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The Naturalist's Diary


For MARCH 1829.
Now March with varying face appears,

And sweeps the heav'ns with blust'ring gale ;
His sunny smiles, and cloudy tears,

And frost and sleet by turns prevail.
Thus constant Providence divine

In ev'ry change new love displays;
And all in one great end combine,

The creature's good-the Maker's praise. The cutting blasts of March, so trying to the invalid, are equally injurious to the progress of vegetation; and the sweet flowers' are compelled to await the smiles and tears of gentle April to encourage their growth, and to bring them to perfection. Some more bold than the rest, who dare to brave the warrior front of Boreas, often perish in his chilly embrace. The winds of March, however, are highly beneficial in drying up the superabundant moisture of the earth; and although they may retard the delights and the beauties of Spring, these are rendered more valuable to us, because they are less fugacious. --A curious prognostication of wind is observed in the Shetland Isles. Mr. Scott, professor at the Sandhurst College, states that he has witnessed the following effect :-It has been the custom to place drinking-glasses in an inverted position upon a shelf in a cupboard on the ground floor of Belmont House. These glasses frequently produce spontaneous sounds similar to those which would be occasioned either by tapping them lightly with a penknife, or by raising them a little and letting them fall upon the shelf. These sounds always indicated wind, and whenever they occurred, the boats and vessels were immediately placed in security. No indication was given of the quarter whence the wind would come, but the strength of the sound was always proportionate to that of the tempest. The latter came sooner or later, but generally several hours after the

sounds. Mr. Scott states, that there was no sensible motion either in the glasses, or their support, at the time when the sound was strongest, and he thinks that the cause of the phenomenon may be electricity.

About the 20th the vernal equinox takes place, and storms and high winds are common both by sea and land at this period. The following splendid lines are attributed to Barry Cornwall (Mr. Proctor), and first appeared in the Literary Gazette ; they have since been transplanted, by the hand of taste, to Mr. Watts's Poetical Album, and we will contribute to their immortality by registering them in our pages.


( Attributed to Barry Cornwall. )
The Sun went down in beauty; not a cloud
Darkened its radiance,-yet there might be seen
A few fantastic vapours scattered o'er
The face of the blue heavens ; some fair and slight
As the pure lawn that shields the maiden's breast,
Some shone like silver,--some did stream afar,
Faint and dispersed, like the Pale Horse's mane,
Which Death shall stride hereafter,--some were glittering
Like dolphin's scales, touched out with varying hues
Of beautiful light-outvying some the rose,
And some the violet, yellow, white, and blue,
Scarlet and purpling red. One small lone ship
Was seen with outstretched sails, keeping its way
In quiet o'er the deep; all nature seemed
Fond of tranquillity; the glassy sea
Scarce rippled-the halcyon slept upon the wave;
The winds were all at rest; and in the east
The crescent Moon—then seen imperféctly
Came onwards, with the vesper star, to see
A summer day's decline.

The Sun went down in beauty; but the eyes
Of ancient seamen trembled, when they saw
A small black ominous spot far in the distance:
It spread, and spread-larger and dark-and came
O'ershadowing the skies: the ocean rose;
The gathering waves grew large, and broke in hoarse
And hollow sounds; the mighty winds awoke,
And screamed and whistled through the cordage; birds,

That seemed to have no home, flocked there in terror, And sat with quivering plumage on the mast. Flashes were seen, and distant sounds were beardPresages of a storm.


The Stormy Peterel. The Sun went down in beauty; but the skies Were wildly changed. It was a dreadful nightNo Moon was seen, in all the heavens, to aid Or cheer the lone and sea-beat mariner: Planet nor guiding star broke througb the gloom; But the blue lightnings glared along the waters, As if the Fiend had fired bis torch to light Some wretches to their graves. The tempest winds Raving came next, and in deep hollow sounds-Like those the spirits of the dead do use When they would speak their evil propheciesMuttered of death to come; then came the thunder, Deepening and crashing as 'twould rend the world; Or, as the Deity passed aloft in anger, And spoke to man-despair! The ship was tossed, And now stood poised upon the curling billows, And now midst deep and watery chasms—that yawned As'twere in hunger-sank. Behind there came Mountains of moving water, with a rush And sound of gathering power, that did appal The heart to look on: terrible cries were heard ; Sounds of despair-some like a mother's anguishSome of intemperate, dark, and dissolute joy~ Music and horrid mirth—but únallied To joy; and madness might be beard amidst The pauses of the storm; and when the glare Was strong, rude savage men were seen to dance

In frantic exultation on the deck,
Though all was hopeless. Hark! the ship bas struck,
And the forked lightning seeks the arsenal!
'Tis fired-and mirth and madness are no more!
Midst columned smoke, deep red, the fragments fly
In fierce confusion-splinters and scorched limbs,
And burning masts, and showers of gold,–torn from
The beart that hugged it even till death. Thus doth
Sicilian Etna in her angry moods,
Or Hecla 'mid her wilderness of snows,

up its burning entrails, with a sound
Louder than e'er the Titans uttered from
Their subterranean caves, when Jove enchained
Them, daring and rebellious. The black skies,
Shocked at the excess of light, returned the sound
In frightful echoes, as if an alarm
Had spread through all the elements :- then came
A horrid silence-deep-unnatural-like
The quiet of the grave !


As a contrast to this noble picture, our readers may peruse the following description of

A Calm.
(From Robert Montgomery's' Omnipresence of the Deity.']

But not alone when racking Nature groans
Beneath the terror of Thy tempest tones;
Not in the storm the thunder, or the sea,
Alone, we feel Thy dread ubiquity!-
In calmer scenes, and the unruffled hour,
Our stilled hearts own Thine omnipresent power.

List! now the cradled winds have hushed their 'roar,
And infant waves curl pouting to the shore,
While drenched earth seems to wake up fresh and clear,
Like hope just risen from the gloom of fear,
And the bright dew-bead on the bramble lies,
Like liquid rapture upon beauty's eyes ;
How heavenly 'tis to take the pensive range,
And mark 'tween storm and calm the lovely change!

First comes the Sun, unveiling half his face,
Like a coy virgin, with reluctant grace,
Wbile dark clouds, skirted with his slanting ray,
Roll, one by one, in azure depths away,-
Till pearly shapes, like molten billows, lie
Along the tinted bosom of the sky:
Next, breezes swell forth with harmonious charm,
Panting and wild, like children of the storm!
Now sipping flowers, now making blossoms shake,
Or weaving ripples on the grass-green lake;
And thus the tempest dies—and bright, and still,
The rainbow drops upon the distant hill!
And now, wbile bloom and breeze their charm unite,
And all is glowing with a rich delight,
God! who can tread upon the breathing ground,

Nor feel Thee present, where Thy smiles abound! Each succeeding week pours forth fresh beauties from the lap of Flora, and furnishes the botanist with new sources of delight. Golden tufts of crocuses, expanding their corollas to receive the genial warmth of the sun, interspersed with pink and blue hepaticas, and the garden daisy, with its little tufts of crimson velvet, united with the blossoms of last month, greatly ornament our flower borders

The alpine wall-cress is still in bloom; the mezereon puts forth its leaves; and the primrose peeps from the retreating snows of winter. Daffodils, yellow auriculas, coltsfoot, and hounds-tongue, are in blossom about the middle of the month. The American cowslip, with its beautiful rose-coloured blossoms, growing in thick branches in the form of a cone, flowers in March. The charming violet, whose attractions have been the theme of many a poetic effusion, makes her appearance this month, but not in full perfection, for the chill winds of March are not very congenial to the expansion of so delicate a blossom.

The Rose in its flush of crimson pride,

For the lovely and gay,
And the Lily white, let the youthful bride

On her brow display;

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