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Part IX.- Summer.
with SUMMER, and how much he learnt to
First of all his guide led him out to
the top of a green hill, which rose gently from the wood side, and gave him an extensive view over the surrounding country; beautiful it was to see the landscape that lay spread out like a map beneath him; to mark the tree tops gilded with the sun, just then rising above the distant hills that bounded the prospect: to see the long shadows cast over the green meadows, and fields of waving
Corn and Clover in full blossom, here pink, there white, and here again a mingling of the two colours ; to mark the golden tint of the Charlock, changing and shifting as the breeze swept over it; and the Bean-field, which seemed enveloped in a silvery cloud, from which the most delicious fragrance arose; and the rich purple of the blossoming Peas, and the deep crimson of the Poppies, which grew at places so thickly amid the corn, as to make it appear in the distance, as though the ground was occupied by them alone. And away, away, through the very midst of the meadows and the fields, and around the old farm-houses, with their stables and huge barns, and Cherry and Apple orchards, and by the little cottages, here standing singly, there in rows and groups, with their gay Flower gardens, and little patches of Potatoes and other vegetables. And in and out where the tall Elms hid from view all but the pointed spire of the village church, and the shrubbery, or plantation, of young Firs and Larches, that screened the dwellings of the country gentlemen; and along the park pailings of the squire, or baronet, over which could be seen the dappled Deer bounding across the velvet turf, or reclining beneath the stately Oaks, and other trees of large growth; and the sparkling river went gliding, as the poet says,
“ Winding at its own sweet will,” running free and uncontrolled by man; for, you know, a river cannot have a will of its own, as a living creature can. Well, away it went, just as if it was bent upon taking a pleasure excursion through the beautiful pastoral scenery, as grazing and cultivated lands of a calm and peaceful character are generally called :-away, here hidden by inter
vening trees, or high hedges, or the green sloping banks, between which it flowed so peacefully; here bright in sunshine, there dark in shade; now seen glittering and sparkling in the rays of the early sun; now suddenly lost; and then, as suddenly flashing out again, in some quite unex. pected place. Oh! it was beautiful; and the child clapped his little hands, and shouted again with joy, while a Cock from the farm-yard close at hand, seemingly aroused by the sound of his voice, began crowing lustily; he was answered by another farther down the valley, and that one again by another, whose note was in turn taken up and repeated by others yet more remote, so fast, that they seemed like mere echoes, as, indeed, perhaps, they were; then tuck-tucktuck," went the Hens : and “ quack-quack,” went the Ducks; and “ cackle-cackle,” went the Geese; and “gobble-gobble,” went the Turkey; and the Peacock flew screaming to the top of a waggon-lodge, where he stood spreading his broad tail, full of eyes, that seemed formed of jewels, in the sun; and the neigh of the Horses ; and the low of the Cows; the squeak of the Pigs; the bleat of the Sheep; the bark of the Dogs; and the voices of Men and of Boys just arisen, and going forth to their daily labour, were heard sounding far and near; and first from one chimney, and then another, the smoke began to arise in snowy wreaths towards the skies, which had gradually changed from a misty grey, tinged in the east with a rich rose colour, that became, as the sun got higher, like widely-spread flame, to a clear transparent blue, through which the child thought he could see, shining afar off, those realms of everlasting rest and joy, of which he had been told, and of which he had read in the Bible; here and there a fleecy cloud, yet tinged with red and primrose-coloured light, lay like a beautiful island in a sea of glass, and he could not help fancying that these must be the resting places of those good people who were journeying to the homes of the blessed. And then the songs of the innumerable Larks, which had sprung up one by one, and were now straining their little throats, as if striving to see which could sing the loudest. He likened their voices to heaven-bound pilgrims, blessing and praising God for his goodness and mercy: it seemed to him that the poet was indeed right, when he said
"Hark, hark, the lark at heaven's gate sings !" and he remembered what he had been taught to repeat about the Lark, by an American poet, which commenced :“ What is this, mother ?
The lark, my child !
Ever, my child ! be thy morn's first lays,
Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.' And not the Lark alone, but a hundred other birds were now hailing the approach of the fresh SUMMER morn, though but few of them could keep so unwearied a strain of melody through the sultry day, and even until the twilight shadows steal over the landscape; and the Owl begins to hoot out her welcome to the coming night.
To be continued.
T was nearly 380 years after the first
Saxons came here with their two pirate chiefs, Hengist and Horsa, that England began to have only one king. There were still some other princes, who bore that title, but they had so little power,
that they could hardly be called kings ; so that a brave prince, named Egbert, who conquered the last kingdom of the Heptarchy, is usually called the first king of England. The civil wars were thus for a time ended; but
1 it seemed as if the English were never to be long at peace, for they now had some terrible enemies to contend with, who kept the country in constant alarm. These were the Danes, who came from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and were almost the same people as the Saxons; for they spoke the same language, followed the same customs, and lived by piracy, as the Saxons did in former times.
I have not room to tell you of half the mischief they did in England. Sometimes they would land suddenly from