Imágenes de página

It comes,! it comes ! the clouds are swelled with rain,
And soon the genialfood shall bless the plain.
Its welcome harbinger, the western breeze,
Soft murm'ring plays among the whispering trees;
Along the vale with rustling pinion flies,
And bends the waving corn." Dark mists arise,
And hide the bright-haired sun ; a solemn veil
Extends its thick’ning shade o'er hill and dale.
The silver circles on the water's plane
In waves distinct announce the viewless rain, .
And quicker as the copious drops descend,
Like net-work, now, the crossing eddies blend.
Scarce can the thickness of the alder wood
Afford me cover from th' impetuous flood.
The birds that filled the place with songs of love
Are now concealed within the silent groves,
In thronging circles pressed, the woolly sheep
Beneath the linden shade for shelter creep.
Air, plains, and hills are all deserted. qnite,
Save where the twittering swallows wing their flight,
And rapid skim the surface of the lake,
With eager bill their insect prey to take.
The mist which late o'er all the scenes repared,
As if fair, nature's eye in pight were, elosed,
Is now dispersed; amid the sparkling skies,
The falling waters greet the dazzled eyes
In shining drops, before the solar ray
That gradual melt, then vanish quite away,
Bright shines the plain adorned with sweeter flow'rs,
As Heav'n had raised once more fair Eden's bow'rs.
Again at eve the veiling clouds are spread,
And o'er the fields their liberal tribute shed.
All nature now in softest charms is drest:
The sinking sun, that hastens to the west,
Where the green hills their fruitful beads display,
Adorns their summits with his golden ray.
The mighty rainbow, Heav'n's eterpal sigu,
With stride majestic lifts its form divine;
Its giant limbs o'er earth and ocean rise,
And its proud head high tow'rs above the skies.

KLEIST'S SPRING. About the beginning of this month, the pimpernel (anagallis arvensis), thyme (thymus serpyllum), the bitter sweet nightshade (solanum dulcamara), white bryony, the dog-rose frosa canina), and the poppy (papaver somniferum), have their flowers full blown. The poppy (says Cowley) is scattered over the fields

and by wer the tuThis little

of corn, that all the needs of man may be easily satisfied, and that bread and sleep may be found together. See some beautiful lines on this subject in T.T. for 1816, p. 180.

One of the most troublesome insects to the farmer in this month, is the turnip-fly. It is extremely difficult, if not quite impossible, to subdue whole classes of innumerable and scarcely visible insectswitness the ineffectual attempts, by lime, by soot, and by all that chemistry could bring into action, to overpower the turnip-fly, that unrelenting enemy to every farmer. This little epicure feeds on the first leaf of the turnip, which is soft and smooth, showing itself in a very few days after sowing, but, when the second or rough leaf appears, their repast is over, when they either die or remove in search of other food. Many ingenious contrivances have been invented to carry on against them an exterminating hostility, but their incalculable numbers and dexterous instinct of self-preservation have always defeated them. MR. COKE, of Holkham, in Norfolk, who in all his experiments seems to follow the pattern of na.. ture, and to be aware of the folly of systematically counteracting her, pursues a more natural and a more successful course: he sows more than double the quantity of turnip-seed usually sown by others, or which could possibly come forward to a crop. At this extraordinary feast the flies are left undisturbed, and, before the superfluous and otherwise useless vegetation can be consumed, the rough leaf appears, when they instantly emigrate to his neighbour's territories, with probably four or five generations of their families, where, if there be only an ordinary sowing for their support, they eat up the whole in a day, and leave the farmer nothing. The fact is, that they often move from place to place, and are occasionally billeted upon us by nature upon their march, and we must provide for them the allotteď rations under the common penalty of a distress,

Among the insects which appear in this month, one of the most interesting is, in its perfect state, the angler's miay-fly (epheniera vulgata), which appears about the 4th, and continues nearly a fortnight. It emerges from the water, where it passes its aurelia state, about six in the evening, and dies about eleven at night.' There are also the grasshopper (gryllus ), the golden-green beetle (scarabeus auratus), various kinds of flies; the cuckoo-spit insect (cicada spumaria), and thë, stag-beetle (lucanus cervus). The several species of the gad-fly (ostrus bovisequi—and ovis), the ox, horse, and sheep gad-fly, make their appearance in this month.

The flower-garden is usually in all its glory at the commencement of June, if the weather have been mild and favourable to vegetation. It is now the 'feast of roses.'

Eye of the garden, queen of flow'rs,
Love's cup wherein lie nectar's pow'rs,

Ingendered first of nectar ;
Sweet nurse-child of the Spring's young hours,

And beauty's fair character. , SIR J. DAVIES. There is scarcely'a'singlé object'in' all the vegetable world in which so many agreeable qualities are combined as in the rose. In this flower nature certainly meant to regale the senses of her favourite' with an object which presents to him at once freshness, fragrancy, colour, and shape.

How fair is the rose! what a beautiful flower!"

The glory of April and May !
But the leaves are beginning to fade'in an hour,

And they wither and die in a day!

? The Hon. W. Spencer mentioned to Lord Erskine a remarkable instance of these ephemera in a whitish moth, which he had frequently seen on the banks of the Neckar, near Heidelberg. Io the morning the air was thronged with them, rising on the wing, but they fell like the withering leaves of autumn when the sun was going down.-Note X to the Farmer's Vision, quoted in p. 86, et seq.

Yet the rose bas one powerful virtue to boast,

Above all the flowers of the field :
When its leaves are all dead, and fine colours are lost,

Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!" The rose is a universal favourite, particularly in the East, where there are many splendid varieties? of this charming flower. Such is the almost idolatrous admiration of the rose, that in some parts of Asia a feast is annually held during the whole time that it is in bloom. To this circumstance, recorded by Pietro de la Valle, Mr. Moore alludes in his Lalla Rookh :'

With quicker spread each heart uncloses,
And all is ecstasy,—for now

The valley holds its Feast of Roses.'
That joyous time, when pleasures pour
Profusely round, and in their shower
Hearts open, like the Season's Rose,

The flow'ret of a hundred leaves
Expanding while the dew-fall flows,

And every leaf its balm receives. But to return to the flower garden. The very soul seems to be refreshed on the bare recollection of the pleasure which the senses receive in contemplating, in a fine vernal morning, the charms of the pink, the violet, the honeysuckle, the hyacinth, the narcissus, the jonquil, the rocket, the tulip, and a thousand others, in every variety of figure, scent, and hue. Nature is no less remarkable for the accuracy and beauty of her works, than for variety and profusion. Defects are always discovered in the works of art when they are examined with a microscope; but a close examination of a leaf of a flower is like taking off a veil from the face of beauty. The finest needle ever polished, and pointed by the most ingenious artist, appears, when it is viewed by the solar microscope, quite obtuse; while the sting of a bee, however magnified, still retains all its original acuteness of termination. The serrated border in the petal of a flower, and the fringe on the wing of a fly, display an accuracy of delineation which no pencil ever yet could rival.

* For some beautiful lines on the moss-rose, see our last volume, p. 155.

2 The rose of Kashmire, for its brilliancy and delicacy of odour, has long been proverbial in thc East. The roses of the Jinan Nile, or Garden of the Nile (attached to the Emperor of Morocco's Palace), are un equalled, and mattrasses are made of the leaves for the men of rank to recline upon. Here is literally the bed of roses' so much talked about in a certain great house,

Who thus, O tulip! thy gay-painted breast
In all the colours of the sun has drest?
Well could I call thee, in thy gaudy pride,

The Queen of tow'rs; but blooming by thy side
Her thousand leaves tbat beams of love adorn,
Her throne surrounded by protecting thorn,
And smell eternal, form a juster claim,
Which gives the heaven-born ROSB the lofty name,
Who having slept throughout the wintry storm,
Now through the op'ning buds displays her smiling form.
Between the leaves the silver white-thorn shows
Its dewy blossoms, pure as mountain spows.
Here the blue hyacinth's nectareous cell
To my charmed senses gives its cooling smell.
In lowly beds the purple violets bloom,
And lib'ral show'r around their rich perfume.
See, how the peacock stalks yon beds beside,
Where rayed in sparkling dust, and velvet pride,
Like brilliant stars, arranged in splendid row,
The proud auriculas their lastre show :
The jealous bird now shows his swelling breast,
His many-coloured neck and lofty crest;
Then all at once his dazzling tail displays,
On whose broad circle thousand rainbows blaze..
The wanton butterflies, with fickle wing,
Flutter round ev'ry flow'r that decks the Spring;
Then on their painted pinions eager haste,
The luscious cherry's crimson blood to taste.

KLEIST'S SPRING. The fern-owl may be seen about the middle of the month, in the evening, among the branches of oaks, in pursuit of its favourite repast, the fern-chaffer (scarabæus solstitialis ).

The several kinds of corn come into ear and flower during this month, as well as most of the numerous species of grasses. See T.T. for 1818, p. 205, for an

« AnteriorContinuar »