« AnteriorContinuar »
But ere he reached the garret door,
Poor Bluebottle was dead !
She thought for such a gentleman,
That he was wondrous kind;
Like a tiger of the wood,
And drank of her heart's blood !
Now asier this fell deed was done,
A little season's space,
Was riding from the chase:
The sun was sinking down,
Into the dusty town. Says he, “I'll ask a lodging
At the first house I come to;"
Came suddenly in view:
Down came the churl with glee.
I ask your courtesy;
My friends are far behind." “ You may need them all,” said Web-Spinner,
“It runneth in my mind." “ A Baron am I,” says Bluebottle;
“ From a foreign land I come.” “ I thought as much," said Web-Spinner,
“ Fools never stay at home!" Says the Baron, “ Churl, what meaneth this?
I defy ye, villain base !" And he wished the while in his inmost heart
He was safely from the place.
Now all this while, a Magistrate,
Who lived the bouse hard by,
Through a window privily:
With a loud and thundering sound,
And level it with tho ground;
Had looked for such a day,
And took himself away:
'T was said that under ground, He died a miserable death,
But his body ne'er was found. They pulled his house down stick and stone,
· For a caitiff vile as he,” Said they, “ within our quiet town
Shall not a dweller be!"
Web-Spinner ran and locked the door,
And a loud laugh, laughed he;
And they wrestled furiously.
A swordsman of renown;
And kept the Baron down:
From a pocket at his side,
His hands and feet he tied ;
And said in savage jest,
So, Baron, take your rest!"
Arranging dish and platter,
As if nothing were the matter. At length he seized on Bluebottle,
That strong and burly man,
To hoist him up began :
He went with heavy tread;
The actions of the Spider above described, were told me by a very intelligent man, who permitted the web to remain for a considerable time in his counting-house window, that he might have the means of closely observing its occupier's way of life. It was, as described above, under the semblance of a dwell ing-house, seven stories high, and in each story was a small circular hole by which the spider ascended and descended at pleasure; serving, in fact, all the purposes of a stair-case. His usual abode was in his seventh, or garret story, where he sat in a sullen sort of patience waiting for his prey. The small downywinged moth was soon taken; she was weak, and made but little resistance; and was always eaten on the spot. Ilis behaviour towards a heavy and noisy blueboitle fly was exactly as related. The fly seemed bold and insolent; and hurled himself, as if in defiance, against the abode of his enemy. The spider descended in great haste, and stood before him, when an angry parley seemed to take place. The blue botile appeared highly affronted, and plunged about like a wild horse; but his efforts were generally unsurcessful; the spider, watching an unguarded moment, darted behind him, and falling upon him with all his force, drew a fine thread from his side, with which he so completely entangled his prostrate victim, that it was impossible he could move leg or wing. The spider then set about making preparations for the feast, which, for reasons best known to himself, he chose to enjoy in his upper story. The staircase, which would admit his body, was too strait for that of his victim; he accordingly set about enlarging it, with a delicate pair of shears with which his head was furnished, and then with great adroitness he hoisted the almost exhausted Bluebottle to the top of his dwelling, where he fell upon him with every token of satisfaction.
SPRING, Bright Creature, lift thy voice and sing, Like the glad birds, for this is Spring! Look up the skies above are bright, And darkly blue as deep midnight; And piled-up, silvery clouds lie there, Like radiant slumberers of the air: And hark! from every bush and tree Rings forth the wild-wood melody. The Blackbird and the Thrush sing out; And small birds warble round about, As if they were berest of reason, In the great gladness of the season ; And though the hedge be leafless yet, Still many a little nest is set 'Mong the twisted boughs so cunningly, Where early eggs lie, two or three. And hark! those Rooks the trees among, Feeding their never-silent young; A pleasant din it is, that calls The fancy to ancestral halls. But hush! from out that warm wood's side, I hear a voice that ringeth wide – 0, joyful Spring's sweet minstrel, hail! It is indeed the Nightingale, Loud singing in the morning clear, As poets ever love to hear! Look now abroad. All creatures see, How they are filled with life and glee: This little Bee among the flowers Hath laboured since the morning hours, Making the pleasant air astir, And with its murmuring, pleasanter. See there! the wavering Butterfly, With starting motion fluttering by. From leaf to leaf, from spray to spray, A thing whose life is holiday ; The little Rabbits too, are out, And Leverets skipping all about; And Squirrels, peeping from their trees, A-start at every vagrant breeze; For life, in the glad days of Spring, Doth gladden each created thing. Now green is every bank, and full Of flowers and leaves for all to pull. The Ficary, in each sunny place, Doth shine out like a merry face; The strong green Mercury, and the dear Fresh Violets of the early year, Peering their broad green leaves all through, In odorous thousands, white and blue; And the broad Dandelion's blaze, Bright as the sun of summer's days; And in the woods beneath the green Of budding trees are brightly seen, The nodding Blue-bell's graceful flowers, The Hyacinth of this land of ours — As fair as any flower that blows; And here the pale Stellaria grows, Like Una with her gentle grace, Shining out in a shady place;
And here, on open slopes we see The lightly-set Anemone; Here too the spotted Arum green, A hooded mystery, is seen; And in the turfy meadows shine, White Saxifrage and Cardamine; And acres of the Crocus make A lustre like a purple lake. And overhead how nobly towers The Chestnut, with its waxen flowers, And broad green leaves, which all expand, Like to a giant's open hand. Beside you blooms the Hawthorn tree; And yonder the wild Cherry-tree, The fairy-lady of the wood; And there the Sycamore's bursting bud, The Spanish-chestnut, and the Lime, Those trees of flowery summer-time. Look up, the leaves are fresh and green, And every branching vein is seen Through their almost transparent sheen! Spirit of Beauty, thou dost fling Such grace o'er each created thing, That even a little leaf may stir The heart to be a worshipper; And joy, which in the soul has birth From these bright creatures of the earth, Good is it thou shouldst have thy way, Thou art as much of God as they! Now let us to the garden go, And dig and delve, and plant and sow; The fresh dark mould is rich and sweet, And each flower-plot is trim and neat; And Daffodil and Primrose see, And many-hued Anemone, As full of flower as they can be; And here the Hyacinth sweetly pale, Recalling some old Grecian tale; And here the mild Narcissus too; And every flower of every hue, Which the glad scason sends, is here; The Almond, while its branch is sere, With myriad blossoms beautified, As pink as the sea-shell's inside ; And, under the warm cottage-eaves, Among its clustered, budding leaves, Shines out the Pear-tree's flowers of snow, As white as any flowers that grow: And budding is the southern Vine, And Apricot and Nectarine; And Plum-trees in the garden warm, And Damsons round the cottage-farm, Like snow-showers shed upon the trees, And like them shaken by the breeze. Dear ones! 't is now the time, that ye Sit down with zeal to botany; And names which were so hard and tough, Are easy now, and clear enough; For from the morn to evening's hours Your bright instructers are sweet flowers
* As in the Nottingham Meadows.
And there in the wastes of the silent sky,
With the silent earth below,
The lonely Eagle go.
Then softly, softly will we tread
By inland streams, to see Where the Pelican of the silent North,
Sits there all silently.
Go out through pleasant field and lane,
But if thou love the Southern Seas,
And pleasant summer weather, Come, let us mount this gallant ship, And sail away together.
THE SOUTHERN SEAS.
THE NORTHERN SEAS.
Up! up! let us a voyage take ;
Why sit we here at ease ? Find us a vessel tight and snug,
Bound for the Northern Seas. I long to see the Northern-Lights,
With their rushing splendours fly ; Like living things with flaming wings,
Wide o'er the wondrous sky. I long to see those ice-bergs vast,
With heads all crowned with snow; Whose green roots sleep in the awful deep,
Two hundred fathoms low.
Of their terrific fall;
Like lonely voices call.
The sleepy Seals a-ground,
Sail with a dreary sound.
That the hairy Mammoth hide;
The mighty creature died.
Through the still heaven's deep blue, We'll traverse the azure waves, the herds
Of the dread Sea-horse to view. We'li pass the shores of solemn pine,
Where Wolves and Black Bears prowl; And away to the rocky isles of mist,
To rouse the northern fowl.
With a rushing, whistling din;
All but the fat Penguin.
Yes! let us mount this gallant ship;
Spread canvas to the wind
Leave Care and Cold behind.
Our flying vessel's track;
Threaten,—we turn not back.
In his Almighty hand,
Tread many a far-off strand.
From day to day, the sky
More glowing, bright, and high.
In its azure depths to mark
Over the ocean dark.
So stately, large, and sheen,
In the crystal ether keen.
Strange fiery billows play,
Cuts wondrously its way.
How warm the breezes float!
From off our basking boat.
What a marvellous sight is here!
Down in the deep so clear.
A glad and glorious band,
of a coral fairy-land. See! on the violet sands beneath,
How the gorgeous shells do glide! O Sea! old Sea, who yet knows half Of thy wonders and thy pride ?
I had a Garden when a child ;
I kept it all in order; 'Twas full of flowers as it could be,
And London-pride was its border.
The singing birds built in it;
The Woodlark and the Linnet.
A labyrinth-walk so mazy ; In the middle there grew a yellow Rose;
At each end a Michaelmas Daisy. I had a tree of Southern Wood,
And two of bright Mezereon ; A Peony root, a snow-white Phlox,
And a bunch of red Valerian;
A Lilac tree, and a Guelder-Rose ;
A Broom, and a Tiger-lily; And I walked a dozen miles to find
The true wild Daffodilly.
Look how the sea-plants trembling float
All like a Mermaid's locks, Waving in thread of ruby red
Over those nether rocks. Heaving and sinking, soft and fair,
Here hyacinth — there green —
And starry flowers between.
For monstrous shapes are here,
And horny eyeballs drear.
Speckled and warted back,
Ramp through this deep-sea track.
To glance o'er the breezy brine,
The Flying-fish leap and shine.
"Tis land !" the sailors cry.
Betwixt the sea and sky. ^ "Tis land ! 'tis land !" they cry once more
And now comes breathing on
Such as the sea hath none.
The purple hills !-the trees !
What happy scenes are these !
From mountain clefs,--what vales,
That high and hotly sails.
Unheedful of the glow,
Are passing to and fro.
Cast anchor in this cove.-
A little we must rove.
We'll sit beneath the Vine ;
*And pluck the native Pine. The Bread-fruit and Cassada-root,
And many a glowing berry, Shall be our feast, for here at least,
Why should we not be merry ? For 'tis a Southern Paradise,
All gladsome,-plain, and shore,
But shall be here no more.
Its seas, and isles, and men,
To England back again!
I had Columbines, both pink and blue,
And Thalictrum like a feather;
Before a change of weather.
And Pinks all Pinks exceeding;
And plenty of Love-lies-bleeding.
I'd Jacob's Ladder, Aaron's Rod,
And the Peacock-Gentianella; I had Asters, more than I can tell,
And Lupins blue and yellow.
I set a grain of Indian Corn,
One day in an idle humour, And the grain spring up six feet or more,
My glory for a summer.
I found far off in the pleasant fields,
More flowers than I can mention; I found the English Asphodel,
And the spring and autumn Gentian.
I found the Orchis, fly and bee,
And the Cistus of the mountain ; And the Money-wort, and the Adder's-tengne,
Beside an old wood fountain.
I found within another wood,
The rare Pyrola blowing: For wherever there was a curious flower
I was sure to find it growing. I set them in my garden beds,
Those beds I loved so dearly, Where I labonred after set of sun,
And in summer mornings early.
When he sends his roaring forth,
O my pleasant garden-plot!
A shrubbery was beside it, And an old and mossy Apple-tree,
With a Woodbine wreathed to hide it. There was a bower in my garden-plot,
A Spiræa grew before it; Behind it was a Laburnum tree,
And a wild Hop clambered o'er it. Ofttimes I sat within my bower,
Like a king in all his glory; Ofttimes I read, and read for hours,
Some pleasant, wondrous story. I read of Gardens in old times,
Old, stately Gardens, kingly, Where people walked in gorgeous crowds,
Or for silent musing, singly. I raised up visions in my brain,
The noblest and the fairest;
And thought it far the rarest.
Like a miser 'mid his treasure ;
Was a world of endless pleasure.
Lion, thou art girt with might!
In the rugged copse, in the ferny brake, The cunning red Fox his den doth make ; In the ancient lurf of the baron's land, Where the gnarled oaks of the forest stand; In the widow's garden lone and bare; On the hills which the poor man tills with care: There ages ago he made his den, And there he abideth in spite of men. "T is a dismal place, for all the floor With the bones of his prey is covered o'er; "T is darksome and lone, you can hardly trace The furthest nook of the dreary place; And there he skulks, like a creature of ill, And comes out when midnight is dark and still; When the dismal Owl, with his staring eye, Sends forth from the ruin his screeching cry, And the Bat on his black leathern wings goes by ; Then out comes the Fox with his thievish mind, Looking this way and that way, before and behind; Then running along, thinking but of the theft Of the one little Hen the poor Widow has left; And he boldly and carelessly passes her shed, For he knows very well she is sleeping in bed, And that she has no Dog to give notice of foes, So he seizes his prey and home leisurely goes. And at times he steals down to the depth of the wood And seizes the Partridge in midst of her brood; And the little grey Rabbit, and young timid Hare; And the tall, stately Pheasant, so gentle and fair; And he buries them deep in some secret spot, Where he knows man or hound can discover them not But vengeance comes down on the thief at length, For they hunt him out of his place of strength, And man and the Fox are at desperate strife, And the creature runs, and runs for his life : And following close is the snuffing hound, And hills and hollows they compass round, Till at length he is seized, a caitiff stout, And the wild dogs bark, and the hunters shout, And they cut off his tail and wave it on high, Saying, “ Here fell the Fox so thievish and sly!" Thus may all oppressors of poor men die! Then again mounts each hunter, and all ride away And have a good dinner to end the day; And they drink the red wine, and merrily sing, “Death to the Fox, and long life to the King!"
Power the Mightiest, gave the Lion