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and lined them with coarse hay, which is an abomination to the martin, which lines its nest with the softest feathers. Having witnessed this, we waited for about ten days, by which time we supposed the sparrows would have laid their full number of eggs; and a ladder was set up, in order to inflict just retribution on them, by taking the whole. But to our surprise there were none. The hay was therefore carefully removed, that the martins, if they pleased, might retake possession; but the very next day, the nests were again filled with hay, and long bents of it hung dangling from the entrance-hole. The sparrows had, with wonderful assiduity, and as it were, with a feeling of vindictive spite, relined the nests with as much hay as they ordinarily carry to their own nests in several days. Now it was supposed they would really lay in these nests, but no such thing, they never did, Their only object had been to dislodge the martins, for it was found that these very sparrows had nests of their own in the waterspouts of the house, with young ones in them, at the very time, and their purpose of ousting the martins from their own nests being accomplished, the hay remained in the nests quietly all summer.
But this was not all. The poor martins, driven from the stable, came now to the house; and, as if for special protection, began to build their nests under the roof, nearly over the front door. No sooner was this intention discovered by the sparrows, than they were all in arms again. They were seen watching for hours on the tiles just above, chirping, strutting to and fro, flying down upon the martins when they came to their nests with materials, and loudly calling upon their fellow sparrows to help them to be as offensive as possible. The martins, however, rendered now more determined, persisted in their building, and so far succeeded as to prevent the sparrows getting more than a few bents of hay into their nests when complete. The martins laid their eggs; but for several times successively, the sparrows entered in their absence, and hoisted out all the eggs, which of course fell to the ground and were dashed to pieces. Provoked at this mischievous propensity of the sparrows, we had them now shot at, which had the desired effect. One or two of them were killed, and the rest took the hint, and permitted the martins to hatch and rear their young in peace.
OH, when I was a little child,
My life was full of pleasure; I had four-and-twenty living things, And many another treasure.
But chiefest was my sister dear,-
If from my side I missed her.
I can remember many a time,
When summer dews hung pearly; Out in the fields what joy it was,
While the cowslip yet was bending, To see the large round moon grow dim, And the early lark ascending!
I can remember too, we rose
When the winter stars shone brightly; "Twas an easy thing to shake off sleep, From spirits strong and sprightly. How beautiful were those winter skies,
All frosty-bright and unclouded, And the garden-trees, like cypresses,
Looked black, in the darkness shrouded! Then the deep, deep snows were beautiful,
That fell through the long night stilly, When behold, at morn, like a silent plain, Lay the country wild and hilly!
And the fir-trees down by the garden side,
In their blackness towered more stately; And the lower trees were feathered with snow, That were bare and brown so lately.
And then, when the rare hoar-frost would come,
"Twas all like a dream of wonder, Where over us grew the crystal trees,
And the crystal plants grew under! The garden all was enchanted land;
All silent and without motion, Like a sudden growth of the stalactite, Or the corallines of ocean!
'Twas all like a fairy forest then,
Where the diamond trees were growing, And within each branch the emerald green And the ruby red were glowing.
I remember many a day we spent
In the bright hay-harvest meadow; The glimmering heat of the noonday ground, And the hazy depth of shadow.
I can remember, as to-day,
The corn-field and the reaping, The rustling of the harvest-sheaves,
And the harvest-wain's upheaping:
I can feel this hour as if I lay
Adown 'neath the hazel bushes. And as if we wove, for pastime wild, Our grenadier-caps of rushes. And every flower within that field
To my memory's eye comes flitting, The chiccory-flower, like a blue cockade, For a fairy-knight befitting.
The willow-herb by the water side,
With its fruit-like scent so mellow; The gentian blue on the marly hill,
And the snap-dragon white and yellow.
Он, the sunny summer time!
Oh, the leafy summer time! Merry is the bird's life,
When the year is in its prime ! Birds are by the water-falls
Dashing in the rain-bow spray ; Everywhere, everywhere
Light and lovely there are they! Birds are in the forest old,
Building in each hoary tree; Birds are on the green hills; Birds are by the sea!
On the moor, and in the fen,
'Mong the whortle-berries green; In the yellow-furze-bush
There the joyous bird is seen; In the heather on the hill;
All among the mountain thyme; By the little brook-sides,
Where the sparkling waters chime; In the crag; and on the peak,
Splintered, savage, wild, and bare, There the bird with wild wing
Wheeleth through the air. Wheeleth through the breezy air, Singing, screaming in his flight, Calling to his bird-mate,
In a troubleless delight! In the green and leafy wood,
Where the branching ferns up-curl,
Oh, the sunny summer time!
Oh, the leafy summer time! Merry is the bird's life
When the year is in its prime ! Some are strong and some are weak; Some love day and some love night:But whate'er a bird is,
Whate'er loves- it has delight,
In the joyous song it sings;
In the liquid air it cleaves; In the sunshine; in the shower, In the nest it weaves!
Do we wake; or do we sleep;
Birds are singing loud!
Merle and mavis sing your fill; And thou, rapturous skylark,
Sing and soar up from the hill! Sing, oh, nightingale, and pour
Out for us sweet fancies new! Singing thus for us, birds,
We will sing of you!
THE Woodpecker green he has not his abiding Where the owls and the bats from the daylight are
Where the bright mountain-streams glide on rockbeds away,
The dark water-ousel may warble and play;
Let us go to the haunt of the woodpecker green,
And the moth-mullein grows with its pale yellow flowers;
There the hum of the bees through the noonday is heard,
And the chirp, and the cry, and the song of the bird;
Hark! heard ye that laughter so loud and so long?Again now! it drowneth the wood-linnet's song! 'Tis the woodpecker laughing!—the comical elf! His soul must be merry to laugh to himself!— And now we are nearer-speak low-be not heard! Though he's merry at heart, he's a shy, timid bird. Hark! - now he is tapping the old, hollow tree: One step farther on-now look upward-that's he! Oh, the exquisite bird! - with his downward-hung head,
With his richly-dyed greens-his pale yellow and red!
For by him the lowest of whispers was heard;
The squirrel above him might chatter and chide; And the purple-winged jay scream on every side; The great winds might blow, and the thunder might roll,
Yet the fearless woodpecker still cling to the bole;
'Neath the fork of the branch, in the tree's hollow bole,
Has the timid woodpecker crept into his hole;
THE HAREBELL. (CAMPANULA ROTUNDIFOLIA.)
IT springeth on the heath,
Like to some elfin dweller of the wild;
There are the red rose and the white
Every living thing is creeping
Nought I see, so black the night is, Black the storm, too, in its might is; But I know there lies the forest, Peril ever there the sorest,
Where the wild deer-stealers wander;
Up the mountain spurred the Baron.
Hoot away, then, an' it cheer thee, Only I and darkness hear thee. Trusting Heaven, we 'll fear no ruin, Spite thy ominous tu-whoo-ing!
I LOVE those pictures that we see
There are they grouped, in form and hue,
On beast and bird, and on our mortal race. So, do thy gracious work; and onward fare, Leaving, like angel-guest, a blessing everywhere!
Sketches of Natural History.
ANNA MARY AND ALFRED WILLIAM HOWITT,
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR THEIR AMUSEMENT, ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.
THESE simple and unpretending Sketches require no introduction; and yet, when title-page, contents, and dedication have been made out, an introduction so naturally follows, that it might be supposed a book could not be put together without one,-though the writer, as in my case, has little to say either of herself or her volume.
All, therefore, that I shall now remark is, that these Sketches were written for my own Children; and many of them at their suggestion; and that in seeing the pleasure they have derived from them, I have hoped their young contemporaries may find them equally agreeable. A few of them have already appeared in some of the Juvenile Annuals, and may therefore be familiar to many of my young readers; but I trust they will pardon a reprint of what is already known, in the prospect of finding more that is new.
Nottingham, May 1834.
SKETCHES OF NATURAL HISTORY.
OH Coot! oh bold, adventurous Coot,
I saw thee on the river fair,
But soon the mountain-flood came down,
"And where is she, the Water-Coot,"
Amid the foaming waves thou sat'st,
Thy nest of rush and water-reed
And on it went, and safely on
Oh Coot! oh bold, adventurous Coot,
Hadst thou no fear, as night came down Upon thy watery way,
Of enemies, and dangers dire That round about thee lay?
Didst thou not see the falcon grim
Swoop down as thou passed by? And 'mong the waving water flags The lurking otter lie?
The eagle's scream came wildly near, Yet, caused it no alarm?
Nor man, who seeing thee, weak thing, Did strive to do thee harm?
And down the foaming waterfall,
Yes, thou hadst fear. But He who sees The sparrows when they fall;
He saw thee, bird, and gave thee strength To brave thy perils all.
He kept thy little ark afloat;
He watched o'er thine and thee; And safely through the foaming flood Hath brought thee to the sea."
THE CAMEL. CAMEL, thou art good and mild, Might'st be guided by a child; Thou wast made for usefulness, Man to comfort and to bless. Thou dost clothe him; thou dost feed; Thou dost lend to him thy speed. And through wilds of trackless sand, In the hot Arabian land, Where no rock its shadow throws; Where no pleasant water flows; Where the hot air is not stirred, By the wing of singing bird,