Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

His faithful wife, sole partner of his cares,
Bears on her breast the sleeping babe ; behind,
With steps unequal, trips her infant train;
Thrice happy pair, in love and labour join'd !

All day they ply their task; with mutual chaty
Beguiling each the sultry, tedious hours.
Around them falls in rows the sever'd corn,
Or the shocks rise in regular array.

But when high noon invites to short repast,
Beneath the shade of sheltering thorn they sit,
Divide the simple meal, and drain the cask :
The swinging cradle lulls the whimpering babe
Meantime; while growling round, if at the tread
Of hasty passenger alarm’d, as of their store
Protective, stalks the cur with bristling back,
To guard the scanty scrip and russet frock.

ON THE DARK, STILL, DRY, WARM WEATHER

OCCASIONALLY HAPPENING IN THE WINTER WONTHS.

TH' imprison'd winds slumber within their caves,
Fast bound: the fickle vane, emblem of change,
Wavers no more, long settling to a point.

All Nature nodding seems composed : thick steams,
From land, from flood up-drawn, dimming the day,
“ Like a dark ceiling stand :" slow through the air
Gossamer floats, or, stretch'd from blade to blade,
The wavy net-work whitens all the field.

Push'd by the weightier atmosphere, up springs The ponderous mercury, from scale to scale Mounting, amidst the Torricellian tube.*

While high in air, and poised upon his wings, Unseen, the soft, enamour'd woodlark runs

* The barometer.

Through all his maze of melody ; the brake,
Loud with the blackbird's bolder note, resounda

Sooth'd by the genial warmth, the cawing rook
Anticipates the spring, selects her mate,
Haunts her tall nest-trees, and with sedulous care
Repairs her wicker eyrie, tempest-torn.

The ploughman inly smiles to see upturn
His mellow glebe, best pledge of future crop :
With glee the gardener eyes his smoking beds ;
E'en pining sickness feels a short relief.

The happy schoolboy brings transported forth
His long-forgotten scourge, and giddy gig :
O’er the white paths he whirls the rolling hoop,
Or triumphs in the dusty fields of taw.

Not so the museful nge :-abroad he walks
Contemplative, if haply he may find
What cause controls the tempest's rage, or whence,
Amidst the savage season, Winter smiles.

For days, for weeks, prevails the placid calm. At length some drops prelude a change : the sun With ray refracted, bursts the parting gloom, When all the chequer'd sky is one bright glare.

Mutters the wind at eve; th' horizon round With angry aspect scowls: down rush the showers, And float the deluged paths, and miry fields.

THE

NATURAL HISTORY OF SELBORNE,

IX A SERIES OF LETTERS ADDRESSED TO

THOMAS PENNANT, Esq.

AND

THE HOY. DAINES BARRINGTON.

« ZurückWeiter »