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DIRECTIONS FOR VARIOUS WOODEN IMPLEMENTS.
SOWING. - RELIGIOUS RITES TO BE DILY OBSERVED.
HOW TO MAKE A PLOUGH.
When rushes in fresh rains autumnal Jove,
Rich in his own conceit, he then too late And man's unburthened limbs now lighter move ; May think to rear the waggon's timbered weight : For now the star of day with transient light
Fool! nor yet knows the complicated frame Rolls o'er our heads and joys in longer night ; A hundred seasoned blocks may fitly claim : When from the worm the forest boles are sound, These let thy timely care provide before, Trees bud no more, but earthward cast around And pile beneath thy roof the ready store. Their withering foliage, then remember well
Improve the season, to the plough apply
Both thou and thine ; and toil in wet and dry :
That so thy grounds may wave with thickening corn.
In spring upturn the glebe : and break again If eight the log, the eighth a mallet lends.
With summer tilth the iterated plain,
Raised in light ridge, to sow the fallowed soil : Whereon slow-rolling thy suspended wain,
The fallowed soil bids execration fly,
Jove subterrene, chaste Ceres claim thy vow,
When, grasping first the handle of the plough, If hill or field supply a holm-oak bough
O'er thy broad oxen's backs thy quickening band Of bending figure like the downward plough, With lifted stroke lets fall the goading wand ; Bear it away : this durable remains
Whilst, yoked and barnessed by the fastening thong, While the strong steers in ridges cleave the plains : They slowly drag the draught-pole's length along. If with firm nails thy artist join the whole,
So shall the sacred gifts of earth appear, Affix the share-beam, and adapt the pole.
And ripe luxuriance clothe the plenteous ear.
The buried seed, and scare the birds away.
Good is the apt economy of things,
While evil management its mischief brings : PROPER AGE FOR WORKING OXEN AND A PLOUGHMAX.
Thus, if aërial Jovel thy cares befriend, Two males procure : be nine their sum of years :
And crown thy tillage with a prosperous end,
Shall the rich ear in fulness of its grain
Nod on the stalk and bend it to the plain.
So shalt thou sweep the spider's films away, In forty's prime thy ploughman : one with bread
That round thy hollow bins lie hid from day ; Of four-squared loaf in double portions fed.
I ween ; rejoicing in the foodful stores He steadily shall cut the furrow true,
Obtained at length, and laid within thy doors : Nor towards his fellows glance a rambling view;
For plenteousness shall glad thee through the year Still on his task intent : a stripling throws
Till the white blossoms of the spring appear :
Nor thou on others' heaps a gazer be,
But others owe their borrowed store to thee.
MIDWINTER AND LATE SPRING PLOUGHING; RAINS REMEDY
PLENTY THE RESULT OF A KIND PROVIDENCE AND GOOD
PLOUGHING-TIME ; BORROWING AND LENDING DISSUADED
FROM ; FORETHOCGIIT URGED, AND THRIFT.
Easy to speak the word, “ Beseech thee friend !
If, ill-advised, thou turn the genial plains,
1 The subterranean Jove was Pluto, the earth-god, to whom were due the effects of soil ; aèrial Jove was Jupiter, the air-god, to whom all effects of weather were considered to be due. Ceres was goddess of crops, grain, and flowers.
In her soft chamber pillowed to repose,
THE POLYPUS ; WILD ANIMALS IN WINTER ; sxow.
Now thus, now otherwise is Jove's design ;
Now gnaws the boneless polypus his feet ; Starved midst bleak rocks, his desolate retreat : For now no more the sun with gleaming ray Through seas transparent lights him to his proy. O’er the swarth Æthiop rolls his bright career, And slowly gilds the Grecian hemisphere. And now the hornéd and unhornéd kind, Whose lair is in the wood, sore-famished grind Their sounding jaws, and frozen and quaking fly Where oaks the mountain dells imbranch on high : They seek to couch in thickets of the glen, Or lurk deep-sheltered in the rocky den. Like aged men, who, propped on crutches, tread, Tottering with broken strength and stooping head, So move the beasts of earth ; and, creeping low, Shun the white flakes and dread the drifting snow.
GOSSIPING AND IDLEXESS DISSUADED FROX.
Pass by the brazier's forge where loiterers meet, Nor saunter in the portico's thronged heat ; When in the wintry season rigid cold Invades the limbs and binds them in its hold, Lo! then the industrious man, with thriving store, Improves his household management the more : And this do thou : lest intricate distress of winter seize, and needy cares oppress : Lest, famine-smitten, thou, at length, be seen To gripe thy tumid foot with band from hunger lean. Pampering his empty hopes, yet needing food, On ill designs behold the idler brood : Sit in the crowded portico and feed On that ill hope, while starving with his need. Thou in midsummer to thy laborers cry, “ Make now your nests,” for summer hours will fly.
I warn thee, now, around thy body cast A thick defence, and covering from the blast : Let the soft cloak its woolly warmth bestow : The under-tunic to thy ankle flow : On a scant warp a woof abundant weave ; Thus warmly-woven the mantling cloak receive : Nor shall thy limbs beneath its ample fold With bristling hairs start shivering to the cold. Shoes from the hide of a strong-dying ox Bind round thy feet; lined thick with woollen socks: And kid-skins 'gainst the rigid season sew, With sinew of the bull, and, sheltering, throw Ath wart thy shoulders when the rains impend ; And let a well-wrought cap thy head defend, (scend. And screen thine ears while drenching showers de
A WINTER STORY FROM THE NORTH DESCRIBED. SHELTER.
Beware the January month : beware Those hurtful days, that keenly-piercing air Which flays the herds; those frosts that bitter sheathe The nipping air, and glaze the ground beneath. From Thracia, nurse of steeds, comes rushing forth, O'er the broad sea, the whirlwind of the north, And moves it with his breath : then howl the shores Of earth, and long and loud the forest roars. He lays the oaks of lofty foliage low, Tears the thick pine-trees from the mountain's brow, And strews the valleys with their overthrow. He stoops to earth ; shrill swells the storm around, And all the vast wood rolls a deeper roar of sound. The beasts their cowering tails with trembling fold, And shrink and shudder at the gusty cold ; Thick is the hairy coat, the shaggy skin, But that all-chilling breath shall pierce within. Not his rough hide can then the ox avail : The long-haired goat defenceless feels the gale : Yet vain the north-wind's rushing strength to wound The flock, with thickening fleeces fenced around. He bows the old man, crooked beneath the storm ; But spares the smooth-skinned virgin's tender form. Yet from bland Venus' mystic rites aloof, She safe abides beneath her mother's roof : The suppling waters of the bath she swims, With shining ointment sleeks her dainty limbs :
MORNING SIGNS OF A COLD EVENING RAIN, IN WINTER.
Bleak is the morn when blows the north from high; Oft when the dawnlight paints the starry sky, A misty cloud suspended hovers o'er Heaven's blessed earth with fertilizing store Drained from the living streams : aloft in air The whirling winds the buoyant vapor bear, Resolved at eve in rain or gusty cold, As by the north the troubled rack is rolled. Preventing this, the labor of the day Accomplished, homeward bend thy hastening way: Lest the dark cloud, with whelming rush deprest, Drench thy cold limbs, and soak thy dripping vest.
WINTER-RAINS. -FOOD FOR HOUSE AND BARN.
This winter month with prudent caution fear : Severe to flocks, nor less to men severe : Feed thy keen husbandman with larger bread : With half their provender thy steers be fed : Them rest assists : the night's protracted length Recruits their vigor and supplies their strength. This rule observe, while still the various earth Gives every fruit and kindly seedling birth :
THRESHING ; SERVANTS ; DOG; FODDER.
Still to the toil proportionate the cheer, The day to night, and equalize the year.
SPRING; THE SWALLOW ; VINE-PRUNING; REAPING; MORN.
When from the wintry tropic of the sun Full sixty days their finished round have run, Lo! then the sacred deep Arcturus leave, First whole-apparent on the verge of eve. Through the gray dawn the swallow lifts her wing, Morn-plaining bird, the harbinger of spring.
Anticipate the time : the care be thine An earlier day to prune the shooting vine. When the house-bearing snail is slowly found To shun the Pleiad heats that scorch the ground, And climb the plant's tall stem, insist no more To dress the vine, but give the vineyard o'er. Whet the keen sickle, hasten every swain, From shady booths, from morning sleep refrain. Now, in the fervor of the harvest-day, When the strong sun dissolves the frame away, Now haste afield ; now bind thy sheafy corn, And earn thy food by rising with the morn. Lo! the third portion of thy labor's cares The early morn anticipating shares: In early morn the labor swiftly wastes : In early morn the speeded journey hastes. The time when many a traveller tracks the plain, And the yoked oxen bend them to the wain.
When 1 first Orion's beamy strength is born, Let then thy labore thresh the sacred corn : Smooth be the level floor, on gusty ground, Where winnowing gales may sweep in eddies round. Hoard in thy ample bins the meted grain : And now, as I advise, thy hireling swain From forth thy house dismiss, when all the store Of kindly food is laid within thy door : And to thy service let a feinale come ; But childless, for a child were burthensome. Keep, too, a sharp-toothed dog, nor thrifty spare To feed his fierceness high with generous fare, Lest the day-slumbering thief thy nightly door. Wakeful besiege, and pilfer from thy store. For ox and mule the yearly fodder lay Within thy loft ; the heapy straw and hay : This care despatched, refresh the bending knees Of thy tired hinds, and give thy unyoked oxen ease.
THE VINTAGE ; PRESSING OF GRAPES. --- THE RESTIC YEAR
COMPLETE, When Sirius and Orion the mid-sky Ascend, and on Arcturus ? looks from high The rosy-fingered morn, the vintage calls : Then bear the gathered grapes within thy walls. Ten days and nights exposed the clusters lay Basked in the lustre of each mellowing day : Let five their circling round successive run, Whilst lie thy frails o'ershaded from the sun : The sixth in vats the gifts of Bacchus press ; [ness. Of Bacchus' gladdening earth with store of pleasant
But when beneath the skies on morning's brink The Pleiads, Hyads, and Orion sink ;3 Know then the ploughing and the seed-time near : Thus well-disposed shall glide thy Rustic Year.
SUMMER HEATS ; EFFECTS ; SHADE AND REFRESHMENT.
HESIOD'S “ DAYS.”
When the green artichoke ascending flowers, When, in the sultry season's toilsome hours, Perched on a branch, beneath his veiling wings, The loud cicada shrill and frequent sings ; Then the plump goat a savory food bestows, The poignant wine in mellowest flavor flows : Wanton the blood then bounds in woman's veins, But weak of man the heat enfeebled reigns. Full on his brain descends the solar flame, Unnerves the languid knees, and all the frame, Exhaustive, dries away : 0, then, be thine To sit in shade of rocks ; with Byblian wine, 2 And goat's milk, stinted from the kid, to slake Thy thirst, and eat the shepherd's creamy cake : The flesh of new-dropt kids and youngling cows, That, never teeming, cropt the forest browse. With dainty food so saturate thy soul, And drink the wine dark-mantling in the bowl : While in the cool and breezy gloom reclined Thy face is turned to catch the breathing wind; And feel the freshening brook, whose living stream Glides at thy foot with clear and sparkling gleam : Three parts its waters in thy cup should flow, The fourth with brimming wine may mingled glow.
ANCIENT SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH THE DAYS OP THE
MONTH, AS LUCKY OR UNLUCKY.
The thirtieth 4 of the moon inspect with care
1 About the 12th of July. 2. & The heliacal rising of Arcturus happened, in Hesiod's time, about the 21st of September. The cosmical setting of the Pleiads occurred in November.
4, 5 The most ancient Greeks, as well as the Orientals, employed lunar months of thirty days. The Greek month was divided into three decades of days; this was copied by the French, during their first republic. The Greek courts of judicature were held in the forenoon, and the judges left the forum in the afternoon.
1 The winter solstice, in the time of Hesiod, occurred on the 30th December. The rising of Arcturus took place on the 5th of March.
2 A thiu, Thracian wine, not intoxicating.
The eighth, nor less the ninth, with favoring skies,
On the thirteenth forbear to sow thy grain ;
So to the birth of girls with adverse ray
Cut on the eighth the goat, and lowing steer, And hardy mule ; and when the noon shines clear, Seek on the twenty-ninth to sow thy race, For wise shall be the fruit of thy embrace.
The tenth propitious lends its natal ray To men, to gentle maids the fourteenth day : Tame, too, thy sheep on this auspicious morn, And steers of flexile hoof and wreathéd horn, And labor-patient mules ; and mild command Thy sharp-toothed dog with smoothly-flattering hand.
The fourth and twenty-fourth no grief should prey Within thy breast, for holy either day.
Fourth of the moon lead home thy blooming bride, And be the fittest auguries descried.
Beware the fifth, with horror fraught and woe : 'T is said the furies walk their round below, Avenging the dread oath ; whose awful birth From discord rose, to scourge the perjured earth.
On the smooth threshing-floor, the seventeenth Observant throw the sheaves of sacred corn : (morn, For chamber furniture the timber hew, And blocks for ships with shaping axe subdue.
The fourth upon the stocks thy vessel lay, Soon with light keel to skim the watery way. The nineteenth mark among the better days, When past the fervor of the noontide blaze. Harinless the ninth : 't is good to plant the earth, And fortunate each male and female birth. Few know the twenty-ninth, nor heed the rules To broach their casks, and yoke their steers and mules And fleet-hoofed steeds ; and on dark ocean's way Launch the oared galley ; few will trust the day.
Pierce on the fourth thy cask; the fourteenth prize As holy; and when morning paints the skies, The twenty-fourth is best — few this have known But worst of days when noon has fainter grown.
These are the days of which the careful heed Each human enterprise will favoring speed : Others there are, which intermediate fall, Marked with no auspice and unomened all : And these will some, and those will others praise, But few are versed in mysteries of days. In this a step-mother's stern hate we prove, In that the mildness of a mother's love.
0, fortunate the man ! 0, blest is he Who, skilled in this, fulfils his ministry : He to whose note the auguries are given, No rite transgressed, and void of blame to Heaven ! BRYANT'S « MARCH.”
Rural Odes for March.
AN IDYLLIC ODE.
The stormy March is come at last,
With wind and cloud and changing skies ; I hear the rushing of the blast
That through the snowy valley flies. Ah, passing few are they who speak,
Wild, stormy month ! in praise of thee; Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak,
Thou art a welcome month to me.
For thou to northern lands again
The glad and glorious sun dost bring, And thou hast joined the gentle train
And wear'st the gentle name of Spring. And, in thy reign of blast and storm,
Smiles many a long, bright, sunny day, When the changed winds are soft and warm,
And heaven puts on the blue of May. Then sing aloud the gushing rills
And the full springs, from frost set free, That, brightly leaping down the hills,
Are just set out to meet the sea. The year's departing beauty hides
Of wintry storms the sullen threat ; But in thy sternest frown abides
A look of kindly promise yet. Thou bring'st the hope of those calm skies,
And that soft time of sunny showers, When the wide bloom on earth that lies
Seems of a brighter world than ours.
BURNS'S « MOUNTAIN DAISY.”
Thy slender stem.
Thou bonnie gem.
Wi' speckled breast, When upward springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling east.
Amid the storm.
Thy tender form. The Haunting flowers our gardens yield, High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield : But thou, beneath the random bield
O clod or stane,
In humble guise ;
And low thou lies.
BION'S “ EVENING STAR.”
Such is the fate of artless maid,
And guileless trust, Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
Low in the dust.
AN IDYLLIO ODE.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
Of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er.
TRANSLATED BY J. M. CHAPMAN, M.A. HESPER! sweet Aphrodite's golden light ! Hesper ! bright ornament of swarthy night, Inferior to the moon's clear sheen, as far As thou outshinest every other star ; Dear Hesper, hail ! and give thy light to me, Leading the festive shepherd company. For her new course to-day began the moon, And is already set –0, much too soon! 'T is not for impious theft abroad I stir, Nor to waylay the nightly traveller : I love ; and thou, bright star of love ! shouldst lend The lover light- his helper and his friend.
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
To misery's brink, Till, wrenched of every stay but heaven,
He ruined sink !