Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

who think that happiness is only to be found in the gay society of cities, and induce them to turn their eyes to the green fields and fragrant woods, and see how much that is pleasant and beautiful they leave

"To waste its sweetness on the desert air,"'

almost wholly unregarded.

An acquaintance with the country, and a love for its beauties and ever-varying scenes, are the foundation-stones of a just appreciation of painting, poetry, and music. We judge of the merits of a picture according to its resemblance to Nature; of poetry, by the emotions it produces, and the illustrations which it affords of all that is pleasing in earth, air, sea, or sky; of music, as it brings to our ears the sound of waters, the song of birds, or the rustling of the wind among trees and flowers;—to say nothing of those greater emotions of joy and sorrow, despair and hope, which it produces. Neither are these all: the quiet of country scenery is like a resting-place for the mind; there is a tranquillity that draws the thoughts from the busy world, and makes us conscious that we live for nobler ends than to accumulate wealth. Well did old John Evelyn exclaim, in one of his enthusiastic bursts of eloquence on woods, "Here then is the true Parnassus, Castalia and the Muses; and at every call in a grove of venerable oaks, methinks I hear the answer of a hundred old Druids, and the bards of our inspired ancestors. In a word, so charmed were poets with those natural shades, that they honoured temples with the names of groves. In walks and shades of trees poets have composed verses which have animated men to heroic and glorious actions. Here orators have made their panegyrics, historians their grave relations, and the profound philosophers have loved to pass their lives in repose and contemplation."

There are many beautiful scraps of poetry scattered over these pages, the selection of which has required considerable care. Some of them, it is hoped, will not be lost upon the reader, as they will serve to prove how much even Genius is indebted to Nature in

"Giving a local habitation and a name"

to its lofty imaginings.

Finally, the designs illustrating this volume are from the pencil of Mr. Edward Lambert, of whose talents the public have already had a specimen in the splendid print lately published, entitled "The Destruction Of Jerusalem." Many of them, independently of their merit as works of art, are faithful illustrations of customs and scenes which can only now be witnessed in a few remote places in the country.

Thomas Miller.

Elliott's Row, Southwark,
December 21, 1836.

CONTENTS.

Beauties Of The Country .... Page 1

The Country . . . . . 5

JANUARY.

Appearance of the Season.—Walking in Frosty Weather.—Beauty of

HoarFrost.—Freezing Showers.—Nameof January.—Preservation of Buds.

—Book of Job.—Fish in Frosty Weather.—Food of Birds.—Game destroy-

ed in Snow.—Wild Geese.—Wild Ducks.—Decoy Ducks.—Woods in

Winter. — Beauty of naked Sprays.—Appearance of Fields.—Birds.—

Habits of the Robin.—Babes in the Wood.—Hedge-sparrow, Thrush, Wren,

Blackbird, &c. sing.—Titmouse, Ringdove.—Hares, Foxes.—The Weather.

—Migrations of Wild Fowl.—Christmas Rose.—Leaf and Flower Buds.—

Proverbs relating to January.—Snowdrop, Sonnet to. — Evening in

Winter.—Comforts of Cottagers.—Halls of the Rich.—Picture of Poverty.

—Mirror of the Months.—Village Labourers.— Evergreens. — Twelfth

Night.—Frost on Glass.—Beauty of Snow.—Sturm.—Sunshine on Snow.

—Birds that winter with us.—Beauty of the Starry Sky.—Byron.—Silence

caused by Snow.—Gawain Douglas.—Superstitions respecting Rosemary.

—Plough Monday,—Poetry on Winter. . . . .23

FEBRUARY.

Appearance of the Season.—Wind, sublime descriptions of, in Scripture.
—Shakspeare's Winter Song—Roads in the Country.—Valentine's Day.—
The Mole—Le Court's experiments with one.—Old Custom of adorning
Houses all the Year.—Missel-thrush.—Trunks of Trees.—Mosses.—Ivy,
"the Garland of Eternity."—Progress of Spring.—Days lengthen.—
YoungLambs,—Appearanceof Buds.—Early Flowers.—Forster's Calendar.

— Geese. — Yellowhammer Turkey-cocks. — Field-crickets. — Owls

hoot. — Insects swarm. — Stone-curlew Ravens build—Woodpecker.—

Bullfinch. —Soft-billed Birds.—Blue Titmouse.—Wheatear.—Whinchat.

—Flowers.—Cowper. — Spring Flowers.—Clare's Poem. — Children and

Singing Birds.—English Peasants.—Omens.—Fortune-tellers.—Supersti-

tions.—Charms worn.—Tusser.—Jenner's Verses on Omens.—February,

origin of its name.—Remarks on the word Kele.—Pancake-day.—Foot-

ball.—Fogs and Mists.—Beauty of the Alder-tree.—Hazels.—English

Scenery.—Goldsmith's description of a Village. . . Page 49

MARCH.

Appearance of the Season.—March-many-weathers.—Rural Objects.—

Ploughing. — Spring-green.—Shakspeare's Violets.—Sensations produced

by Spring.—The Weather.—Poem on the Season.—Utility of March

Winds.—Birds building. — Migration of Birds.—Soland Geese.—Frogs

croak—Smelts appear.—Bees venture forth.—Wood Butterfly.—Green

Rosechafer. — Hawk-moth appears.—Lambs.—Cottage Gardens.—Beauty

of Crocuses.—Primrose.—Knapp's beautiful description of Flowers.—

Ancient Uses and Poetry of Flowers.—Proverbs relating to March.—Owls

hooting, an ill omen.—Herrick's Spells.—Country Life favours Superstition.

—Advance of Spring.—Milton's Love of Spring.—Remarks on Rooks.—

The Throstle.—Variety of Crocuses.—Herrick's Daffodils.—Progress of

Flowers. — Jonquils.—Narcissus.—March Marigold.—Beauty of March.

—The Elder.—Delights of Spring.—English Landscape.—Thoughts on

the Migration of Birds. — Origin of the name of March. — Humorous

description of this Month.—The Mountain Daisy by Burns. . 75

APRIL.

Appearance of the Season.—Beauty of Spring A Party in the Fields.

—" The Voice of Spring."—Village-green.—Evening Scene Village de-
scribed.—Beauty of Cottages.—Landscape.—Green Lane.—Wild Flowers.

— Snail-shells.—The Country.—Love of the Country.—Swallows.—Cow-

slips.—Holy Flowers.—A Stream, Rustic Bridge, Water-lilies, Water-

flags, &c Origin of the name of April. — Melody of Birds.—Mole-

cricket.—Horse-ant.—Snakes, Bats, and Snails appear Haunt of the

Bittern.—Bird's Nests.—Description of Spring by Gawain Douglas.—Song

of the Cuckoo.— Oldest English Poem on Spring.—Angling.—Village

Alehouse.—Lavender.—Izaak Walton.—An Angler's Breakfast.—Milk-

maid.—Fish fried in Flowers.—Happiness of Anglers.—The Angler's

Wish.—Leafing of Trees.—Beauty of the Beech—Birch.—The Study of

Trees.—Blossoms.—Herrick's Shower of Blossoms.—Chesnuts.—Beauty

of the Country.—Leigh Hunt.—Sturm.—Dress of Spring—Shelley's

Sensitive Plant. ..... Page 101

MAY.

Appearance of the Season.—-May the favourite Month of Poets

Children gathering Flowers.—Ladies in a Wood.—Beauty of Heaths.—

Lilies-of-the-Valley The Hawthorn.—Gathering May.—Ornament in

Cottage Parlours.—Shakspeare's Song to Spring.—Beautiful appearance

of Woods.—Sylvan Brooks.—Wild-rose. — May-pole. — Bringing home

May.—Flower Garlands.—May-day Game.—Love of old Customs.—

Chaucer's Love of Spring.—His Affection for the Daisy.—Washington

Irving's first Sight of a May-pole.—Henry the Eighth and his Queen rode

a-Maying.—Milton.—Indicator's persuasions to revive old Customs.—

"Corinna's going a-Maying."—Habits of Bees. — Flower Gardens.—Fly-

catcher.—Robin's Nest.—Farmhouse Employments.—A fair and happy

Milkmaid.—Rye.—Sap of Trees.—Felling Trees, a melancholy Sight.—

Old English Park.—Beauty of Flowers.—Flowers of Paradise.—A Rural

Description.—Meadows. — Forest Scenery.—Incidental Beauties Day-

dawn.—Sunrise.—Landscape and Tempest.—Song of the Nightingale.—

Keats's Ode to a Nightingale. . . . . .133

« AnteriorContinuar »