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

JANUARY
Now, musing o'er the changing scene,
Farmers behind the tavern-screen
Collect;--with elbow idly press'd
On hob, reclines the corner's guest,
Reading the news, to mark again
The bankrupt lists, or price of grain.
Puffing the while his red-lipt pipe,
He dreams o'er troubles nearly ripe;
Yet, winter's leisure to regale,
Hopes better times, and sips his ale.

Clare's Shepherd's Culen ..
В

Vol. I.-1

With an abundance of freshly accumu- antiquity, or a man's self. The most lated materials, and my power not less- bustling are not the busiest. The “ fool i' ened, for adventuring in the track pursued the forest” was not the melancholy Jaques : in the Every-Day Book, I find, gentle he bestowed the betrothed couples, rereader, since we discoursed in that work, commended them to pastime, and withthat the world, and all that is therein, have drew before the sports began. My prechanged—I know not how much, nor sent doings are not with the great busiwhether to the disadvantage of my present ness that bestirs the world, yet I calculate purpose. It is my intention, however, to on many who are actors in passing events persevere in my endeavours to complete a finding leisure to recreate with the coming popular and full record of the customs, pages, where will be found many things the seasons, and the ancient usages of our for use, several things worth thinking over, country.

various articles of much ainusement, Each new year has increased my early nothing that I have brought together likings, and my love for that quiet without before, and a prevailing feeling which is which research cannot be made either into well described in these verses —

POWER AND GENTLENESS.

I've thought, in gentle and ungentle hour,
Of many an act and giant shape of power ;
Of the old kings with high exacting looks,
Sceptred and globed ; of eagles on their rocks
With straining feet, and that fierce mouth and drear,
Answering the strain with downward drag austere ;
Of the rich-headed lion, whose huge frown,
All his great ture, gathering, seems to crown;
Then of cathedral, with its priestly height,
Seen from below at superstitious sight;
Of ghastly castle, that eternally
Holds its blind visage out to the lone sea;
And of all sunless subterranean deeps
The creature makes, who listens while he sleeps,
Avarice; and then of those old earthly cones
That stride, they say, over heroic bones ;
And those stone heaps Egyptian, whose small doors
Look like low dens under precipitous shores;
And him great Memnon, that long sitting by
In seeming idleness, with stony eye,
Sang at the morning's touch, like poetry;
And then of all the fierce and bitter fruit
Of the proud planting of a tyrannous foot ;-
Of bruised rights, and fourishing bad men ;
And virtue wasting heav'nwards from a den ;
Brute force and sury; and the devilish drouth
Of the fool cannon's ever-gaping mouth ;
And the bride widowing sword; and the harsh bray
The sneering trumpet sends across the fray ;
And all which lights the people-thinning star
That selfishness invokes,—the horsed war
Panting along with many a bloody mane.

I've thought of all this pride and all this pain,
And all the insolent plenitudes of power,
And I declare, by this most quiet hour,
Which holds, in different tasks, by the fire-light,
Me and my friends here this delightful night,
That Power itself has not one half the might
Of Gentleness. 'Tis want to all true wealth,
The uneasy madman's force to the wise health;
Blind downward beating, to the eyes that see ;
Noise to persuasion, doubt to certainty ;

The consciousness of strength in enemies,
Who must be strained upon, or else they rise ;
The battle to the moon, who all the while
High out of hearing passes with her smile;
The Tempest, trampling in his scanty run,
To the whole globe, that basks about the sun ;
Or as all shrieks and clangs, with which a sphere,
Undone and fired, could rake the midnight ear,
Compared with that vast dumbness nature keeps
Throughout her million starried deeps,
Most old, and mild, and awful, and unbroken,
Which tells a tale of peace, beyond whate'er was spoken.

0. Literary Pocket Book, 1819.

to

seems

to

by the

Certain Festival Days were believed, The snowdrop is almost proverbially formerly,to prognosticate the weather of the constant Candlemas Day, or the coming year; and, although the alteration Purification, February 2d. The mildness of the style, by removing each festival about or severity of the weather twelve days forwarder in the calendar, make but little difference in the time of created great confusion in the application its appearance; it comes up blossoming of these prognostications, yet many an through the snow, and appears to evolve ignorant husbandman and astrologer still its white and pendant flowers, as consults the “critical days.

most determined periodical laws. It is not however the particular day, The yellow spring crocus generally but the particular time of year, which flowers about St. Valentine's Day, Febjustifies an expectation of particular ruary 14th ; the white and blue species weather.

come rather later. There are weather prognostics derived The favorite daisy usually graces the from St. Vincent's Day, January 22d; St. meadows with its small yellow and white Paul's,January 25th; Candlemas, February blossoms about February 22d, the festival 2d; St. John, June 24th ; St. Swithin, day of St. Margaret of Cortona, whence July 15th ; and St. Simon and Jude, Oc- it is still called in France La Belle Martober 28th. But, to render the prognostics guerite, and in England Herb Margaret. concerning these or any other days valid The early daffodil blows about St. and consistent, a constant relation should David's Day, March 1st, and soon covers subsist between the phenomena of each in the fields with its pendant yellow cups. every year.

This is not the case, and The pilewort usually bespangles the therefore, if there were no other reason, the banks and shaded sides of fields with its fallacy of relying on the weather of any golden stars about St. Perpetua, March 7th. particular day is obvious.

About March 18th, the Day of St. EdIt is true that certain critical changes of ward, the magnificent crown imperial the weather usually take place, and cer

blows. tain well known plants begin to flower The cardamine first flowers about in abundance, about the time of certain March 25th, the festival of the Annunciafestival days; yet these marks of the year tion, commonly called Lady Day. Like are connected only, because the festivals the snowdrop it is regarded as the emblem were appointed to be celebrated at the of virgin purity, from its 'whiteness. weather-changing and plant-blowing sea- The Marygold is so called from a

fancied resemblance of the florets of its The fragrant coltsfoot in mild seasons disk to the rays of glory diffused by artists has the greatest quantity of its flowers at from the Virgin's head. Christmas.

The violets, heartseases, and primThe dead nettle is generally in flower roses, continual companions of spring, on St. Vincent's Day, January 22d. observe less regular periods, and blow

The winter hellebore usually flowers, much longer. in oild weather, about the conversion of About April 23d, St. George's Day, the St. Paul, January 25th.

blue bell, or field hyacinth, covers the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

fields and upland pastures with its bril- of plants. For, in the middle or dark liant blue-an emblem of the patron ages, the mind fancied numberless signs saint of England --which poets feigned to and emblems, which increase the list of braid the bluehaired Oceanides of our curious antiquities and popular superseagirt isle.

stitions in “ the short and simple annals The whitethorn used, in the old style, of the poor.” The persuasion which octo flower about St. Philip and St. James, cupied and deluded men's minds in the May 1st, and thence was called May; but past days are still familiarly interwoven now the blackthorn is hardly out by the with the tales and legends of infancy first of that month.

—that fairy time of life, when we wonAt the Invention of the Cross, May 3d, der at all we see, and our curiosity is the poetic Narcissus, as well as the primrose most gratined by that which is most marpeerless, are usually abundant in the vellous.* southern counties of England ; and about this season Flora begins to be so lavish of her beauties, that the holiday wardrobe of her more periodical handmaids is lost

THE MONTHS, amidst the dazzle of a thousand “ quaint and enamelled eyes,” which sparkle on

JANUARY. her gorgeous frontlet. Plants of surpass

Lo, my fair ! the morning lazy ing beauty are blowing every hour,

Peeps abroad from yonder hill; And on the green turf suck the honied showers,

Phoebus rises, red and hazy ; And purple all the ground with vernal powers.

Frost has stopp'd the village will.

FEBRUARY. The whole race of tulips come to perfection about the commemoration of St.

All around looks sad and dreary ; John the Evangelist ante portum, May 6th,

Fast the flaky snow descends :

Yet the red-breast chirrups cheerly, and the fields are yellow with the crow

While the mitten'd lass attends. foots. The brilliant light red monkey poppy, the glowing crimson peony, the

MARCH. purple of the German iris, and a thou

Rise the winds and rock the cottage, sand others are added daily. A different

Thaws the roof, and wets the path · tribe of plants begin to succeed, which

Dorcas cooks the savory pottage ; may be denominated solstitial.

Smokes the cake upon the hearth. The yellow flag is hoisted by the sides of ponds and ditches, about St. Nico

APRIL. mede, June 1st.

Sunshine intermits with ardor,
The pc; pies cast a red mantle over the Shades fy swiftly o'er the fields ;
fields and corn lands about St. Barnabas, Showers revive the drooping verdure,
June 11th.

Sweets the sunny upland yields.
The bright scarlet lychnis flowers about

MAY.
June 24th, and hence a poet calls this
plant Candelubrum ingens, lighted up for Pearly beams the eye of morning ;
St. John the Baptist : it is one of the

Child, forbear the deed unblest ! most regular tokens of the summer sol- Hawthorn every hedge adorning, stice.

Pluck the fowers—but spare the nest. The white lily expands its candied

June. bells about the festival of the Visitation,

Schoolboys, in the brook disporting, July 2d.

Spend the sultry hour of play : The roses of midsummer remain in

While the nymphs and swains are courting, perfection until they fade about the feast

Seated on the new-made hay. of St. Mary Magdalen, July 22d. Many similar coincidences might be

JULY. instituted between remarkable days in the Maids, with each a guardian lover, calendar and the host of summer and While the vivid lightning Bies, autumnal flowers down to the michaelmas Hastening to the nearest cover, daisy, and various ancient documents Clasp their hands before their eyes. might be adduced to show a former prevailing belief in the influence of almost every festival on the periodical blowing Dr. T. Forster's Perennial Calendar,

AUGUST,

Saxony, by Dr. Olbers. It is situated beSee the icapers, gleaners, dining,

tween the orbits of Mars and Jupiter; is Seated on the shady grass ;

nearly of the same magnitude with Ceres, O’er the gate the squire reclining,

but less ruddy in color; is surrounded Slily eyes each ruddy lass.

with a nebulosity of almost the same exSEPTEMBER.

tent; and revolves annually in about the

same period. But Pallas is remarkably Hark! a sound like distant thunder,

distinguished from Ceres, and the other Murderer, may thy malice fail !

primary planets, by the immense inclinaTorn from all they love asunder,

tion of its orbit; for while they revolve Widow'd birds around us wail.

around the sun in paths nearly circular, OCTOBER.

and rise only a few degrees above the Now Pomona pours her treasure,

plane of the ecliptic, Pallas ascends above Leaves autumnal strew the ground :

this plane at an angle of about thirty-five Plenty crowns the market measure,

degrees. From this eccentricity of PalWhile the mill runs briskly round. las being greater than that of Ceres, while

their mean distances are nearly equal, the NOVEMBER.

orbits of these two planets mutually inNow the giddy rites of Comus

tersect each other, which is a phenomenon Crown the hunter's dear delight ; without a parallel in the solar system. Ah! the year is Beeing from us :

Ceres was re-discovered by Dr. Olbers, Bleak the day, and drear the night

after she had been lost to M. Piazzi and DECEMBER.

other astronomers. She is of a ruddy Bring more wood, and set the glasses,

color, and appears, through a proper teJoin, my friends, our Christmas cheer, lescope, about the size of a star of the Come, a catch !-and kiss the lasses eighth magnitude, surrounded with a Christmas comes but once a year,

large dense atmosphere. She is situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter,

and revolves around the sun in four years, CHARACTERS IN ALMANACS.

seven months, and ten days; her mean

distance from it is nearly 260,000,000 of PLANETS.

miles. The eccentricity of her orbit is The Sun.

O The Earth. not great, but its inclination to the eclipD The Moon.

tic exceeds that of all the old planets.
Mercury.
2. Jupiter.

Juno. On the 1st of September, 1804, © Venus.

ħ Saturn.

Professor Harding at Libiensthall, near

Bremen, saw a star in Pisces, not inserted Discovered since 1780.

in any catalogue, which proved to be this u Uranus.

? Ceres. planet. # Juno. Vesta.

Vesta is of the fifth apparent magniConcerning the old planets there is suf- tude, of an intense, pure, white color, and ficient information : of those newly dis

without any visible atmosphere. To accovered a brief notice may be acceptable.

count for certain facts connected with the Uranus was called the Georgium Sidus discovery of Pallas, Ceres, and Juno, Dr. by its discoverer Dr. Herschell, and, in

Olbers imagined the existence of another compliment to his discovery, some as

planet in the constellations of Aries and tronomers call it Herschell. Before him the Whale, and carefully examined them Dr. Flamstead, Bayer, and others had thrice every year until the 29th of March, seen and mistaken it for a fixed star, and 1807, when his anticipation was realised so placed it in their catalogues. It is by finding in the constellation of Virgo computed to be 1,800,000,000

of this new planet.* miles from the sun; yet it can be seen

ASPECTS. without a glass, on clear nights, like a small star of the fifth magnitude, of a

8 A planet's ascending node. bluish-white color, and considerably

8 Descending node. brilliant. To obtain a good view of its

ó Conjunction, or planets situated in the disk, a telescopic power of nearly 200 is

same longitude. requisite.

Pallas was first seen on the 28th of March, :1802, at Bremen in Lower

# Forster.

Mars,

Pallas.

« ZurückWeiter »