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trumpet, and the former with its mass of straggling tubes and threads, all pink, and gold, and crimson,
That is spreading seen,
Like a robe of glory,
Hard by forests hoary.
There, too, was the Wayfaring-tree, its young shoots covered with a cottonny down, which in time would turn to berries, red as coral; and there the delicate-tinted Bramble blossoms, and the Wild Briar, or Eglantine, which put out its rose-tinged cups to the sun, and sweetened the air around. And all the way along, beneath the hedge, the bank was covered with flowers of every hue, from the deep purple of the Wild Thyme to the bright blue of the little Speedwell, often, though erroneously, called the Forgetme-not; from the dusky red of the freckled Foxglove, to the bright pink of the Herb Robert, and faint lilac of the Scabious; and from these again, to the pure white of the bladder Campion; and there, too, was the Cistus, or Rock Rose, and many other plants with yellow blossoms, which I must not stop to mention, as the child could not, to examine them all, for his guide now led him through a gap in a hedge, and across a large field, where the grass, but recently cut, yet lay in ridges, or swathes, as it is called, except where the busy Hay-makers were at work, turning and tossing it in the sun to dry.
And through the fields they went, and passed out at a gate which opened upon the dusty road, on the opposite
side of which flowed the river, or stream, as it might more properly be called, that the child had seen from the hill. tup, as it wound its glittering length through the peaceful vale. There grew the tall Bullrush with its brown velvety head, that makes such excellent arrows; and there, on its broad glossy leaves floated the pride of Summer, the stately Water Lily, like a pure ivory cup of the most graceful form and delicate workmanship, and the Yellow Iris, or Flag. Sedge, waved its bright yellow petals, and the ScorpionGrass, the true Forget-me-not, with many another aquatic, or water plant, flourished and blossomed there, and afforded shelter to the lovely Dragon.flies; and the sleek Water Rats, and the speckled Trout, and various other living creatures, that fiew, and swam, and crept, and glided, above and beneath and amid these.
Truly it was a fair scene; and as the child stood looking upon it, lost in admiration, out of his nest, on the opposite bank, came a Kingfisher, and spreading forth to the sun his burnished wings, darted and skimmed along the water ; and then the little Sedge Warbler began to flit here and there amid the reeds, and to sing his sweet song of welcome to the glad season; and the Pied Longtail, that had come down to bathe in the clear stream, and to see if he could pick up an insect or two for his dinner, threw up the sparkling water, and was as full of tricks and antics as a bird well could be; so the child lingered, and lingered, and forgot all about the Cuckoo in the wood. And presently there was heard, lower down the stream, such a barking of dogs, and bleating of sheep, and a shouting and laughing of men and boys, that he must needs go and see what was the
metter; and he went to the spot from whence the sounds proceeded, and there, seated on the bank, beheld one of the most animated of the scenes which SUMMER affords, that is the washing of the sheep, preparatory to shearing. There, in the clear water, which flowed and rippled away over pebbles as bright and glistening as though they were made of pure gold, and all that is most beautiful and precious, stood the sturdy shepherds, who caught the frightened and struggling sheep, as they were driven and pushed from off the bank by the yelping dogs, and holloaing men, and laughing boys and girls, who from many a cottage round about had come forth into the bright sunshine to see and to share in the fun; they plunged and rolled them over and over, until their fleeces became as white, almost, as the driven snow, and then they were released, and went, shaking themselves and bleating piteously, to the opposite bank, where the breeze and the sunshine soon dried them again ; and no doubt they felt all the more comfortable for their washing, as children always do; although, like the poor silly sheep, they frequently struggle and make a great noise while this process, so necessary to health, is going on. But we must now leave the stream, and follow the child in his pleasant wanderings with SUMMER :
Many a day, many a day,
Morning saw them on the way,
And the child was very happy, gathering the flowers and chasing the butterflies in the fields, hunting for Strawberries and Wild Cherries in the wood, and watching the Squirrel as it leapt nimbly from tree to tree. Many a nest filled with clamorous young ones, queer-looking little things, with wide gaping bills, and starting eyes, and downy bodies, that seemed to have neither shape nor colour, did he peep cautiously into, fearing to alarm the parent birds, for he had been taught, as all children should be, that they should not wantonly scate, much less hurt, any living creature ; and the Fawn and the Leveret were his. playfellows, and the sweet Wood Linnet was his singing master, in which task the Nightingale would now and then, though but rarely, assist.
And the child was, as I said before, happy; aye, happy as the day was long; and had scarcely, or not at all, noticed that many of the sweet flowers began to fade and die away, and that a brown and golden hue was spreading over the corn fields, and the meadows, in place of the rich vivid green, which had so refreshed the eye to look upon; and every now and then there went through the forest a low melancholy sound, as of mourning and wailing for some. thing lost, or departing; at which sound the tall trees, as it were, shivered through all their stately frames, and as they did so, from every bough there fell a few shrivelled yellow leaves, that dropped upon the dry paths, and rustled beneath the feet of the traveller, or were caught by the breeze, and carried away, no one knew whither. The child, I say, had not noticed all these indications that his beautiful companion was about to leave him; imagine, therefore, his grief and surprise, when after a day on which there had been a terrific storm, when the rain came rushing down in torrents, and the thunder pealed, and the lightning flashed awfully around, he having been lulled into a calm sleep, by the soft tones of her encouraging voice, awoke in the morning, and found himself alone.