Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small]

The progress of vegetation is general and rapid in this month.

The winds no longer rage with boundless ire,
But, hushed in silence, to their caves retire ;
The clouds disperse, restoring, as they fly,
The unobstructed sun and azure sky.

Hayley's Ercilla. The sloe puts forth its elegant flowers; a host of others follow, among which may be named the ash, ground-ivy, and the box-tree. The wild and gardencherry, the plum, gooseberry and currant trees, the sycamore, the apricot, the peach, and the nectarine, are in flower. The blossoms of the apple and pear present to the eye a most agreeable spectacle, particularly in those counties which abound with orchards.

There is no lovelier scene in all the land!
Around me far a sweet enchantment lies,
Fed by the weeping of these April skies,

And touched by Fancy's great all-charming wand.' The beech, the larch, and the elm, are now in full leaf. The larch also exhibits its red tufts or flowers, which soon expand into cones, and the fir tribe show their cones also. Many lovely flowers are showered from the lap of April: among them may be named jonquil, anemoné, ranunculus, polyanthus, and the crown-imperial. The double-white, the yellow, and some others of the earlier tulips, are fully opened in this month; but the more illustrious varieties will not

[ocr errors]

P

blow for some weeks. Our favourite wall-flower must not be forgotten: it has received many a poetical tribute in our former volumes; we now add another flower to the wreath of its praises.

The rose and lily blossom fair,

But all upmeet for Sorrow's child;
They deck the bower and gay parterre,

As if for Mirth alone they smiled.
The cowslip nods upon the lea;

And, where wild wreaths the green lanes dress,
The woodbine blooms, but not for me,

For these are baunts of Happiness.
I will not seek the mossy bed,

Where violets court soft vernal showers,
For Quiet there reclines her bead,

And Innocence is gathering flowers.
The WALL-Flower only shall be mine;

Its simple faith is dear to me;
To roofless tower and prostrate shrine

It clings with patient constancy,
And, prodigal of love, blooms on,

Though all unseen its beauties die,
And, though for desert gales alone,

Breathes fragrance rich as Araby. .
Oh, there appears a generous scorn

Of all requital in its choice!
The thousand flowers that earth adorn,

In earth's exuberant stores rejoice.
It only asks the freshening dew,

Imparting all where naught is given-
Raised aboye earth, as if it drew

Its only nutriment from heaven..
O thou, whose love is all to me,

"Tis for thy sake I love the flower!
As truly it resembles thee,

As I the lone and ruined tower.
Thou know'st that in my desert halls

The pride of youth and hope is o'er-
That, sunk, defaced, my crumbling walls

Repose or shelter yield no more.
Yet on this dark and dreary pile

Tby love its fragrant wreaths has hung,
And all it asks is still to smile,

Bloom, fade, and die, where once it clung.

C. H. TOWNSEND.

The yellow star of Bethlehem in woods; the vernal squill among maritime rocks; and the wood-sorrel, are now in flower. This and the wood-anemoné have both white blossoms, and inhabit shady woods.

To the WOOD-ANEMONE.
Welcome! though cold the hour,

Anemone !
And shelterless the hazel be;
Yet Spring shall form the greener bower,
And sunshine bring, and warmer shower,

To foster thee.
Where hast thou been since last

The wantou air
Was roving through thy chambers fair?
Did elfin troop then close them fast,
And have the while, in revels past,

Pavilioned there?
Or hast thou been in quest

Of summer spot
To dwell upon, yet found it not?
Or here to strip thy beauteous vest,
And lay thee down to death-like rest,

Hath been thy lot?
Welcome! for drear the glade

Has been to me,
And all the flow'rets withered be
Young life had reared in sun and shade,
They spring no more, though they do fade

And die like thee.
Yet though this be the doom

Of earthly flower,
And earthly hopes may feel its power,
Still hopes are left that mock the tomb,
And nurture here the strength to bloom

In heavenly bower.

Spirit and Manners of the Age.

The way-side violet is still seen, and loved for its own and for remembrance sake; and the hedge-banks are now studded with primroses, the bright yellow of whose flowers, beautifully contrasted with the surrounding green of the budding trees, offers a most

agreeable spectacle to the lover of Spring scenery. Other flowers which adorn our fields at this time are the checquered daffodil, the lady-smock, the harebell, and the cowslip.

A very extraordinary cowslip was plucked in the garden of Mr. Sheriff Hornby, in Stockton-lane, near York, in 1828. The stem, which had the appearance of six stalks grown into one, supported a head of flowers comprising one hundred and fourteen pips. The stem itself was above eight inches in length. Several other cowslips of unusual size were also growing from the same root.

To our amiable correspondent from Alveston, we are indebted for the following eloquent and pleasing reflections:

The Influence of a Flower. There are many brief incidents and apparently trivial events in our lives, that at the moment of occurrence are almost annoticed; but wbich, from some association, make an impression on the memory at many periods of after-life, or may be remembered through existence with undiminished freshness; when others, of the most seeming interest at the time, fade from our recollections, or become abraded from the mind by a constant collision with the passing transactions of our days. It is in early life, chiefly, perhaps entirely, that deep and indelible sensations of regard and affection are made; and impressions in those days are often recorded upon an unsullied tablet, that admits in afterhours of no erasement or superscription. How deep are our school-boy reminiscences ! and the kindnesses received, and the friendships formed, at such periods, commonly constitute more enduring characters on our minds than all the after-occurrences, half-heartless transactions, perhaps, of later hours; when darker passions arise-ambition, avarice, self-interest, and cold reality, banish for ever the elysian ideas of youthful romance. There is a flower, the common cowslip of the fields, which, by reason of associations, for thirty years of my life I never saw without emotion; and though I might sanctify this feeling, I confess my belief that it has not contributed to the general happiness of my life : from reverence at first, it gradually became a disease, induced a morbid indifference, and undermined and destroyed the healthful sources of enjoyment.

Towards the close of a most lovely spring day-and such a lovely one, to my fancy, has never beamed from the heavens since I carelessly plucked a cowslip from a copse side, and gave

it to Constance. 'Twas on that beautiful evening when she told me all her heart! as, seated on a mossy bank, she dissected, with downcast eyes, every part of the flower ; chives, pointal, petal, all were displayed; though I am sure she never even thought of the class. My destiny through life I considered as fixed from that hour. Shortly afterwards I was called, by the death of a relative, to a distant part of England: upon my return, Constance was no more.

The army was not my original destination; but my mind began to be enfeebled by hourly musing upon one subject alone, without cessation or available termination; yet reason enough remained to convince me, that, without change and excitement, it would degenerate into fatuity.

The preparation and voyage to India, new companions, and ever-changing scenes, hushed my feelings, and produced a calm that might be called a state of blessedness-a condition in which the ignoble and inferior ingredients of our nature were subdued by the divinity of mind. Years rolled on in almost constant service ; nor do I remember many of the events of that time, even with interest or regret. In one advance of the army to which I was attached, we had some skirmishing with the irregulars of our foe; the pursuit was rapid, and I fell behind my detachment, wounded and weary, in ascending a ghaut, resting in the jungle, with languid eyes fixed on the ground, without any particular feeling but that of fatigue, and the smarting of my shoulder. A cowslip caught my sight ! my blood rushed to my heart-and, shuddering, I started on my feet, felt no fatigue, knew of no wound, and joined my party. I had not seen this flower for ten years ! but it probably saved my life,-an European officer, wounded and alone, might have tempted the avarice of some of the numerous and savage followers of an Indian army. In the cooler and calmer hours of reflection since, I have often thought that this appearance was a mere phantom, an illusionthe offspring of weakness: I saw it but for a moment, and too imperfectly to be assured of reality; and whatever I believed at the time seems now to have been a painting on the mind rather than an object of vision; but how that image started up, I conjecture not—the effect was immediate and preservative. This flower was again seen in Spain: I had the command of an advance party, and in one of the recesses of the Pyrenees, of the romantic, beautiful Pyrenees, upon a secluded bank, surrounded by a shrubbery so lovely as to be noticed by many-was a cowslip. It was now nearly twenty years since I had seen it in Mysore: I did not start; but a cold and melancholy chill came over me; yet I might possibly have gazed long on this humble little flower, and recalled many dormant thoughts, had not a sense of duty (for we momentarily expected an attack) summoned my attentions to the realities of life: so, drawing the back of my hand across my eyes, I cheered my party 'with, For

« ZurückWeiter »