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to indicate that the bright part of the nebula once ex, tended over a larger space, and that it is gradually receding towards the stars that form the trapezium. Similar changes are suspected in other nebulæ : in some instances smaller ones are formed by the decomposition of larger. These mysterious luminous masses of matter may be termed the laboratories of the universe, in which are contained the principles of future systems of suns, planets, satellites, and other tributary bodies;—these elements, not in awful stagnation, but through the whole one Spirit incessantly operating with sublime, unerring energy,-a process going on which illimitably extends the fields of conjecture, as it slowly urges its awful way through this boundless range-these mighty movements and vast operations. How stupendous the consideration! Suns so immeasurably distant, that the light of those which are supposed to be contiguous, is three years in traversing the space that separates them; yet these connected with each other, and innumerable others, on the simple principle of gravitation,--these stars, so numerous, that in the small compass of half a degree a greater number has been discovered by the telescope than the naked eye can discern in the whole vault of heaven; and yet there is ground for the belief, that the whole of these millions and millions of stars would melt into a soft tint of light, if supposed to be contemplated from some remote point of space. The galaxy (to which belong several stars of the first, second, and other magnitudes), the cluster in which our sun is placed, if viewed from the bright nebula in the hand of Perseus, would probably appear as an assemblage of telescopic stars, ranged behind each other in boundless perspective. Were we to pursue our flight to that in the girdle of Andromeda, it would diminish to a milky nebulosity; and, still further to extend our ideal flight, we should indistinctly perceive it as dimly revealed,-its light being nearly blended with the surrounding gloom, like those uncertain apparitions which are only occasionally seen in the field of view of a powerful telescope, when the air is refined and serene. How grand is the consideration of the plenitude of space! -no awful void, no dread vacancy, no dreary solitude: incessant streams of light, from myriads of systems, intersecting each other in every direction, and bearing to the boundless realms of creation evidences of creative power, benevolent design, and universal dominion.
On the EvenING STAR. (From the Poems of Miss Mary Anne Browne, written in her fifteenth year.)
Star of the West! thy dewy beam
Looks o'er our mingled joy and woe-
Thou deigo'st to light the world below;
And the last glance of day is gone,
Thou shin'st, and sparklest there alone,
To ligbt alike the prince and slave-
The sailor, wandering o'er the wave,
As if to guard while we are sleeping,
And gaze where thou thy watch art keeping.
And guid'st it through its heavenly flight,
Through brilliant day or gloomy night;
I saw a falling leaf soon strew
The soil to which it owed its birth :
But never reach the quiet earth.
Such is ambition's foiled endeavour;
Watts's Poetical Album. The infinitely various and ever-changing hues of the leaves of trees in this and the succeeding month, melting into every soft gradation of tint and shade, offer a pleasing spectacle to the eye of the admiring observer of Nature's varied beauties, and give to the philosopher and moralist, a subject for the deepest reflection.
Now to the aụtumn breeze's bugle sound,
Indication of Decay in Trees.-M. Baudrillac has remarked the following signs as always indicative of decay in trees. When the top branches are withered, the decay of the central portion of the wood has commenced; but when the bark detaches itself from the wood, the progress of destruction has made great advances. When the bark becomes loaded with moss or lichens, it is also a proof that the tree is in an unhealthy condition; but which may, in some measure, be overcome, by detaching these parasitical fungi from the surface. But if the sap flows out freely from cracks in the bark, it is a sign of early destruction of the tree. These observations are worthy the attention of the horticulturist and others.
At the beginning of this month, or latter end of September, some summer birds of passage, of which the swallow is the first, take their departure for warmer regions. The time of their leaving this country varies in different seasons; it is sometimes protracted till the end of October or the beginning of November or December. A great diversity of opinion has existed respecting the torpidity and migration of this bird: it is an established fact, that, although the greater part of the swallows that visit England quit the country before the approach of winter, many remain and continue in a state of torpidity till the enlivening sun of April wakes them from their long sleep.-See T.T. for 1825, p. 259, and our last volume, p. 285.
The LAST SWALLOW.
Whilst the dull leaves with wailful winds are stirred?
Thy coming was in lovelier skies-thy wing,
Skyward the carolling lark no longer towers-
Blessed are they who have before thee fled!
The throstle, the red-wing, and the field-fare, which migrated in March, now return; and the ring-ouzel arrives from the Welsha and Scottish Alps to winter in more sheltered situations. About the middle of the month, the common martin disappears; and, shortly afterwards, the smallest kind of swallow, the sand-martin, and the stone-curlew, migrate. The Royston or hooded crow arrives from Scotland and the northern parts of England, being driven thence by the severity of the season. The woodcock returns, and is found on our eastern coasts.-A singular account of the wild-pigeon of America, by M. Audubon, may be seen in our last volume, pp. 300-304.
Various kinds of waterfowl make their appearance; and, about the middle of the month, wild geese quit the fens, and go to the rye and wheat lands to devour the young corn; frequently leaving a field as if it had been fed off by a flock of sheep. The awk or puffin visits, for the purpose of incubation, some of the