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the pond are constructed pipes as they are called, or narrow ditches, covered with a continued arch of netting suspended on hoops, growing narrower as they advance into the wood, and terminating in a purse net. On both sides of the pipe are reed-hedges with intervals between for the decoy-man to observe what is going on; a number of decoy ducks are also procured, which are taught to lead wild ones into the snare.
As soon as the evening sets in the decoy rises and the wild fowl approach the shores to feed during the night; the flapping of their wings may be heard in a still night to a great distance, and is a pleasing though melancholy sound. The decoy ducks soon meet with the wild ones, and conduct them to the mouth of the snare: the man behind the reeds then throws into the pipe some hemp-seed, of which these birds are very fond, and are thus tempted to advance a little way under the netting. A very small dog well trained for the purpose is next ordered to play about before the screens, and bark at the ducks, who, vexed at being disturbed by so petty an assailant, advance to drive him off. When they have by this means been seduced a considerable way up the tunnel, the decoy duck, by diving, gets out of the arched net, and the man coming from behind the hedge appears at the entrance of the pipe: the wild fowl not daring to rush by him, immediately dash forwards into the purse, where they are taken.
The London market is principally supplied from the Lincolnshire decoys; ten of which, near Wainfleet, have been known to send to the metropolis, in a single season, thirty-one thousand two hundred ducks, teals, and wigeons.
The farmer continues to sow his corn during this month; and wheat is frequently not at all sown till the end of it. When the weather is too wet for this business, he ploughs up the stubble fields for winter fallows. Acorns are sown at this time, and forest and fruit trees are planted. At the very close of the month a few flowers still cheer the eye; and there is a second blow of some kinds, particularly the woodbine. But the scent of all these late flowers is comparatively very faint. The greenhouse, however, is in high perfection at this period; and by its contrast with the nakedness of the fields and garden is now doubly grateful.
This is the month of forest splendour. Generally, towards the end of October, the trees put on their last grandeur. They burst forth into all the richest and warmest colours, and for a while cast a glory on the landscape that is unrivalled. Then how delightful to range freely through wood and field; to see the wind come, driving the manytinted leaves before it; to tread on their rustling masses in the still glades; and feel the profound language of the season—of all that is solemn and pure, and yet buoyant, in the heart! The hops are fast getting in; the vines on the continental plains and hanging slopes are yielding up, amid songs and shouts, their "purple vintage." Orchards are cleared of their fruit, and towards the end of the month the people are busy in the potato-fields. Once more the hind, released from the cares and toils of harvest, is busy turning up the soil with the plough, getting in the wheat for next year, and ditching and banking, in meadow and in field. The gathering and hoeing of potatoes, carrots, beet-root, and Swedish turnips, find much employment. Besides the sowing of wheat, beans and winter-dills are put in. Timber-trees are felled, and others planted, and the farmer repairs his gates and fences; and all wise people lay in plenty of fuel for winter. Winter! winter! it is continually crowding into our minds, though we do not see it with our eyes. But in the brightest hours, the very seeds are on the wing, to fly away and bury themselves each in a suitable spot for the resurrection of the next spring.
Lightly soars the thistledown;
Lightly doth it float;
Little do we note.
Lightly floats the thistledown;
Tar and wide it flies,
Through the shining skies.
Watch life's thistles bud and blow,—
Oh! 'tis pleasant folly!
Then comes melancholy.
But away with melancholy! The thistledown will fly, and the thistles will spring up where we hoped for roses; but never mind; let us pay the penalty of our permitting them to grow, and go on, strong in the sense of the great Providence which wheels round the mighty world, and all its seasons; who causes the dark day to follow the bright one, and the bright to follow the dark.—Howitt's Country Tear-Book.
A RAINY DAT IN AUTUMN.
Over the hills and over the plains,
Sweep the equinoctial rains,
Smiting the river, beating the bay,
Till every wave,
Sinks in a sullen hush away!
A very tyrant is the rain;
He throweth around his chilly chain,
He barreth the rich, and he barreth the poor,
While his sentinels pace at every door!
But what care I
Or the rain who forgetteth hia chain so cold;
His fetters are only as fetters of gold!
Oh, sweet to me is the autumn weather,
When the rain and the leaves come down together,
When twilight through the day descends;
When rare old books,
Look out like old familiar friends.
"Tis then I weave my idle rhyme,
While the noisy rain without beats time.
For never more lovely looked river and plain
Than now, when they gleam through the misty pane.
Thomas Buchanan Eiad.
About the 16th, the general migration of swallows and martins has taken place, though a few may still be seen at times, more particularly if a southerly or westerly wind continue to blow for long together.
THE DEPARTURE OF THE SWALLOW.
And is the swallow gone?
Who beheld it?
Which way sailed it?
No mortal saw it go:—
But who doth hear
Its summer cheer
BIEDS OP PASSAGE.
So the freed spirit flies!
From its surrounding clay
It steals away,
"Whither? wherefore doth it go?
'Tis all unknown;
We feel alone,
BIRDS OF PASSAGE.
FROM THE SWEDISH, BT MARY HOWITT.
Behold the bird-legions,
As sadly they soar
From Albion's shore,
""We leave them with sadness,
There never knew pain.
We builded our nest,
The leafy trees bowered o'er
The home of the dove;
The moss-rose for love.