« ÎnapoiContinuă »
The strong rains, which sometimes come down in summertime are a noble interruption to the drought and indolence of hot weather. They seem as if they had been collecting a supply of moisture equal to the want of it, and come drenching the earth with a mighty draught of freshness. The rushing and the tree-bowing winds that precede them, the dignity with which they rise in the west, the gathering darkness of their approach, the silence before their descent, the washing amplitude of their out-pouring, the suddenness with which they appear to leave off, taking up, as it were, their watery feet to sail onward, and then the sunny smile again of nature, accompanied by the "sparkling noise" of the birds, and those dripping diamonds of the rain-dropsthere is a grandeur and beauty in all this, which lend a glorious effect to each other; for though the sunshine appear more beautiful than grand, there is a power, not even to be looked upon, in the orb from which it flows; and though the storm is more grand than beautiful, there is always beauty where there is so much beneficence.-LEIGH HUNT.
Hot, glowing summer!-'neath the shade of trees
Crown thee with roses and forget-me-not;
Whisp'ring and low, and bending o'er; and not
Shall find thee on thy soft and mossy throne,
In shadiness, and flowers, and herbage deep,
And like a thing forgotten or unseen,
How sweet the ramble on a summer's eve!
Their flooded gold o'er earth and sky, and leave
Save lowing kine in green and dewy leas,
A long, delicious stroll, through pleasant meads
Summer! the poet loves thee more than all:-
Vocal the pebbles and grey rocks among.
HENRY F. CHORLEY.
A GLIMPSE OF THE NEW FOREST.
All over the moorland ground spread the crimson glow or the heather. I went onward and upward; passing the gates of forest lodges, and looking down into villages, whence arose the smoke of huts and clear coal fires. And anon, I stood upon the airy height and saw woods below, and felt near me solitude, and a spirit that had brooded there for ages. I passed over high, still heaths, treading on plants that grow only in nature's most uncultivated soil, to the mighty beeches of Boldre Wood, and thence away to fresh masses of forest. Herds of red-deer rose from the fern and went bounding away, and dashed into the depths of the woods;-troops of those grey and long-tailed forest horses turned to gaze as I passed down the open glades; and the red squirrels in hundreds, scampered up from the ground where they were feeding on fallen mast and the kernel of pine-cones, and stamped and chattered on the boughs above me.
Delighted with the true woodland wildness and solemnity of beauty, I roved onward through the widest woods that came in my way, and once indeed, I imagined that a guide would really have been agreeable. Awaking as from a dream, I saw far around me one deep shadow, one thick and continuous roof of boughs and thousands of hoary boles standing, clothed as it were, with the very spirit of silence. A track in the wood seemed to lead in the direction I aimed at; but having gone on for an hour, here admiring the magnificent sweep of some grand old trees as they hung into a glade or a ravine,-some delicious opening in the deep woods, or the grotesque figures of particular trees which seemed to have been blasted into blackness, and contracted into inimitable crookedness by the salvage genius of the place,-I found myself again before one of those very remarkable trees which I had passed long before. It was
too singular to be mistaken, and I paused to hold serious council with myself. As I stood, I became more than ever sensible of the tomb-like silence in which I was. There was not the slightest sound of running water, whispering leaf, or the voice of any creature; the beating of my own heart, the ticking of my watch were alone heard. It was the deep stillness which has been felt there by others.
Whichever way I looked the forest stretched in one dense twilight. It was the very realisation of that appalling hush and bewildering continuity of shade so often described by travellers in the American woods. I had lost now all sense of any particular direction, and the only chance of reaching the outside of the wood was to go, as much as possible, in one direct line. Away then I went-but soon found myself entangled in the thickest underwood-actually overhead in rank weeds; now on the verge of an impassable bog, and
now on that of a deep ravine. Fortunately for me the summer had been remarkably dry, and the ravines were dry too,-I could descend into them, and climb out on the other side. But the more I struggled on, the more I became confounded. Pausing to consider my situation, I saw a hairy face and a large pair of eyes fixed on me. Had it been a satyr, I felt that I should not have been surprised, it seemed so satyr-like a place. It was only a stag-which, with its head just above the tall fern, and its antlers amongst the boughs, looked very much like Kühleborn of the Undine story. As I moved towards him he dashed away through the jungle, for so only could it be called, and I could long hear the crash of his progress. Ever and anon, huge swine with a fierce guffaw rushed from their lairs-one might have imagined them the wild boars of a German forest. At length I caught the tinkle of a cow-bell-a cheerful sound, for it must be in some open part of the forest, and from its distinctness not far distant. Thitherward I turned, and soon emerged into a sort of island in the sea of woods, a farm, like an American clearing. I sate down on a fallen tree to cool and rest myself, and was struck with the beauty of the place. These green fields lying so peacefully amid the woods, which, in one place pushed forward their scattered trees, in another retreated; here sprinkling them out thinly on the common, and there hanging their masses of dark foliage over a low hut or two. The quiet farm-house, too, surrounded by its belt of tall hollies; the flocks of geese dispersed over the short turf, and the cows coming home out of the forest to be milked; it was a most peaceful picture, and unlike all that citizens are accustomed to contemplate, except in Spenser or the German writers. These cow-bells too, have something in their sound so quaint and woodland. They are slung by a leathern strap from the neck of the leader, having neither sound nor shape of a common bell, but are like a tin cannister, with a ring at the bottom to suspend them by. They seem like the first rudimental attempt at a bell, and have a sound dull and horny rather than clear and ringing. The leaders of these herds are said to have a singular sagacity in tracking the woods and finding their way to particular spots and home again. ́HOWITT's Rural Life.