Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

AUTUMN-OCTOBER.

Bloomfield's "Farmer's Bou."

ARGUMENT.

AUTUMN.

The trudging sow leads forth her numerous young,
Playful, and white, and clean, the briers among,

Till briers and thorns, increasing, fence them round,
Acorns. Hogs in the wood. Wheat-sowing. The church.
Village girls. The mad girl. The bird-boy's hut.

Where last year's mouldering leaves bestrew the

Disappointments ; reflections, &c. Euston-hall. Fox-hunt

ground ; ing. Old Trouncer. Long nights. A welcome to Winter. And o'er their heads, loud lashed by furious squalls,

Bright from their cups the rattling treasure falls.
SUBJECT ; SCENES OF AUTUMN. — SWINEHERD ; HUNTSMAN.
Again, the year's decline, midst storms and floods THE POOL ; THE HAUNT OF THE WILD DUCK ; LUDICROUS

FRIGHT OF THE LITTLE PIGS.
The thundering chase, the yellow fading woods,
Invites my song ; that fain would boldly tell

Hot thirsty food! whence doubly sweet and cool Of upland coverts, and the echoing dell,

The welcome margin of some rush-grown pool, By turns resounding loud, at eve and morn,

The wild duck's lonely haunt, whose jealous eye The swineherd's halloo, or the huntsman's horn.

Guards every point ; who sits prepared to fly,

On the calm bosom of her little lake, NEW-FALLEN MAST ; Sow AND PIGS FEEDING ON ACORNS.

Too closely screened for ruffian winds to shake; No more the fields with scattered grain supply And as the bold intruders press around, The restless wandering tenants of the sty ;

At once she starts and rises with a bound : From oak to oak they run with eager haste,

With bristles raised the sudden noise they hear, And, wrangling, share the first delicious taste And, ludicrously wild, and winged with fear, Of fallen acorns ; yet but thinly found,

The herd decamp with more than swinish speed, Till the strong gale have shook them to the ground; And snorting dash through sedge, and rush, and It comes ; and roaring woods obedient wave : Their home well pleased the joint adventurers Through tangling thickets headlong on they go, leave :

Then stop and listen for their fancied foe ;

reed ;

The hindmost still the growing panic spreads, Those narrow windows with the frequent flaw? Repeated fright the first alarm succeeds,

O'er whose low cells the dock and mallow spread, Till folly's wages, wounds and thorns, they reap : And rampant nettles lift the spiry head, Yet glorying in their fortunate escape,

Whilst from the hollows of the tower on high Their groundless terrors by degrees soon cease, The gray-capped daws in saucy legions fly. And night's dark reign restores their wonted peace.

THE GRAVES ABOUT THE CHAPEL ; SUNDAY TALK OF FARMERS;

BOYS' SPORTS IN THE GRAVE-YARD.
THE HOG'S NEST AT NIGHT ; THE PHEASANT ; GILES'S VAIN
SEARCH FOR THE SWINE.

Round these lone walls assembling neighbors meet, For now the gale subsides, and from each bough

And tread departed friends beneath their feet; The roosting pheasant's short but frequent crow

And new-briered graves, that prompt the secret sigh, Invites to rest ; and huddling side by side

Show each the spot where he himself must lie. The herd in closest ambush seek to hide ;

Midst timely greetings village news goes round, Seek some warm slope with shagged moss o'erspread,

Of crops late shorn, or crops that deck the ground; Dried leaves their copious covering and their bed.

Experienced ploughmen in the circle join ; In vain may Giles, through gathering glooms that

While sturdy boys, in feats of strength to shine, And solemn silence, urge his piercing call ; (fall,

With pride elate, their young associates brave Whole days and nights they tarry midst their store,

To jump from hollow-sounding grave to grave ; Nor quit the woods till oaks can yield no more.

Then close consulting, each his talent lends

To plan fresh sports when tedious service ends. WINTER-WHEAT ; HOW TO PROTECT IT WHEN SOWX IX AUTUMN.

THE VILLAGE MAIDS ; THEIR ERRAND AT CHURCH. Beyond bleak Winter's rage, beyond the Spring Hither at times, with cheerfulness of soul, That rolling earth's unvarying course will bring, Sweet village maids from neighboring hamlets stroll, Who tills the ground, looks on with mental eye, That, like the light-heeled does o'er lawns that rove, And sees next Summer's sheaves and cloudless sky; Look shyly curious ; ripening into love ; And even now, whilst Nature's beauty dies,

For love's their errand : hence the tints that glow Deposits seed, and bids new harvests rise ;

On either cheek an heightened lustre know : Seed well prepared, and warmed with glowing lime, When, conscious of their charms, c'en Age looks sly; 'Gainst earth-bred grubs, and cold, and lapse of And rapture beams from Youth's observant eye. time :

STORY OF CRAZED POLLY RAYNOR ; HER DRESS, WHIMS, MISFor searching frosts and various ills invade,

ERY, WILDNESS, AND PITEOUS INSANITY. Whilst wintry months depress the springing blade.

The pride of such a party, Nature's pride, AUTUMN PLOUGHING ; MANURE PLOUGHED IN; GILES'S LÀ

Was lovely Poll ;' who innocently tried,

With hat of airy shape and ribbons gay, The plough moves heavily, and strong the soil,

Love to inspire, and stand in Hymen's way :

But ere her twentieth summer could expand,
And clogging harrows with augmented toil
Dive deep ; and clinging, mixes with the mould

Or youth was rendered happy with her hand,

Her mind's serenity was lost and gone,
A fattening treasure from the nightly fold,
And all the cow-yard's highly valued store,

Her eye grew languid, and she wept alone ;
That late bestrewed the blackened surface o'er.

Yet causeless seemed her grief; for quick restrained,

Mirth followed loud, or indignation reigned :
No idling hours are here, when fancy trims
Her dancing taper over outstretched limbs,

Whims wild and simple led her from her home, And in her thousand thousand colors drest,

The heath, the common, or the fields, to roam : Plays round the grassy couch of noontide rest :

Terror and joy alternate ruled her hours ; Here Giles for hours of indolence atones

Now blithe she sung, and gathered useless flowers ; With strong exertion, and with weary bones,

Now plucked a tender twig from every bough, And knows no leisure ; till the distant chimo

To whip the hovering demons from her brow. Of Sabbath bells he hears at sermon time,

Ill-fated maid ! thy guiding spark is fled, That down the brook sound sweetly in the gale,

And lasting wretchedness awaits thy bed Or strike the rising hill, or skim the dale.

Thy bed of straw! for mark, where even now

O’er their lost child afflicted parents bow ;
THE PARSON'S HORSE; THE RUDE CHAPEL ; DAWS. Their woe she knows not, but, perversely coy,
Nor his alone the sweets of ease to taste :

Inverted customs yield her sullen joy.
Kind rest extends to all ; - save one poor beast,

Her midnight meals in secrecy she takes, That, true to time and pace, is doomed to plod,

Low muttering to the moon, that rising breaks To bring the pastor to the house of God :

Through night's dark gloom :-0, how much more

forlorn Mean structure ; where no bones of heroes lie ! The rude inelegance of poverty

Her night, that knows of no returning dawn! Reigns here alone : else why that roof of straw?

1 Mary Raynor, of Ixworth Thorp, or Village.

BORS IN THE BARN-YARD, SABBATH BELLS.

Slow from the threshold, once her infant seat, Of cold-nipped weaklings of the latter brood,
O'er the cold earth she crawls to her retreat ; That, from the shell just bursting into day,
Quitting the cot's warm walls unhoused to lie, Through yard or pond pursue their venturous way.
Or share the swine's impure and narrow sty ;

THE BIRD-BOY'S WATCH.
The damp night air her shivering limbs assails ;
In dreams she moans, and fancied wrongs bewails. Far weightier cares and wider scenes expand ;
When morning wakes, none earlier roused than she, What devastation marks the new-sown land !
When pendent drops fall glittering from the tree, From hungry woodland foes, go, Giles, and guard
But naught her rayless melancholy cheers,

The rising wheat ; insure its great reward :
Or soothes her breast, or stops her streaming tears. A future sustenance, a Summer's pride,
Her matted locks unornamented flow;

Demand thy vigilance : then be it tried ;
Clasping her knees, and waving to and fro ; Exert thy voice, and wield thy shotless gun :
Her head bowed down, her faded cheeks to hide ; - Go, tarry there from morn till setting sun.'
A piteous mourner by the pathway side.

GILES BUILDS A HUT OF STRAW AND TURF, LIKE CRUSOE, Some tufted molehill through the livelong day

FOR SHELTER. She calls her throne; there weeps her life away :

Keen blows the blast, or ceaseless rain descends ; And oft the gayly passing stranger stays

The half-stripped hedge a sorry shelter lends. His well-timed step, and takes a silent gaze,

O for a hovel, e'er so small or low, Till sympathetic drops unbidden start,

Whose roof, repelling winds and early snow, And pangs quick springing muster round his heart;

Might bring home's comforts fresh before his eyes ! And soft he treads with other gazers round,

No sooner thought, than see the structure rise, And fain would catch her sorrow's plaintive sound.

In some sequestered nook, embanked around, One word alone is all that strikes the ear,

Sods for its walls, and straw in burdens bound : One short, pathetic, simple word, —-0 dear!'

Dried fuel hoarded is his richest store, A thousand times repeated to the wind,

And circling smoke obscures his little door ; That wafts the sigh, but leaves the pang behind !

Whence creeping forth, to duty's call he yields, Forever of the proffered parley shy,

And strolls the Crusoe of the lonely fields.
She hears the unwelcome foot advancing nigh;
Nor quite unconscious of her wretched plight,

HIS HOSPITABLE FEAST OF HAWS AND SLOES; DISAPPOINTED

OF HIS BOY-GUESTS. - SOLITUDE AND LIBERTY. Gives one sad look, and hurries out of sight.

On whitethorns towering, and the leafless rose,

A frost-nipped feast in bright vermilion glows : Fair promised sunbeams of terrestrial bliss, Where clustering sloes in glossy order rise, "Health's gallant hopes, - and are ye sunk to this? He crops the loaded branch ; a cunbrous prize ; For in life's road though thorns abundant grow, And o'er the flame the sputtering fruit he rests, There still are joys poor Poll can never know ; Placing green sods to seat his coming guests ; Joys which the gay companions of her prime His guests by promise ; playmates young and gay : Sip, as they drift along the stream of time;

But, ah ! fresh pastimes lure their steps away! At eve to hear beside their tranquil home

He sweeps his hearth, and homeward looks in vain, The lifted latch, that speaks the lover come : Till, feeling disappointment's cruel pain, That love matured, next playful on the knee His fairy revels are exchanged for rage, To press the velvet lip of infancy ;

His banquet marred, grown dull his hermitage. To stay the tottering step, the features trace ; - The field becomes his prison, till on high Inestimable sweets of social peace !

Benighted birds to shades and coverts fly.

Midst air, health, daylight, can he prisoner be? PRAYER FOR PEACE OF MIND AND WARMTH OF HEART.

If fields are prisons, where is liberty ? O Thou, who bidst the vernal juices rise !

Here still she dwells, and here her votaries stroll ; Thou, on whose blasts autumnal foliage flies !

HOPE DEFERRED; THE PRISONER; HOWARD.
Let peace ne'er leave me, nor my heart grow cold,
Whilst life and sanity are mine to hold.

But disappointed hope untunes the soul :

Restraints unfelt whilst hours of rapture flow, CARE OF THE LATE-KATCHED CHICKENS, ETC.

When troubles press, to chains and barriers grow. Shorn of their flowers that shed the untreasured Look, then, from trivial up to greater woes ; seed,

From the poor bird-boy with his roasted sloes, The withering pasture, and the fading mead, To where the dungeoned mourner heaves the sigh ; Less tempting grown, diminish more and more, Where not one cheering sunbeam meets his eye. The dairy's pride ; sweet Summer's flowing store. Though ineffectual pity thine may be, New cares succeed, and gentle duties press,

No wealth, no power, to set the captive free ; Where the fireside, a school of tenderness,

Though only to thy ravished sight is given Revives the languid chirp, and warms the blood The golden path that Howard trod to heaven ;

THE JOYS OF WEDDED LOVE.

Thy slights can make the wretched more forlorn, And deeper drive affliction's barbéd thorn.

VISIT THE PRISONER, AND DISAPPOINT HIM NOT.

Say not, ‘I'll come and cheer thy gloomy cell With news of dearest friends; how good, how well : I'll be a joyful herald to thine heart :' Then fail, and play the worthless trifler's part, To sip flat pleasures from thy glass's brim, And waste the precious hour that's due to him! In mercy spare the base, unmanly blow : Where can he turn, to whom complain of you? Back to past joys in vain his thoughts may stray, Trace and retrace the beaten, worn-out way, The rankling injury will pierce his breast, And curses on thee break his midnight rest.

THE HORSE IN THE CHASE ; THE VILLAGERS TURN OUT.

With ears erect, and chest of vigorous mould, O'er ditch, o'er fence, unconquerably bold, The shining courser lengthens every bound, And his strong foot-locks suck the moistened ground, As from the confines of the wood they pour, And joyous villages partake the roar. O'er heath far stretched, or down, or valley low, The stiff-limbed peasant, glorying in the show, Pursues in vain ; where youth itself soon tires, Spite of the transports that the chase inspires ; For who unmounted long can charm the eye, Or hear the music of the leading cry?

THE FOX-HOUND TROUNCER ; HIS EXPLOITS.

THE AUTUMN MUSIC OF THE CHASE ; EUSTON; FITZROY ;

HOCND AND HORN,

Bereft of song, and ever cheering green, The soft endearments of the Summer scene, New harmony pervades the solemn wood, Dear to the soul, and healthful to the blood : For bold exertion follows on the sound Of distant sportsmen, and the chiding hound; First heard from kennel bursting, mad with joy, Where smiling Euston boasts her good Fitzroy, Lord of pure alms, and gifts that wide extend ; The farmer's patron, and the poor man's friend ; Whose mansion glittering with the eastern ray, Whose elevated temple points the way, O’er slopes and lawns, the park's extensive pride," To where the victims of the chase reside, Ingulfed in earth, in conscious safety warm, Till, lo! a plot portends their coming harm.

Poor faithful Trouncer! thou canst lead no more; All thy fatigues and all thy triumphs o'er ! Triumphs of worth, whose honorary fame Was still to follow true the hunted game; Beneath enormous oaks, Britannia's boast, In thick, impenetrable coverts lost, When the warm pack in faltering silence stood, Thine was the note that roused the listening wood, Rekindling every joy with ten-fold force, Through all the mazes of the tainted course. Still foremost thou the dashing stream to cross, And tempt along the animated horse ; Foremost o'er fen or level mead to pass, And sweep the showering dew-drops from the grass; Then bright emerging from the mist below To climb the woodland hill's exulting brow.

DEATH AND EPITAPI OF TROUNCER.

THE FOX-HUNT ; THE FOX BLOCKED OUT ; STARTED FROM

COVER ; THE VIEW-HALLOO.

Pride of thy race ! with worth far less than thine, Full many human leaders daily shine! Less faith, less constancy, less generous zeal! Then no disgrace mine humble verse shall feel, Where not one lying line to riches bows, Or poisoned sentiment from rancor flows ; Nor flowers are strewn around Ambition's car :An honest dog's a nobler theme by far. Each sportsman heard the tidings with a sigh, When death's cold touch bad stopped his tuneful

cry ; And though high deeds, and fair exalted praise, In memory lived, and flowed in rustic lays, Short was the strain of monumental woe : * Foxes, rejoice! here buried lies your foe.'1

In earliest hours of dark, unhooded morn, Ere yet one rosy cloud bespeaks the dawn, Whilst far abroad the fox pursues his prey, He's doomed to risk the perils of the day, From his strong hold blocked out; perhaps to bleed, Or owe his life to fortune or to speed. For now the pack, impatient rushing on, Range through the darkest coverts one by one ; Trace every spot; whilst down each noble glade, That guides the eye beneath a changeful shade, The loitering sportsman feels the instinctive flame, And checks his steed to mark the springing game. Midst intersecting cuts and winding ways The huntsman cheers his dogs, and anxious strays Where every narrow riding, even shorn, Gives back the echo of his mellow horn : Till fresh and lightsome, every power untried, The starting fugitive leaps by his side, His lifted finger to his ear he plies, And the View-halloo bids a chorus rise Of dogs quick-mouthed and shouts that mingle loud, As bursting thunder rolls from cloud to cloud.

THE EARLY CROW OF THE COCK ; THE GEESE ; SHORT DAYS

AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER.

In safety housed throughout night's lengthening

reign, The cock sends forth a loud and piercing strain ; More frequent, as the glooms of midnight fee, And hours roll round, that brought him liberty, When Summer's early dawn, mild, clear, and bright, Chased quick away the transitory night :

1 Inscribed on a stone in Euston Park wall.

To meet the threats of Boreas undismayed,
And Winter's gathering frowns and hoary head.

Hours now in darkness veiled ; yet loud the scream
Of geese impatient for the playful stream ;
And all the feathered tribe imprisoned raise
Their morning notes of inharmonious praise ;
And many a clamorous hen and cockerel gay,
When daylight slowly through the fog breaks way,
Fly wantonly abroad : but, ah, how soon
The shades of twilight follow hazy noon,
Shortening the busy day!- - day that slides by
Amidst the unfinished toils of busbandry ;
Toils still each morn resumed with double care,
To meet the icy terrors of the year,

WELCOME TO WINTER ; HOPE FOR THE POOR. Then welcome, cold ; welcome, ye snowy nights ! Heaven, midst your rage, sball mingle pure delights, And confidence of hope the soul sustain, While devastation sweeps along the plain : Nor shall the child of poverty despair, But bless the Power that rules the changing year ; Assured,- though horrors round his cottage reign, That Spring will come, and Nature smile again.

Tusser's "October's Husbandry.

October, good blast Forgotten, month past,

To blow the hog mast. Do now at the last. Now lay up thy barley-land, dry as ye can, Get daily beforehand, be never behind. * * Green rye in September, when timely thou hast, October for wheat-sowing calleth as fast : If weather will suffer, this counsel I give, Leave sowing of wheat, before Hallowmas cve.: * * Yet where, how and when ye intend to begin, Let ever the finest be first sowen in. Who soweth in rain, he shall reap it with tears ; Who soweth in harms, he is ever in fears ; Who soweth ill seed, or defraudeth his land, Hath eyesore abroad, with a corrie at hand. * * Seed husbandly sowen, water-furrow thy ground, That rain, when it cometh, may run away round. ** As land full of tilth, and in hearty good plight, Yields blade to a length, and increaseth in might ; So

crop upon crop, on whose courage we doubt, Yields blade for a brag, but it holdeth not out. The straw and the ear to have bigness and length Betokeneth land to be good and in strength. * * White wheat or else red, red rivet or white, Far passeth all other, for land that is light; White pollard or red, that so richly is set, For land that is heavy, is best ye can get. Main wheat, that is mixed with white and with red, Is next to the best, in the market-man's head : To Turkey or Purkey wheat many do love, Because it is floury, as others above. Gray wheat is the grossest, yet good for the clay, Though worst for the market, as farmer will say ; Much like unto rye, be his properties found, Coarse flour, much bran, and a peeler 3 of ground. Oats, rye, or else barley, and wheat that is gray, Brings land out of comfort, and soon to decay.

1 To "lay up' is to cover the ridge baulk by two opposite furrows, to shed water.

2 Wheat is sown in England from mid-August to midDecember, but chiefly in October ; the compiler has sown winter-wheat in northern Illinois as late as Nov. 13. - J.

3 To 'peel' is to spend or exhaust.

One after another, no comfort between,
Is crop upon crop, as will quickly be seen.
Still crop upon crop many farmers do take,
And reap little profit, for greediness' sake. (stand,
Though bread-corn and drink-corn,' such croppers do
Count peason or brank,' as a comfort to land. * *
Some useth at first a good fallow to make,3
To sow thereon barley, the better to take
Next that to sow peas, and of that to sow wheat,
Then fallow again, or lie lay for thy neat.4
When barley ye sow, after rye or else wheat,
If land be unlusty, the crop is not great. * *
Where rye, or else wheat, either barley, ye sow,
Let codware 5 be next, thereupon for to grow.
Two crops of a fallow enricheth the plough ;
Though t one be of peas, it is land good enough.
One crop and a fallow 6 some soil will abide,
When, if ye go further, lay profit aside. * *
Good bread-corn and drink-corn full twenty weeks
Is better than new, that at harvest is reapt; [kept
But foisty the bread-corn, and bowd-eaten? malt,
For health or for profit, find noisome thou shalt.
By the end of October go gather up sloes,
Have thou in a readiness plenty of those ;
And keep them in bed-straw, or still on the bough,
To stay both the flix,8 of thyself and the cow.
Seeth water and plump therein plenty of sloes;
Mix chalk that is dried, in powder with those ;
Which so, if ye give, with the water and chalk,
Thou makest the lax from thy cow away walk.
Be suer of vergis ' (a gallon at least),
So good for the kitchen, so needful for beast :
It helpeth thy cattle, so feeble and faint,
If timely such cattle with it thou acquaint.

1 Wheat and barley.

2 Buckwheat. 3 Except in common-fields, fallowing is justly exploded by all good farmers. – Mavor, Mem. British Bd. of Agricult.

4 This was written in 1557, it will be recollected.

6 Codware is beans or peas; the former for a stiff, the latter for a lighter soil.

u Ruinous,' says Mavor. 7 Weevil-eaten.

& Looseness of the bowels. 9 Juice of crab-apples, or crab-juice.

« AnteriorContinuar »