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egg in silence, and then filling the shell with salt, when the sweetheart is sure to make his visit, in some shape or other, before morning. On the same night, too, the stout-hearted watch the church-porch ; they go in the evening and lay in the church-porch a branch of a tree, or a flower, large enough to be readily found in the dark, and then return home to wait the approach of midnight. They are to proceed to the church again, before the clock strikes twelve, and to remain in it till it has struck; as many as choose accompany the maid who took the flower, and is to fetch it again, as far as the church gate, and there wait till their adventuring companion returns, who, if she is to be married within the year, is to see a marriage-procession pass by her, with a bride in her own likeness hanging on the arm of her future husband; as many bridesmen and maidens as appear to follow them so many months is the maid to wait before her marriage. If she is to die unmarried, then the procession is to be a funeral consisting of a coffin covered with a white sheet, borne on the shoulders of shadows seen without heads.

Upon a sabbath-day it fell,
Twice holy was the sabbath-bell
That called the folks to evening prayer;
The city streets were clean and fair
From wholesome drench of April rains ;
And on the western window-panes
The chilly sunset faintly told
Of unmatured green vallies cold;
Of the green thorny bloomless hedge,
With rivers new with spring-tides edge;
Of primroses by sheltered rills,
And daisies on the aguish hills :
Twice holy was the sabbath-bell,
The silent streets were crowded well
With staid and pious companies,
Warm from their fire-side orat’ries ;
And moving, with demurest air,
To even-song and vesper-prayer,
Each archéd porch, and entry low,
Was filled with patient folk and slow;
With whispers hush, and shuffling feet,
While played the organ loud and sweet.

KEATS.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]

MAY.

Now the bright Morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from his green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May! that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire,
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,

Hill and dale both boast thy blessing !
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

MILTON. .

own.

With us,

Max has ever been the favourite month for poetical description, but the praises originally lavished upon it were uttered in climates more southern than our

In such it really unites all the soft beauties of spring with the radiance of summer, and possesses warmth enough to cheer and invigorate, without overpowering. especially since we have reckoned by the new style, great part of the month is yet too chill for a perfect enjoyment of the charms of nature, and frequent injury is sustained by the flowers and young fruits during its course, from blights and blasting winds. May-day, though still observed as a rural festival

, has often little pleasure to bestow except that arising from the name; while the scanty garlands composed in honour of the day, rather display the immature infancy than the luxuriant youth of the year. In a very elegant poem, entitled, “The Tears of Old May Day,” this newer rival is thus described :

Nor wonder, man, that Nature's bashful face,

And opening charms her rude embraces fear :
Is she not sprung of April's wayward race,

The sickly daughter of th' unripen'd year,

With showers and sunshine in her fickle eyes,

With hollow smiles proclaiming treach’rous peace;
With blushes, harbouring in their thin disguise

The blast that riots on the Spring's increase ?

The latter part of the month, however, on the whole, is even in this country sufficiently profuse of beauties. The earth is covered with the freshest green of the grass* and

Many a poet has sung the praises of flowers : here is a sweet little song to the grass, by an American poet, which perhaps will not be out of place :

THE VOICE OF THE GRASS.
Here I come creeping, creeping everywhere;

By the dusty roadside,
On the sunny hill-side,
Close by the noisy brook,

In every shady nook,
I come creeping, creeping everywhere.

Here I come creeping, smiling everywhere;

All round the open door,
Where sit the aged poor,
Here where the children play

In the bright and merry May,
I come creeping, creeping everywhere.

Here I come creeping, creeping everywhere ;

In the noisy city street,
My pleasant face you'll meet,
Cheering the sick at heart,

Toiling his busy part,
Silently creeping, creeping everywhere.

Here I come creeping, creeping everywhere ;

You cannot see me coming,
Nor hear my low sweet humming;
For in the starry night,

And the glad morning light,
I come quietly creeping everywhere.

Here I come creeping, creeping everywhere :

More welcome than the flowers,
In summer's pleasant hours;
The gentle cow is glad,

And the merry bird not sad
To see me creeping, creeping everywhere.

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