Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

THE SKY.LARK.

(Hogs:)
IRD of the wilderness,

Blithesome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!

Emblem of happiness,

Blest is thy dwelling-place-
O to abide in the desert with thee!

Wild is thy lay and loud,

Far in the downy cloud,
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.

Where, on thy dewy wing,

Where art thou journeying?
Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.

O'er fell and fountain sheen,

O'er moor and mountain green,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,

Over the cloudlet dim,

Over the rainbow's rim,
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!

Then, when the gloaming comes,

Low in the heather blooms
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!

Emblem of happiness,

Blest is thy dwelling-place-
O to abide in the desert with thee!

G

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

IRL” is a word of delightful sense. It suggests ideas of

lightness, elegance, and grace, joined to simplicity, innocence, and truth, all embodied in that class of human beings which make the nearest approach to the

angelic. The very sound of the word is appropriateit comès upon the ear and the heart like a flourish of fairy trumpets. The letters which compose it seem to be all dancing as they trip along. There is no slur or drag in this exquisite syllable; it is a kind of perpetual motion. How far, the same ideas may be suggested by

Hair of sunny

the corresponding words in other languages, I will not stop to inquire; it is enough for me that our word is suitable to the character of our girls-English girls, I mean—for the word has nothing to do with Scotland, where “lassie" has its own delicious sense and admirable appropriateness. The English "girl" is the being whom the word

” was meant to describe, and no being or thing could have a designation more descriptive.

Neck of lily, cheeks of rose, and eyes of heaven. Hair of auburn, whose tiny tendrils dance with the slightest motion. A face nearer round than oval, but irradiated by the unsetting sun of a kind nature. A figure, meek and graceful, wreathed in innocent muslin, and perpetually undulating and bending into lines of beauty. Such is the fair Saxon girl of Old England, as she grows in some sheltered nook of the merry land, unsmitched by the smoke and sophistications of cities, and little knowing of any other world than the little one which forms her home. It is the fortune of few eyes to behold this fair girl, for her parents prefer a life of retirement; but to the few who have once seen her, she is as the recollection of the Caaba is to the Mohammedan pilgrim-an idea to be cherished for ever. She chiefly holds intercourse with nature—with the more beautiful parts of it-for there is a sympathy in lovely things that makes them love one another. She dotes upon flowers-fair roses, sisters to herself, and rhododendrons that strive to match her in stature: nor is there even a little violet in the garden but every day exchanges with her kind looks, as if the dew-drop lurking in it were a mirror to her own smiling loveliness, diminishing the object, but not leaving a lincament unexpressed Out of these troops of floral friends she is ever and anon choosing some one more endeared than the rest, to wear for a while in her bosom; a preference which might make those which remained die sooner than that which was cropped. Her favourite seat is under a laburnum, which seems to be showering a new birth of beauty upon her head, There she sits in the quiet of nature, thinking thoughts as beautiful as flowers, with feelings as gentle as the gales which fan them. She knows no evil, and therefore she does none.

Untouched by earthly experiences, she is perfectly happyand the happy are good.

Affection remains in her as a treasure, hereafter to be brought into full use. As yet she only spends a small share of the interest of her heart's wealth upon the objects around

[graphic][ocr errors]

her: the principal will, on some future and timely day, be given to one worthy, I hope, to possess a thing so valuable. Meanwhile, she

a

loves as a daughter and a sister may do. Every morning and evening she comes to her parents with her pure and unharming kiss; nor, when some cheerful brother returns from college or from countinghouse to enliven home for a brief space, is the same salutation wanting to assure him of the continuance of her most sweet regards. Often, too, she is found intertwining her loveliness with that of her sisters— arm clasping waist, and neck crossing neck, and bosom pressed to bosom—till all seems one inextricable knot of beauty. No jealousy, no guile, no envy—no more than what possesses a bunch of lilies growing from the same stem. She has some spare fondness, moreover, for a variety of pets in the lower orders of creation. There are chickens which will leave the richest morsels at the sound of her voice, and little dogs which will give up yelping, even at the most provoking antagonists, if she only desires them. Her chief favourite,

. however, is a lamb, which follows her wherever she goes, a heavensent emblem of herself. To see her fondling this spotless creature on the green-innocence reposing upon innocence—you might suppose the golden age had returned, and that there was to be no more wickedness seen on earth.

Our “English girl” may be seen in various places. You meet her on a walk, and are charmed with her fresh complexion and blue modest eyes, as half seen under the averted bonnet. Then there are her neat shoes and white stockings, so pretty as compared with the hard outline of the booted foot, in which the ladies of other countries delight. There are also her gauzy frock, and its streaming sashes and ribbons, and her hair depending in massy ringlets adown her lovely neck. The whole figure breathes of the free and pure mind which animates it. At another time she is found in some pretty withdrawing-room, whose casements open upon flowery walks or green verandas. Her head is now invested only with the grace of nature-her flowing hair. Her countenance, instead of being flushed, as in the other case, by the open air, beams from the gentle toil of some domestic duty in which she has been assisting her mother.

« ZurückWeiter »