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Then what avail thy wind and storm,
Have charms for SARAH and for me. The flowers mentioned as continuing in blow in January, of course afford their beauties in this month. Evergreens, firs, ivy, laurel, and that most beautiful plant the arbutus, rich in flowers and fruit at the same time, serve to enliven the dreary December.
Our old winter-companion, the cricket, chirps his ceaseless song, and has often afforded the poet an opportunity of celebrating his praises. Vincent Bourne's Latin Anacreontic is, perhaps, one of the best modern poems on this subject. It is thus translated by the Rev. THOMAS COLE, author of the Life of Hubert,' and other pleasing poems.
To the CRICKET.
Wilt not pillage for thy diet,
Longer than the age of man: The everlasting flowers, which form so pleasing an ornament to our parlours in winter, and indeed during the whole year, deserve some notice in this month, so destitute of Flora's beauties. The species of the genus gnaphalium' mostly cultivated are, (1.) The tree-everlasting (gnaphalium arboreum); The red-flowered everlasting (g. ignescens); (3.) The eastern-everlasting, or immortal flower (g. orientale), whose shining lemon-coloured flowers frequently serve for ornamental purposes, and are known by the name of everlasting, a name appropriate to the whole genus; (4.) The sweet-scented everlasting, or eternal flower (g. odoratissimum); (5.) The American everlasting (g. margaritaceum). This plant is a native of North America, where it grows in vast quantities in uncultivated fields, glades, hills, &c. and is called life-everlasting; because the silvery heads, properly dried, will keep their beauty long, without changing. It is also found in Kamtschatka : and with us in England; having been observed near Bocking in Essex; and on the banks of Rumney river in S. Wales, for the space of twelve miles. In Wales it is used to adorn the graves of the departed, elegantly alluding to immortality by the unfading nature of its flowers, and to spotless purity by their snowy whiteness. This plant is often cultivated in cottage gardens. (6.) The plaintain-leaved everlasting (g. plantagineum); and (7.) The common shrubby everlasting (g. stęchas.)
* Derived from a Greek word signifying soft down or wool, such as is placked from cloth in dressing it, alluding to the woolliness of the herbage.
MODE OF CULTURE.--Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, may be increased by slips from the heads or cuttings, by planting them in pots of light earth in the spring or summer months, and plunging them in a moderate hot-bed, refreshing them often with water. When they have taken full root, they may be removed into separate pots, and be placed among other plants of the hardy exotic sort. They require the protection of a frame in the winter season.
No. 7 may be increased in the same manner, being placed at once where it is to remain, in a shady sheltered border, or other place that is proper.
Nos. 5, 6, may be easily raised by dividing and planting their creeping roots where they are to grow, either in the autumn or spring months. These three last are sufficiently hardy to stand the open air in warm situations. They are all arnamental plants, the former in the green-house collection, and the lat, ter in the open ground.
As to the common European sorts, if the seeds are permitted to scatter, the plants will come up in the spring with greater certainty than if they were sown; but they are regarded rather as weeds than garden plants.
The gnaphalium dioicum, mountain-everlasting or cud-weed (cat's foot), is a native of most parts of Europe, on open downs, and is one of our most elegant species; the flowers of a beautiful rose-colour. It is found on Newmarket Heath, and Gogmagog Hills, Canham Heath near Bury, Swaffham and Stratton Heaths in Norfolk; in Cornwall, Wales, on Bernack, and Wittering Heaths, in the northern counties, and in Scotland. It flowers in May and June. The Cape of Good Hope is most fertile in this genus, but several fine species grow in South America, and some are found in New Holland. The mountains and fields of different parts of Europe produce various species, but few of the more handsome except g. arenarium and its near relation g. olympicum of our gardens, gathered about the Bythinian Olympus by Dr. Sibthorp; both which vie with g. orientale in their shining golden or lemon colour; and the olympicum at least is a hardy perennial, of easy culture.
The EVERLASTING ROSE.
Still shed around thy soft perfume;
And boast e'en now a spring-tide bloom.
Lone lingerer in the icy 'vale,
And sighs more sweet for evening's gale! i 을
Still are thy green leaves whispering
Low sounds, to fancy's ear that tell
Shook dew-drops from thy sparkling cell!
And Jure beholds thy blossoms fair;
And round DECEMBER's forehead bare.
With thee the graceful lily vied,
As summer breezes waved her head;
Meekly contrasts thiy cheerful red.
That marks the seasons sad or gay;
And wipt'ry robin's dearer lay,
'Mid parching heat, 'mid nipping frost;
No bue, no grace of thine is lost!'
Still smiles, still triumphs o'er despair;
And cold Afliction's winter air.
And in the Hermit's cell she glows;
The bosom's EVERLASTING Rosel' The oak, the beech, and the hornbeam, in part, retain their leaves, and the ash its keys. The common holly (ilex aquifolium), with its scarlet berries, is now conspicuous, as is the pyracanthus with its bunches or wreaths of fiery berries on its dark green thorny sprays; and those dwarfs of the vegetable creation, mosses, and the liverwort' (lichen), now attract our notice.-See T.T. for 1817, p. 358.
The redbreast is still heard to chaunt his cheerful strain,' and the sparrow chirps. Towards the end of the month, woodcock shooting commences; and the snipe (scolopax gallinago) becomes a prey to the fowler.
The goodness of the CREATOR is not more manifest in any thing than in the return of day and night, heat and cold, summer and winter. We are pleased with the light in the morning, but it is after we have rested well in the night: when a few hours are spent, we grow weary of the light, and wish for the return of the silence and darkness of the nocturnal season.