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Gisborne's "Forest adtalks."
A FOREST WALK IN SPRING.
An ancient poet's comparison of the supposed non-exist
ence of man after death with the vernal revival of the vegetable world. The lesson which ought to have been deduced from that revival. Appearance of a forest in May. Forest trees. The angler. Forest flowers. Analogy between the diversity of vegetable productions and the diversity of human talents. Birds. Address to parents.
IMMORTALITY BROCGHT TO LIGHT. THE RESURRECTION.
The meanest herb we trample in the field, Or in the garden nurture, when its leaf In Autumn dies, forebodes another Spring, And from short slumber wakes to life again. Man wakes no more! Man, peerless, valiant, wise, Once chilled by death, sleeps hopeless in the dust, A long, unbroken, never-ending sleep!' Such was thy plaint, untutored bard,' when May, As now, the lawns revived ! 'T was thine to rove Darkling, ere yet from Death's reluctant shade, In cloudless majesty, the Son of God Sprang glorious ; while hell's ruler, he who late, With frantic scoffs of triumph, to his powers Pointed the sad procession as it moved From Calvary to the yet unclosed tomb, Viewed the grave yield its Conqueror ; and, aghast, Shunned, in the deepest midnight of his realms, The wrath of earth's and heaven's Almighty Lord.
The sun's meridian splendor, has illumed
ITS PROGRESS DESCRIBED ; THE OAK; BEECH ; ASH ; HAW-
How swells the enraptured bosom, while the eye Wanders unsated with delight from shade To shade, from grove to thicket, from near groups To yon primeval woods with darkening sweep Retiring; and with beauty sees the whole Kindle, and glow with renovated life! For now, at Spring's reanimating call, Each native of the forest, from the trunk, Towering and huge, down to the tangled bush, Its own peculiar character resumes. Chief of the sylvan realms, its verdant wreath With tender olive stained the oak protrudes, Proud of a sheltered monarch, proud to lend A chaplet still to British loyalty, Even yet, with ruddy spoils from Autumn won Loaded, the beech its lengthened buds untwines. Its knotted bloom secured, the ash puts forth The winged leaf : the hawthorn wraps its boughs In snowy mantle : from the vivid greens That shine around, the holly, Winter's pride, Recedes abashed : the willow, in yon vale, Its silver lining to the breeze upturns ; And rustling aspens shiver by the brook ; TITE STREAMLET IN SPRING ; ITS FISH; ALDERS; TROUTS ;
THE ANGLER'S MISHAPS. While the unsullied stream, from April showers Refined, each sparkling pebble shows that decks The bottom ; and each scaly habitant Quick glancing in the shallows, or in quest Of plunder slowly sailing in the deep. There oft at eve, by shadowing alders veiled
XATURE'S REVIVESCENCE A TYPE OF Max's.
Said the desponding lay, “Man wakes no more'? O blind! who read'st not in the teeming soil, The freshening meadow, and the bursting wood, A nobler lesson! – He who spake the word, And the sun rose from chaos, while the abyss From the new fires with shuddering surge recoiled ; He, at whose voice the moon's nocturnal beam, And starry legions, on the admiring earth Rained lustre ; He, whose providence the change Of day and night and seasons crowned with food, And health and peace proclaimed ; bade Nature's Point to the scenes of dim futurity.
[hand He on a world, in Gentile darkness lost, Pitying looked down : He to bewildered man Bade Spring, with annual admonition, hold Her emblematic taper ; not with light Potent each shade of doubt and fear to chase, Yet friendly through the gloom to guide his way, "Till the dawn crimsoned, and the impatient East, Shouting for joy, the Day-star's advent hailed.
THE DAY-STAR ARISEX. THE GENERAL RESURRECTIOX. That star has risen, and, with a glow that shames
1 Moschus, who flourished 156 or 256 B.C. See note p. 26.
From keen-eyed trouts, fixed where the sable flood Yet all one forming Hand, one Source supreme,
Boundless in might, in wisdom, and in love ;
And as his eye with vivifying beam
DIVERSIFIED TALENTS OF MEN ; INGRATITUDE FOR THEM. Dependent, or in complicated folds
MANKIND ONE MUTUALLY HELPFUL FAMILY. Linking the tangled boughs that sweep the stream,
Plans of accordant aim And rise and fall with every passing wave.
Speak the same Author. Mark the varied dower FOREST FLOWERS OF SPRING; THE PRIMROSE ; PILEWORT ; Of talent shared by man. These trace the laws
ARCM ; WOOD-ANEMONE ; WOOD-SPURGE ; WOOD-SORREL ;
That bind the planet to its orb, and heave
The billowy tide. The helm of empire those Glitters with flowery dyes : the primrose first
Rule, in the storm serene ; or poise the scales In mossy dell return of Spring to greet :
Of justice ; or when mad ambition scoffs Pilewort, that o'er her roots of healing fame
The sacred league, nor recks the landmark, hurl Expands the radiance of her starry bloom :
The long-suspended thunderbolt of war.
Some in translucent narrative recall
Past ages, or in visionary song
Heroic worth portray. Inventive, some
Call art the paths of life with needful aid
To smoothe, or grace with ornament. Some ply That seeks in beauty's garb her snares to hide,
The spade and ploughshare, skilful to foreknow
What best each soil may yield. Vain of his powers, In milky stream her poison veils, her stem
Thee, the great Giver, thee, Parent of good, In ruddy mantle wraps, and from a zone
Man overlooks or scorns. Thy several gifts,
Harmonious though dissimilar, all conspire
To swell the sum of general bliss, all work
Thy glory; all well pleasing in thy sight, O'er her pale verdure, till parental care
Who bad’et the children of the dust perform Inclines the shortening stems, and to the shade
Each his peculiar office, and, combined Of closing leaves her infant race withdraws :
In one vast family with fraternal love, Orchis 4 with crowded pyramids the bank
Lend mutual aid, and praise their common God. Purpling : the harebell, as with grief depressed, Bowing her fragrance : and the scentless plant,5 BIRD-LIFE IN SPRING; SONGS ; THE JAY; WOODPECKER AXD
HIS HABITS ; MAGPIE ; WRYNECK ; That with the violet's borrowed form and hue
YOUNG; BIRDS TEACHING THEIR YOUNGLINGS TO FLY. The unskilful wanderer in the grove deceives.
While thus the imprisoned leaves and waking THE VARIOUS HABITS AND HABITATS OF PLANTS DESCRIBED.
Burst from their tombs, the birds that lurked unseen In size, in form, in texture, and in use,
Amid the hybernal shade, in busy tribes How various are the tribes whose verdure warms
Pour their forgotten multitudes, and catch And decorates the earth! Some from the wild
New life, new rapture, from the smile of Spring. Untracked by foot of man, from mountain glens
The oak’s dark canopy, the moss-grown thorns, And rifted crags precipitous, aloft
Flutter with hurried pinions, and resound Urge their aspiring boles and knotted strength,
With notes that suit a forest ; some perehance, Destined with fleets to spread the main, or build
Rude singly, yet with sweeter notes combined Engines, whose ponderous and convulsive strokes
In unison harmonious ; notes that speak, Thundering shall rock the ground. With pensile
vocal to the listening wood, boughs
The fears and hopes, the griefs and joys, that heare Some droop o'er willowy streams, and yield their For humbler service. Some in grassy pile (growth
The feathered breast. Proud of cerulean stains
From heaven's unsullied arch purloined, the jay And flowery broidure clad, with fragrance cheer,
Screams hoarse. With shrill and oft-repeated cry, With food sustain, the animated world.
Her angular course, alternate rise and fall, 1 Wood-anemone. Anemone nemorosa, Linn.
The woodpecker prolongs; then to the trunk 2 Wood-spurge. Euphorbia amygdaloides, Linn. 3 Wood-sorrel. Oxalis acetosa, Linn. This plant, as soon
Close clinging, with unwearied beak assails as its petals have fallen off, thrusts its seed-vessels, with a The hollow bark; through every cell the strokes motion in appearance almost voluntary, under the contigu
Roll the dire echoes that from wintry sleep ous leaves ; the foot-stalk, which till then had been straight, bending itself back in a sharp angle, and thus bringing Awake her insect prey; the alarméd tribes (stem : down its charge to the shelter provided by nature.
Start from each chink that cleaves the mouldering 4 Orchis mascula, Linn. Wood-orchis. 6 Dog's violet ; the viola canina of Linnæus.
Their scattered flight with lengthening tongue the foe
-UNITY IN THEIR VARIETY.
Their pinions, in short flights their strength to prove, And venturous trust the bosom of the air.
CAREFUL EDUCATION OF CHILDREN CRGED.- RESPONSIBILITIES.
-SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS. - LOVE TO GOD AND MAX.
Pursues; joy glistens on her verdant plumes,
O ye ! whose knees a youthful progeny climbs, While mirth, the fruit of innocence and love, Dimples their cheeks, and shuts their laughing eyes, Think on your charge ! Fast as the expanding mind Imbibes the lesson, from her fount above Bid truth in ampler stream infuse her lore. Leave not, in vernal dawn when life invokes Your culturing hand, the field to weeds a prey Native, quick sprouting : plant, with earliest care, The seeds you most desire should fill the soil ; And nurse, with zeal proportioned to its worth, Each rising produce. Teach your infant race That 't is not theirs, like songsters of the grove, Born but to sport and futter for a day, To dote on vain and transitory joys. Teach them the harder, nobler task decreed To prove the sons of Adam. Teach them love Supreme of God, and, next to God, of man. Teach them 't is theirs, in arduous conflict ranged, 'Gainst sin and powers of darkness, to make known Their firm allegiance to the King of kings.
1 The Welsh and Swedes consider this bird as the forerunner or servant of the cuckoo, and the Welsh call it "cuckoo's attendant ;' in mid England it is named . cuckoo's maiden.'
Cold May and windy Forgotten month past,
Barn filleth up finely. Do now at the last. * * Frou May till October, leave cropping, for why? In woodsere, whatever thou croppest will die ; Where ivy embraceth the tree very sore, Kill ivy, or else tree will addle no more. Keep threshing for thresher till May be come in, To have, to be suer, fresh chaff in thy bin ; And somewhat to scamble, for hog and for hen, And work, when it raineth, for loitering men. Be suer of hay, and of provender some, For laboring cattle, till pasture be come. And if ye do mind, to have nothing to sterve, Have one thing or other, for all things to serve. In May get a weed-hook, a crotch, and a glove, And weed out such weeds as the corn doth not love. For weeding of winter corn, now it is best ; But June is the better for weeding the rest. The May-weed doth burn, and the thistle doth fret ; The fitches pull downward both rye and the wheat : The brake and the cockle be noisome too much ; Yet like unto boodle no weed there is such. In May is good sowing thy buck or thy brank, That black is as pepper, and smelleth as rank : It is to thy land as a comfort, or muck, * * Sow buck after barley, or after thy wheat, A peck to the rood (if the measure be great), Three earths see ye give it, and sow it above; And harrow it finely, if buck ye do love. * *
Good flax and good hemp to have of her own,
stand. * *
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do, This teach me more than hell to shun,
That more than heaven pursue. What blessings thy free bounty gives
Let me not cast away ;
To enjoy is to obey.
Thy goodness let me bound,
When thousand worlds are round. Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
On each I judge thy foe.
Still in the right to stay ;
To find that better way.
Or impious discontent
Or aught thy goodness lent.
To hide the fault I see ; That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
What though, in solemn silence, all
Where scarce a sunbeam wanders through the gloom;
INVOCATION TO INSPIRATION.
DEDICATORY TRIBUTE TO MR. DODINGTOX.
The subject proposed. Invocation. Address to Mr. Dod
ington. An introductory reflection on the motion of the heavenly bodies : whence the succession of the seasons. As the face of nature in this season is almost uniform, the progress of the poem is a description of a summer's day. The dawn. Sun-rising. Hymn to the sun. Forenoon. Summer insects described. Hay-making. Sheepshearing. Noon-day. A woodland retreat. Group of herds and flocks. A solemn grove ; how it affects a contemplative mind. A cataract, and rude scene. View of summer in the torrid zone. Storm of thunder and lightning. A tale. The storm over, a serene afternoon. Bathing. Hour of walking. Transition to the prospect of a rich, well-cultivated country ; which introduces a panegyric on Great Britain. Sunset. Evening. Night. Summer meteors. A comet. The whole concluding with the praise of philosophy. THE APPROACH OF SUMMER. - HEAT. - A SIADY RETREAT.
From brightening fields of ether fair disclosed, Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes, In pride of youth, and felt through Nature's depth : He comes attended by the sultry hours, And ever-fanning breezes, on his way ; While from his ardent look, the turning Spring Averts her blushful face ; and earth, and skies, All smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.
Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade,
And thou, my youthful Muse's early friend, In whom the human graces all unite : Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart ; Genius, and wisdom : the gay social sense, By decency chastised ; goodness and wit, In seldom-meeting harmony combined ; Unblemished honor, and an active zeal For Britain's glory, liberty, and man: 0 Dodington !1 attend my rural song,
1 The celebrated Bubb Dodington, Lord Melcombe, a man of consummate taste.