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With this may be contrasted a verse
“ 'thout pistol or dagger, a of sir Walter Scott's Mary, in “The Made a desperate dash down the Falls of Pirate :"
Niagara," “O were there an island,
is good; but it is nothing to “ Duncan Though ever so wild,
Gray," sung by half a dozen tenor voices Where woman could smile, and
on the Table Rock. No man be beguiled
I mean, when I have leisure, to conToo tempting a snare
tinue these reminiscences of Scottish To poor mortals were given,
song, and as I at this time must have And the hope would fix there,
taxed the patience, and tried the politeThat should anchor on heaven."
ness of my numerous Irish and English This is beguiling on - both sides ; but leave Ramsay, Burns, Tannahill, and
readers, I will, in some future number, the latter stanzas finely express an idea Ferguson—for Chaucer and Shakspeare, fit for an oriental paradise.
Goldsmith and Moore. There is another kind of ballads which,
Tannahill has some pieces, scarce exthough akin to those I have named, are
celled by any of our Scottish poets-he in many points essentially different :
has also a virtue which endears him to and the first of this class,
me beyond even Robert Burns. He does “Duncan Gray came here to woo,"
not often laud in song the drinking of
ardent liquors. If, as a printer, I were when sung in chorus, would be almost to publish an American edition of Burns, enough to cause the venerable age of I think I would leave his songs in praise eighty-eight to shake a foot all over Scot- of Highland whisky, out. They have land. A merry party, of which I was done much harm in his native land; and one, once tried “Duncan," on the Table
to spread them here, would be like firing Rock at Niagara Falls; and when we
a match. came to that line, where the poor neg. lected lover “ Spak o' loupin ower a linn,'
END OF MAY I thought we should have all died with This month may close with a delightful laughing, the scene was so in unison sonnet, from one of the best books put with the stanza. Moore's two lovers, forth in recent years for daily use and who
Now have young April and the blue eyed May
Vanished awhile, and lo! the glorious June
(While nature ripens in his burning noon,) Comes like a young inheritor; and gay, Altho' his parent months have passed away;
But his green crown shall wither, and the tune
That ushered in his birth be silent soon,
And in the days to come we live, and feel
Away and, like a disappointment, die ?
For Joy, dim child of Hope and Memory,
Literary Pocket Book.
from every walk and steep,
The “ Mirror of the Months,” the it receives in the autumn, as the best pleasantest of “the year-books," except means of at once compassing its present « The Months” of Mr. Leigh Hunt, tells fruit, and making it bear more; as its us that with June, -"Summer is come said prototypes in animated nature are come, but not to stay; at least, not at the obliged to have their brains cudgelled, commencement of this month: and how before any good can be got from them. should it, unless we expect that the seasons will be kind enough to conform to the devices of man, and suffer themselves These appearances appertain exclusively to be called by what name and at what to the spring. Let us now (however relacperiod he pleases ? · He must die and tantly) take a final leave of that lovely and leave them a legacy (instead of they him) love-making season, and at once step forbefore there will be any show of justice ward into the glowing presence of sumin this. Till then the beginning of June contenting ourselves, however, to will continue to be the latter end of May, touch the hem of her rich garments, and by rights; as it was according to the old not attempting to look into her heart, till style. And, among a thousand changes, she lays that open to us herself next month: in what one has the old style been imó for whatever schoolboys calendar-makers proved upon by the new ? Assuredly may say to the contrary, Midsummer not in that of substituting the utile for the never happens in England till July. dulce, in any eyes but those of almanac To saunter, at mid June, beneath the makers. Let all lovers of spring, there- shade of some old forest, situated in the fore, be fully persuaded that, for the first neighbourhood of a great town, so that fortnight in June, they are living in May. paths are worn through it, and you can We are to bear in mind that all shall thus make your way with ease in any direcbe gaining instead of losing, by the im- tion, gives one the idea of being transpertinence of any breath, but that offerred, by some strange magic, from the heaven, attempting to force spring into surface of the earth to the bottom of the summer, even in name alone.”
sea! (I say it gives one this idea; for I It seems fitting thus to introduce the cannot answer for more, in matters of so following passages, and invite the reader arbitrary a nature as the association of to proceed with the author, and take a ideas.) Over head, and round about, you bird's eye view of the season.
hear the sighing, the whispering, or the roaring (as the wind pleases) of thou
sand billows; and looking upwards, you Spring may now be considered as em see the light of heaven transmitted faintly, ployed in completing her toilet, and, for as if through a mass of green waters. the first weeks of this month, putting on
Hither and thither, as you move along, those last finishing touches which an ac- strange forms flit swiftly about you, which complished beauty never trusts to any may, for any thing you can see or hear to hand but her own. In the woods and the contrary, be exclusive natives of the groves also, she is still clothing some of new world in which your fancy chooses her noblest and proudest attendants with to find itself : they may be fishes, if that their new annual attire. The oak until pleases ; for they are as mute as such, now has been nearly bare; and, of what- and glide through the liquid element as ever age, has been looking old all the swiftly. Now and then, indeed, one of winter and spring, on
account of its larger growth, and less lubricated movecrumpled branches and wrinkled rind. ments, lumbers up from beside your path, Now, of whatever age, it looks young, and cluttering noisily away to a little dise in virtue of its new green, lighter than tance, may chance to scare for a moment all the rest of the grove. Now, also, the your submarine reverie.
Your palate stately walnut (standing singly or in pairs too may perhaps here step in, and try to in the fore-court of ancient manor-houses, persuade you that the cause of interrupor in the home corner of the pretty parka tion was not a fish but a pheasant. But like paddock at the back of some modern in fact, if your fancy is one of those which Italian villa, whose white dome it saw are disposed to “listen to reason," it will rise beneath it the other day, and mis not be able to lead you into spots of the takes for a mushroom,) puts forth its above kind without your gun in your smooth leaves slowly, as sage grave hand,-one report of which will put all
do their thoughts; and which fancies to fight in a moment, as well as over-caution reconciles one to the beating every thing else that has wings. To re
turn, therefore, to our walk,—what do all Begging pardon of the eglantine for these strange objects look like, that stand having permitted any thing—even her silently about us in the dim twilight, own likeness in the poet's looking-glasssome spiring straight up, and tapering as to turn our attention from her real self, they ascend, till they lose themselves in look with what infinite grace she scatters the green waters above-some shattered her sweet coronals here and there among and splintered, leaning against each other her bending branches; or hangs them, for support, or lying heavily on the floor half-concealed, among the heavy blogon which we walk-some half buried in soms of the woodbine that lifts itself so that floor, as if they had lain dead there boldly above her, after having first clung for ages, and become incorporate with it? to her for support ; or permits them to what do all these seem, but wrecks and peep out here and there close to the fragments of some mighty vessel, that ground, and almost hidden by the rank has sunk down here from above, and lain weeds below; or holds out a whole archweltering and wasting away, till these way of them, swaying backward and forare all that is left of it! Even the floor ward in the breeze, as if praying of the itself on which we stand, and the vegeta- passer's hand to pluck them. Let who tion it puts forth, are unlike those of any will praise the hawthorn-now it is no other portion of the earth's surface, and more! The wild rose is the queen of may well recall, by their strange appear. forest flowers, if it be only because she is ance in the half light, the fancies that as unlike a queen as the absence of every have come upon us when we have read thing courtly can make her. or dreamt of those gifted beings, who, The woodbine deserves to be held next like Ladurlad in Kehama, could walk on in favour during this month; though the floor of the sea, without waiting, as more on account of its intellectual than the visiters at watering-places are obliged its personal beauty. All the air is faint to do, for the tide to go out.
with its rich sweetness; and the delicate
breath of its lovely rival is lost in the Stepping forth into the open fields, luscious odours which it exhales. what a bright pageant of summer beauty These are the only scented wild flowers is spread out before us!—Everywhere that we shall now meet with in any proabout our feet flocks of wild-flowers fusion ; for though the violet may still be “Do paint the meadow with delight."
found by looking for, its breath has lost
much of its spring power. But, if we are We must not stay to pluck and particu- content with "mere beauty, this month is larize them; for most of them have al- perhaps more profuse of it than any other
, ready had their greeting—let us pass even in that department of nature which along beside this Hourishing hedge-row. we now examining-namely, the The first novelty of the season that greets fields and woods. us here is perhaps the sweetest, the fresh The woods and groves, and the single est, and fairest of all, and the only one forest trees that rise here and there from that could supply an adequate substitute out the bounding hedge-rows, are now in for the hawthorn bloom which it has su- full foliage; all
, however, presenting a perseded. Need the eglantine be named? somewhat sombre, because monotonous, the “sweet-leaved eglantine;" the “rain- hue, wanting all the tender newness of scented eglantine ;" eglantine-to which the spring, and all the rich variety of the the sun himself pays homage, by “count- autumn. And this is the more observaing his dewy rosary” on it every morning; ble, because the numerous plots of cultieglantine — which Chaucer, and even vated land, divided from each other by Shakspeare but hold—whatsoever the the hedge-rows, and looking, at this dispoets themselves may insinuate to the tance, like beds in a garden divided by contrary, to read poetry in the presence box, are nearly all still invested with the of nature is a kind of impiety: it is like same green mantle ; for the wheat, the reading the commentators on Shakspeare, oats, the barley, and even the early rye, and skipping the text; for you cannot at- though now in full flower, have not yet tend to both : to say nothing of nature's become tinged with their barvest hues. book being a vade mecum that can make They are all alike green; and the only “every man his own poet” for the time change that can be seen in their appearbeing; and there is, after all, no poetry ance is that caused by the different lights like that which we create for ourselves. into which each is thrown, as the wind
passes over them. The patches of purple of the 'grove are also beginning to be or of white clover that intervene here and silent; so that the jubilate that has been there, and are now in flower, offer striking chanting for the last month is now over. exceptions to the above, and at the same But the Stephenses, the Trees, the Patons, time load the air with their sweetness. and the Poveys, are still with us, under Nothing can be more rich and beautiful in the forms of the woodlark, the skylark, its effect on a distant prospect at this sea the blackcap, and the goldfinch. And son, than a great patch of purple clover the first-named of these, now that it no lying apparently motionless on a sunny longer fears the rivalry of the unrivalled, uplard, encompassed by a whole sea of not seldom, on warm nights, sings at ingreen corn, waving and shifting about it tervals all night long, poised at one spot at every breath that blows.
high up in the soft moonlit air.
We have still another pleasant little The hitherto full concert of the singing singer, the field cricket, whose clear shrill birds is now beginning to falter, and fall voice the warm weather has now matured short. We shall do well to make the most to its full strength, and who must not be of it now; for in two or three weeks it forgotten, though he has but one song to will almost entirely cease till the autumn. offer us all his life long, and that one conI mean that it will cease as a full concert; sisting but of one note; for it is a note of for we shall have single songsters all joy, and will not be heard without engenthrough the summer at intervals; and dering its like. You may hear him in those some of the sweetest and best. The wayside banks, where the sun falls hot, best of all, indeed, the nightingale, we shrilling out his loud cry into the still air have now lost. So that the youths and all day long, as he sits at the mouth of his maidens who now go in pairs to the cell; and if you chance to be passing by wood-side, on warm nights, to listen for the same spot at midnight, you may hear its song, (hoping they may not hear it,) it then too.* are well content to hear each other's voice instead.
We have still, however, some of the Yet by him who holds this “ Mirror," finest of the second class of songsters left; we must not be “charmed” from our refor the nightingale, like Catalani, is a pose, but take the advice of a poet, the class by itself. The mere chorus-singers contemporary and friend of Cowper.
Let us not borrow from the hours of rest,
commenting on his taste, cannot divine Ovid assigns the first of June to “Car- the connection between such a power and na," the goddess of the hinge ; who also the patronage of hinges.
“ False nopresided over the vital parts of man, espe- tions,” he says, “in every mode of relicially the liver and the heart. Massey, gion, lead men naturally into confusion."
* Mirror of the Months.