Immagini della pagina
PDF
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Fairhanded Spring unbosoms every grace,
Throws out the snowdrop and the crocus first,
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue.
And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes;
The yellow wallflower, stained with iron brown,
The lavish stock that scents the garden round.
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed
Anemonies, auriculas, enriched
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves,
And full ranunculus of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip race, where beauty plays
Her idle freaks, from family diffused
To family, as flies the father dust,
The varied colours run ; and while they break
On the charmed eye, the exulting florist marks,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting, from the bud,
First born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes—
Nor hyacinths of purest virgin white,
Low bent and blushing inwards—nor jonquils
Of potent fragrance—nor Narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled mountain hanging still—
Nor broad carnations, nor gay spotted pinks,

Nor showered from every bush the damask rose.

Thornsen,

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic]

to drink poison, he swallowed it without sustaining injury. There is a further legend, that while St. Edward the Confessor was dedicating a church to St. John, a pilgrim demanded alms of him in the saint's name, whereupon the king gave him the ring from his finger. This pilgrim was St. John, who discovered himself to two English pilgrims in the Holy Land, bidding them Shear the ring to the king in his name, and require him to make ready to depart this world; after this they went to sleep. On awakening they found themselves among flocks of sheep and shepherds in a strange }. which turned out to be Barham owns in Kent, wherefore they thanked God and St. John for their good speed, and coming to St. Edward on Christmasday, delivered to him the ring with the warning; these the king received in a suitable manner, “And on the vigyll of the Epyphanye, next after, he dyed and departed holyly out of this worlde, and is buryed in the Abbey of Westmester by London, where as is yet unto this daye that same rynge.” Again it is said, that Isidore affirms of St. John, that he transformed branches of trees into fine gold, and sea-gravel into precious stones, with other like incredibilities."

ChRoNology.

1677. Samuel Bochart, a learned French Protestant divine and orientalist, died at Caen, aged 68 years.

1802. Died at Guernsey, aged 40, of water in his chest, serjeant Samuel M’Donald, of the 93d regiment, commonly known by the name of Big Sam. He served during the American war with his countrymen, the Sutherland Fencibles, and afterwards as fugelman in the Royals, till 1791, when he was taken into the

household of his royal highness the prince of Wales, as lodge-porter at Carltonhouse, and remained in that capacity till 1793; he was then appointed a serjeant in the late Sutherland Fencibles, and continued to act in that corps, and the 93d regiment, formed from it, till his death.— He was six feet ten inches in height, four feet round the chest, and well proportioned. He continued active till his 35th year, when he began to decline. His strength was prodigious, but he was never known to exert it improperly. Several considerable offers were made to engage him as a public exhibition, all of which he refused, and always disliked being stared at.

SPRING Blight.

The greatest misfortune that the cultivator of a garden apprehends at this season, is blight, of which, according to Dr. Forster, there are three kinds. “The first occurs in the early spring, about the time of the blossoming of the peach, and is nothing more than a dry frosty wind, usually from the north or north-east, and principally affects the blossoms, causing them to fall off prematurely. The two other kinds of blight occur in this month, affecting principally the apple and pear trees, and sometimes the corn. One of these consists in the appearance of an immense multitude of aphides, a kind of small insect of a brown, or black, or green colour, attacking the leaves of plants, and entirely incrusting the young stems. These pests are always found to make their appearance after a north-east wind, and it has been supposed by many that they are actually conveyed hither by the wind. Thomson, too, positively ascribes them to the north wind:—

For oftengendered by the hazy north,
Myriads on myriads, insect armies warp
Keen in the poisoned breeze; and wasteful eat,
Through buds and bark, into the blackened core

Their eager way.

“In our opinion, an east wind more often brings blights. Many circumstances, indeed, favour the opinion that blights are animalculae; as the suddenness with which they appear, being generally in the course of a single night, and those trees that are sheltered from the wind being uninfected : indeed, it

* Golden Legend,

frequently happens that a single branch that chances to be screened, will escape unhurt, while the rest of the tree is quite covered with these minute destroyers. A third reason may be derived from the inactivity of these insects: they generally remain almost immovable on the branch or leaf where they are first seen, and are, for the most part, unprovided with wings: yet the places where they are commonly

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

lifetime. William of Malmesbury relates, that the inhabitants of Beverley acknowledge the sanctity of their patron, because the fiercest bulls being dragged with the strongest ropes, by the lustiest men, into his church-yard, lose their fury, become gentle as lambs, and being left to their freedom, innocently sport themselves, instead of goring and trampling with their horns and feet all that come near them.” It is related by another author that in 1312, on the feast of St. Bernard, wonderful oil miraculously issued from his sepulchre, which was a sovereign remedy against many diseases. Also, that king Ethelstan laid his knife on the saint's altar, in pledge, that if by his interference he obtained a victory over the Scots, he would - enrich his church; by the merits of the saint he conquered, and desiring to have a sign as a perpetual testimony of prerogative over the Scots, he struck his sword into a rock near Dunbar-castle, which for many ages retained a mark of a yard in length from the blow, and this was referred to by king Edward I, before pope Boniface, in proof of his right over Scotland. Ethelstan, in consequence of his victory, granted right of sanctuary to the church of Beverley, with other privileges.t

seAsoNABLE Story.

If the north-east wind blow on this day, or on any other day in May, or in any other summer month, the nervous reader will experience the uneasiness which is sure to afflict him from that baleful quarter. The sun may shine, and the birds may sing, and flowers may give forth their odouis, yet pernicious influences prevail against the natural harmony and spirit of the season. To one, therefore, so afflicted, the story of Daniel O'Rourke, from the “Fairy Legends,” may be diverting.

DANIEL o’Rourke.

People may have heard of the renowned adventures of Daniel O'Rourke, but how few are there who know that the cause of all his perils, above and below, was neither more nor less than his having slept under the walls of the Phooka's tower. I knew the man well: he lived at the bottom of Hungry Hill, just at the right hand side of the road as you go towards Bantry. An old man was he at the time that he told me the story, with gray hair, and a red nose; and it was on the 25th of June, 1813, that I heard it from his own lips, as he sat smoking his pipe under the old poplar tree, on as fine an evening as ever shone from the sky. I was going to visit the caves in Dursey Island, having spent the morning at Glengariff. “I am often ared to tell it, sir,” said he, “so that this is not the first time. The master's son, you see, had come from beyond foreign parts in France and Spain, as young gentlemen used to go, before Buonaparte or any such was heard of; and sure enough there was a dinner given to all the people on the ground, gentle and simple, high and low, rich and poor. The ould gentlemen were the gentlemen, after all, saving your honour’s presence. They'd swear at a body a little, to be sure, and, may be, give one a cut of a whip now and then, but we were no losers by it in the end;—and they were so easy and civil, and kept such rattling houses, and thousands of welcomes;– and there was no grinding for rent, and few agents; and there was hardly a tenant on the estate that did not taste of his landlord's bounty often and often in the year;-but now it's another thing: no matter for that, sir, for I’d better be telling you my story. “Well, we had every thing of the best, and plenty of it; and we ate, and we drank, and we danced, and the young master by the same token danced with Peggy Barry, from the Bohereen—alovely young couple they were, though they are both low enough now. To make a long story short, I got, as a body may say, the same thing as tipsy almost, for I can't remember ever at all, no ways, how it was that I left the place: only I did leave it, that's certain. Well, I thought, for all that, in myself. I’d just step to Molly Cronahan's, the fairy woman, to speak a word about the bracket heifer what was bewitched; and so as I was crossing the stepping-stones of the ford of Ballyashenogh, and was looking up at the stars and blessing myself—for why? it was Lady-day—I missed my foot, and souse I fell into the water. “Death alive!’ thought I, ‘I’ll be drowned now?" However, I began swimming, swimming, swimming away for the dear

* Percm. Calendar. * Rutler.

* Cressy. | Porter's Flowers.

life, till at last I got ashore, somehow or other, but never the one of me can tell how, upon a dissolute island. “I wandered and wandered about there, without knowing where I wandered, until at last I got into a big bog. The moon was shining as bright as day, or your fair lady's eyes, sir, (with your pardon for mentioning her,) and I looked east and west, and north and south, and every way, and nothing did I see but bog, bog, bog;-I could never find out how I got into it; and my heart grew cold with fear, for sure and certain I was that it would be my berrin place. So I sat down upon a stone which, as good luck would i. it, was close by me, and I began to scratch my head, and sing the Ullagone—when all of a sudden the moon grew black, and I looked up, and saw something for all the world as if it was moving down between me and it, and I could not tell what it was. Down it came with a pounce, and looked at me full in the face; and what was it but an eagle 2 as fine a one as ever flew from the kingdom of Kerry. So he looked at me in the face, and says he to me, ‘Daniel O’Rourke,’ says he, “how do you do?’ ‘Very well, I thank you, sir,’ says I: “I hope you're well;' wondering out of my senses all the time how an eagle came to speak like a Christian. “What brings you here, Dan” says he. “Nothing at all, sir,’ says I; “only I wish I was safe home again.” “Is it out of the island you want to go, Dan?” says he. ‘‘Tis, sir,’ says I; so I up and told him how I had taken a drop too much, and fell into the water; how I swam to the island; and how I got into the bog, and did not know my way out of it. “Dan,” says he, after a minute's thought, ‘though it was very improper for you to get drunk on Lady-day, yet as you are a decent,

sober man, who 'tends mass well, and

never flings stones at me or mine, nor cries out after us in the fields—my life for yours,’ says he ; ‘so get up on my back, and grip me well for fear you'd fall off, and I'll fly you out of the bog.” “I am afraid,” says I, ‘your honour's making game of me; for who ever heard of riding a horseback on an eagle before?’ ‘’Pon the honour of a gentleman,’ says he, putting his right foot on his breast, “I am quite in earnest; and so now either take my offer or starve in the bog—besides, I see that your weight is sinking the stone.’

“It was true enough as he said, for I

« IndietroContinua »