Imágenes de páginas

where it generally grows ; it is mixed with the better sorts and used for the table.

The devil's bit, scabious, is seen in moist pastures and sometimes in cornfields; its corolla is divided into four equal segments, its root is fleshy abrupt. “The great part of the root,” says Gerarde, “ seemeth to be bitten away ; old fantastic charmers report that the devil did bite it for envy, because it is an herb that hath so many good vertues and is so beneficiale to mankinde.” Its flowers are deep purplish blue, sometimes milk-white, and the root is said to furnish an effectual cure in cutaneous diseases.

The maiden pink (Diarithers Deltoides) is still discovered on hills. The stems are matted together on the ground, but when they flower they rise five or six inches ; it has pale rose-coloured flowers, with a circle of deep coloured spots at the mouth.

The five-leaved heath and sea-tree-mallow, already described, may be occasionally met with; one, in thickets or dry pastures, and the other on the sea-shore ; and a stray branch of honey-suckle, in a more sheltered situation than its neighbours that have already faded.

Our list of autumnals is short, but we are scarcely perceptible of their diminution, adorned as the decaying foliage is with a thousand hues to charm the eye.

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


Torn from thy tree-ah, there thou liest !

Thy conscious leaves indignant close, Weaker and weaker, till thou diest,

Dull, fading rose.

What, can no art thy strength revive !

No tender care thy charms disclose ? No ! for how can'st thou ere survive

Dull, fading rose ?

Once to have left that parent tree,

Foster'd by which thy beauties rose, Which yielded ever health to thee,

Dull, fading rose.

Thus when my soul rebellious strays

From Him who all its weakness knows, Like thee it sickens, droops, decays,

Dull, fading rose.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


We have short time to stay as you,

We have as short a spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay,

As you, or any thing;
We die,
As your hours do; and dry

HERRICK, 1640.

The progress of decay has been rapid during the past month; and with few exceptions the leaves, whose varied tints gave a peculiarly soft beauty to the landscape in October, lie in a bed beneath our feet ; yet the botanist is not left without some little interesting memorials of the departing year.

The ivy-leaved toad-flax (Linaria Cymbalaria) has a procumbent stem, leaves alternate, stalked ; flowers pale purple, with a yellow palate, and short-pointed spurs ; it grows on old walls, and gives a picturesque appearance to many an unsightly ruin, which it speedily mantles, after once taking root. It belongs to the same tribe as the large yellow toad-flax which blossomed in June, and although admitted amongst British plants, is supposed not to be a native of the country.

The periwinkle, which bloomed in May, again puts forth its flowers in sheltered pastures in the county of Sussex. The cheerful softness of the flowers, which are blue, delicately shaded, and the rich green of the leaves, accords well with the situations in which it is found. This plant is an universal favourite throughout Europe. Amongst the lower orders in France it is called Violette des Sourciers, because it is said to be one of the plants that assisted the sorcerers in their pretended magical operations ; they also called it Pucellage, virgin's flower. The Italians call it Centocchio, hundred eyes, or Fior di Morto, death's flower, because it is used in making garlands for the dead.

The Irish rose, (Rosa Hibernia) with its pink flowers, still adds beauty to the landscape in the sister island.

The annual meadow-grass (Poa Annua) has outlived the other members of its family ; the general character of the grasses is too well known to need any description here. In England they grow from a few inches to a foot, or a foot and a half high, but in tropical countries some of them attain the height of twenty feet, and the sugar cane and bamboo, forty.

Besides these in mild November we occasionally see a straggling blossom of Herb Robert, Celandine and some other hardy ones.

The paucity of flowers in the hedges may be said to be, in measure, compensated for, by the maturity of many berries which afford sustenance to the numerous feathered songsters of the grove during the inclemency of winter.

Bare are the sloe and white-thorn there,
Of leaves the eglantine is bare,
But still, 'mid destitution, glows
The bright red berry of the rose;
Still glows, on leafless stem forlorn,
With red less bright, the berried thorn ;
Still, with dark violet-coloured fruit,
And deep green leaves and straggling shoot,
The fence the prickly bramble robes ;
And privet, hung with purple globes,
His foliage stains with changeful hue,
Of tawny bright and glossy blue.

E. J. S.


LATELY reading Mr. Hamilton's delightful tract on

Thankfulness,' I was forcibly reminded of a friend in whom this virtue is eminently great ; the commonest occurrences of life fill her heart with grateful joy. The sweet perfume wafted on the summer breeze from a nosegay in the hand of a passing stranger, lifts her heart in thankfulness to the great Creator with this reflection that although He had not created them for her, He had permitted her to see their beauty, and taste their fragrance. Beholding in the grounds of a rich neighbour a beautiful flower flourishing in an unheeded spot, she looked upon her own pretty garden below and wished it there; then suddenly recollecting the giver of all good, she exclaimed, 'I thank thee, oh Father, it flourishes where I may see it, 'tis all thou hast given, 'tis all I ask.'

Fruit, that bounteous gift of summer, she views with the same thankful spirit, and whether the produce of her own trees, purchased or presented, she receives as immediately from the hands of the Creator, believing, as she has told me, that it was created for her. The same spirit of thankfulness pervades her whole walk, she never relieves the distressed without thanking God for permitting her to distribute his bounties. One day, (nor is this a solitary instance) being told by a poor woman who had just tasted of her liberality, that God

« AnteriorContinuar »