Each with a bird on hand;
And falconers with their hawking-gear,
And other birds bring up the rear;
And country-folk from far and near,
Fall in and join the band.

And merrily thus in shine and shade, Gay glancing through the forest glade, On rides the noble cavalcade,

To moorlands wild and grey; And then the noble sport is high! The jess is loosed, the hood thrown by; And leurre the jolly falconers cry; And wheeling round the falcons fly Impatient for their prey.

A moment and the quarry 's ta'en;
The falconers' cry sounds forth amain;
The true hawk soars and soars again,

Nor once the game is missed!
And thus the jocund day is spent,
In jolly sport and merriment:
And baron bold were well content,
To fell his wood, and pawn his rent

For the hawk upon his wrist!
Oh gay goshawk and tercel bold,
Then might ye rule it as ye "wold;"
Then sate ye on a perch of gold,

And kings were your compeers! But that was in the days gone by; The days of Norman chivalry, When the low crouched unto the high ;The times of other years!

Oh gay goshawk, your days were when Came down at night the ruffian men, To slay the sleeping children then Lying in London Tower;

Yours were the days of civil feud;
Of Rufus slain within the wood;
Of servile John; of Robin Hood;

Of Woodstock's bloody bower!
Oh, gay goshawk, you but belong
To troubadour and minstrel song;
To shirt of mail and hauberk strong
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 pride of place has passed away;
The lone wood is your home by day,
Your resting perch by night;
The craggy rock your castle-tower;
The gay green-wood your ladies' bower;
Your own wild will, the master power
That can control your flight!

Yet, noble bird, old fame is thine; Still livest thou in the minstrel's line; Still 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, to do the deed,

That made all England free!


PUT up thy work, dear mother;

Dear mother come with me, For I've found within the garden, The beautiful sweet-pea'

And rows of stately hollyhocks

Down by the garden-wall, All yellow, white, and crimson, So many-hued and tall!

And bending 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 flowers, But they are growing here!

The good man and the little ones, They pace it round about; For it we wish the sun to shine, For it the rain to fall;

Oh, mother! little Amy

Would have loved these flowers to see ;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!


O the little flax-flower,

It groweth on the hill,

And, be the breeze awake or sleep,
It never standeth still.
It groweth, and it groweth fast;
One day it is a seed,

And then a little grassy blade,
Scarce better than a weed.
But then out comes the flax-flower,
As blue as is the sky;
And 'tis a dainty little thing!"
We say, as we go by.

Ah, 'tis a goodly little thing,
It groweth for the poor,
And many a peasant blesseth it,
Beside his cottage-door.

He thinketh how those slender stems
That shimmer in the sun,

Are rich for him in web and woof,
And shortly shall be spun.
He thinketh how those tender flowers,
Of seed will yield him store;
And sees in thought his next year's crop
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-flower be!

It groweth for the children's sake,

It groweth for our own; There are flowers enough upon the hill, But leave the flax alone!

The farmer hath his fields of wheat,
Much cometh to his share;
We have this little plot of flax,

That we have tilled with care.

"Our squire he hath the holt and hill, Great halls and noble rent; We only have the flax-field,

Yet therewith are content. We watch it morn, we watch it night, And when the stars are out,

Good lack! for who is poor doth make Great count of what is small!”

Oh, the goodly flax-flower!

It groweth on the hill, And, be the breeze awake or sleep, It never standeth still! It seemeth all astir with life,

As if it loved to thrive; As if it had a merry heart

Within its stem alive! Then fair befall the flax-field,

And may the kindly showers, Give strength unto its shining stem, 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, to 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 "Cottar's Saturday Night," the mother reckons the age of the cheese from the time of the flax 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 wildernesses, 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 natural growth of the mountain-moorland, 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 flax. Thus grow, at the very door of this humble human tenement, the food and clothing of the family. How essential this growth is to them, may be seen from the nature of the ground. It is frequently the most difficult that can be conceived to bring into cultivation;

one mass, as it seems, of stones, with the scantiest intermixture of soil. These stones, many of which are of immense size, are with infinite toil and patience gathered from the earth, and piled into walls round the little fields, otherwise the mountain sheep, and perhaps the wild roes, would soon lay the whole waste. Here the mother, as well as the father, la

bours, and indeed the flax seems especially to belong to her, for she must spin it before she can convert it into family use.

In the same way is the household provided with woollen garments; they are all home-spun and homemade, even to many a goodly tartan. The tarry woo" of Scotland, like the "lint flower," is a national thing; the affections, as well as the fire-side interests of that country are connected with them.


IN birds, as men, there is a strange variety,
In both your dandies and your peti ́s maîtres ;
Your clowns, your grooms, in feathered legs or gaiters;
Your hawks, and gulls, and harpies to satiety.
On sea or land it matters not an ace -


That chirp and gabble, wheedle and bamboozle ;
The jackdaw-race of pleaders, the pert cawyers
In their grey wigs, the sober rooks that puzzle
Land-sharks, and pirates both of sea and land;
Your cormorants acting the sedate and grand:
The singers, and the Paganinis,

Who filch your fruit, and pocket up your guineas;
The tomtit, mime ;- -the wren, small poet;

I walk in cities, 'mong the human herds, And then I think of birds:

You find the feathered or unfeathered race
Of bipeds, showing every form and figure,
But everywhere the sharp-clawed and the bigger -
Falcons that shoot, and men that pull the trigger -
Still pressing on the lesser and forlorn!
'Tis hard to bear, and yet it must be borne,
Although we walk about in wrath and scorn,
To see the hectoring, lording, and commotion
For ever going on in earth or ocean!

While other birds have sung in woods or cages,
This noisy, impudent and shameless varlet

The conquerors fierce; those thievish chaps, the Though neither noble, rich, nor clad in scarlet,

I walk in woods among the birds, and then
I think of men!

"T is quite impossible in one or other

To walk and see not-man and bird are brother.
The owl can't see in day-light; -
Oh no! he's blind and stupid -


The owl in hollow oak, the man in den,
Chamber, or office, dusky and obscure,
Are creatures very heavy and demure;
But soon their turn comes round, and then,
Oh, what sharp claws and pitiless beak have they
To feather, fleece, and worry up their prey!

A very fool,-a blockhead plain to see!
But just step out and look at him at night,
When all the world is slumbering, save he-
My word! you'll find him then as brisk as Cupid!
With open eyes and beak that has the knack
To snap up mouse or rabbit by the back?

So sang the noble bard, who, like the swallow,
"A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind,"
Flew through far climes and soared where few can

The silly creatures that by scores

Nurse cuckoo-imps, that out of doors

Have turned their children, and they never know it! Up in the leaden gutter burning hot,

Every low scape-grace of the Sparrow-clan,
Loons of all ages,-grandsire, boy and man,
Old beldame Sparrow, wenches bold,

All met to wrangle, raffle, rant, and scold.
Send out your man! shoot! blow to powder
The villanous company, that fiercer, louder
Drive you distracted. There! bang! goes the gun,
And all the little lads are on the run

leg was broke,

To see the slaughter;-not a bird is slain-
There were some feathers flew -a
But all went off as if it were a joke-
In come your man- and there they are again!


"T is true; and therefore still we find
That gentle spirits love the robin,

That comes, as Wordsworth says, "when winds are

Pecks at your window; sits upon your spade,
And often thanks you in a serenade.
But what is it that brings about you

That pert, conceited good-for-nothing Sparrow,
Which seems to say-"I'd do as well without you,"
Yet, never for a second,

Night or day

Will be away,

Though hooted, shot at, nor once coaxed or beckoned!
In town or country—in the densest alley

Of monstrous London - in the loneliest valley -
On palace-roof-on cottage-thatch,

On church or chapel - farm or shop,

The Sparrow's still "the bird on the house-top."

I think 'twas Solomon who said so,
And in the Bible having read so,
You find that this ubiquity
Extends itself far up into antiquity.
Yes, through all countries and all ages

Would have the highest place without the asking.
Upon your roof the lazy scamp is basking-
Chirping, scuffling, screaming, fighting,
Flying and fluttering up and down
From peep of day to evening brown.
You may be sleeping, sick, or writing,
And needing silence - there's the Sparrow,
Just at your window - and enough to harrow
The soul of Job in its severest season.
There, as it seemeth, for no other reason
But to confound you;- he has got,

Of all the creatures, that were ever set
Upon two legs, there's nothing to be met,

Save some congeners in our own sweet race,
Made of such matter, common, cocket, base,
As are these Sparrows! Would that some magician,
Philosopher or chemist would but show us
What 'tis that constitues the composition
Of certain men in town, who drive, or row us,
Cads, jarvies, porters of a low degree,
Haunters, of theatres, taverns, and coach-doors,
Men all alert in dust and misery;
Men made to elbow, bustle, cheat or steal,
Careless of scorn, incapable to feel
Indignity or shame- vulgar and vain,
Hunger and cold their only sense of pain.

Just of this class, amongst all feathered things,
Is this Jack Sparrow. He's no bird that sings,
He makes no grand pretences; has no fine
Airs of high breeding - he but wants to dine.
His dress is brown, his body stiff and stout,
Coarse in his nature, made to prog about.
What are his delicate fancies? Who e'er sees
The Sparrow in his sensibilities?

There are the nightingales, all soul and song,
Moaning and warbling the green boughs among.
There are the larks that on etherial wing,
Sing to high Heaven as heavenly spirits sing;
There are the merle, the mavis, birds whose lays
Inspired the minstrel songs of other days;
There are the wandering tribes, the cuckoo sweet;
Swallows that singing on your chimneys meet,
Through spring and summer, and anon are flown
To lands and climes, to sages yet unknown.
Those are your poets;-birds of genius - those
That have their nerves and feel refined woes.
But these Jack Sparrows; why they love far more
Than all this singing nonsense, your barn-door!
They love your cherry-tree- your rows of peas,
Your ripening corn crop, and to live at ease!
You find no Sparrow in the far-off-woods-
No-he's not fond of hungry solitudes.
He better loves the meanest hamlet-where
Aught's to be had, the Sparrow will be there,
Sturdy and bold, and wrangling for his share.
The tender linnet bathes her sides and wings
In running brooks and purest forest-springs.
The Sparrow rolls and scuffles in the dust-
That is his washing or his proper rust.

Before your carriage as you drive to town To his base meal the Sparrow settles down; He knows the safety-distance to an inch, Up to that point he will not move or flinch ;You think your horse will crush him-no such thingThat coachman's whip might clip his fluttering wing, Or take his head off in a twink - -but he Knows better still and liveth blithe and free,

At home he plagues the martins with his noiseThey build, he takes possession and enjoys; Or if he want it not, he takes it still, Just because teasing others is his will. From hour to hour, from tedious day to day He sits to drive the rightful one away.

At home, abroad, wherever seen or heard,
Still is the Sparrow just the self-same bird;
Thievish and clamorous, hardy, bold, and base,
Unlike all others of the feathered race.
The bully of his tribe-to all beyond
The gipsey, beggar, knave, and vagabond!

IT may be thought that I have here dealt hard measure to the Sparrow, but the character I have given of him will be recognised by those who know him, as true. Cowper calls them, a thievish race, that scared as often as you please,

As oft return, a pert, voracious kind;

and that every farmer knows them to be. What multitudes do you see dropping down upon, or rising from the wheat as it is ripening in the fields. Formerly a price was set upon their heads and eggs, by country parishes. In many places a penny was given for a Sparrow's head, and the same for three or four eggs; but this is now done away with, and the farmer must destroy them himself, or pay dearly for it in his corn.

Nothing can exceed the self-complacence of this bird. You see him build his nest amongst the richest tracery of a church roof or window; within the very coronet or escutcheon set up over the gate of hall or palace. We saw this, summer, the hay and litter of his nest hanging out from the richly-cut initial-letters of William and Mary over one of the principal windows of Hampton Court. Nay he would build in a span-new V. R. set up only yesterday, or in the queen's very crown itself though it were worth a kingdom, if it were only conveniently placed for his purpose. He thinks nothing too good for him.

But the most provoking part of his character is, the pleasure which he takes in teasing, molesting and hectoring over birds of the most quiet and inoffensive nature. He builds about your houses, and thinks no other bird has any business to do the same. The martin, which loves to build under the eaves of our dwellings, after crossing the seas from some far country, has especially to bear his insolence and aggressions. There is a pretty story in the "Evenings at Home," of two of these interesting birds, who had their nest usurped by a Sparrow, getting together their fellows, and building him up in the nest, where he was left a prisoner amid his plunder. But the gentleness of the martin is so great, that such an intance of poetical justice is more curious, than likely to occur a second time. But every summer the sparrow lords it over the martin, and frequently drives it away by its impertinence. We watched his behaviour this year with a good deal of attention. Two pairs of martins came and built their nests beneath the eaves of the stable, near each other. Scarcely were the nests half finished, when several sparrows were seen watching on the tiles close to them, chirping loudly, and conceitedly, and every now and then flying at the martins. The nests, however, were completed; but no sooner was this this done, than the sparrows took possession of them,


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