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heavy ălong the hori'zon,' and creep with subtle' and insensible approaches to the věry zenith ;' but there are ă score of white-winged swimmers ăfloat, that your eye has chased, as you lay fatigued with the delicious languor of an April sun ;-nor have you scarce noticed that a little běvy“ of those floating clouds had grouped together in à sombero company.
12. But presently you see, ăcross the fields, the dark gray streaks stretching, like lines of mists, from the green bosom of the valley, to that spot of sky where the company of clouds is loitering; and, with an easy shifting of the helm," the fleet of swimmers come drifting over you, and drop their burden into the dancing pools, and make the flowers glisten, and the eaves drip with their crystal bounty. The cattle linger still, cropping the new-come grass ; and childhood laughs joyously at the warm rain ;-or, under the cottage roof, cătches, with eager ear, the patter of its fall.
DONALD G, MITCHELL.
; and, wärifting over the flowe
THE blue-birds and the violets
- Are with us once again, And promises of summer spot 10
The hill-side and the plain.
2. The clouds around the mountain tops
Are riding on the breeze,
Are tangled in the trees. 1 Ho ri' zon, the circle which • Běv' y, a flock of birds; a col. bounds that part of the earth's sur lection or company face which may be seen by a person Som' ber, dull; dusky; gloomy; from a given place; the place where cloudy; sad. the earth and sky seem, to the be- "Hělm, the instrument by which holder, to meet.
a vessel is steered ; here means di. ? Subtile, (sůt' l), sly in design; rection given to the clouds. artful; cunning.
8 Laughs, (låfs). 3 Zē' nith, the point in the sky 'Roof, (r8f). directly overhead.
10 Spot, to make marks upon. * Score, twenty; any indefinite " Azure, (dz' ér), light-blue; sky. number.
BIRDS OF SPRING.
3. The snow-drifts, which have lain so long,
Haunting the hidden nooks,
Unseen, into the brooks.
They drink the way-side springs,
Upon their foamy wings.
By mountain homes remote,
Their ample rafts åfloat.
Above the idle stream,
And through the miller's dream.
Till at the mountain's feet,
The noisy waters meet.
Toward bring bay and lake,
THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
3. BIRDS OF SPRING. M'HOSE who have passed the winter in the country, are sen
1 sible of the delightful influences that accompany the earliest indications of spring; and of these, none are more. delightful than the first notes of the birds.
2. Thē appearance of the blue-bird, so poëtically yệt truly described by Wilson, gladdens the whole landscape. You hear
"Haunting, (hånt' ing), intrudings Brawl,(brål), make a great noise. on; disturbing; frequenting, as an Spěc' tral, relating to an appaapparition or spirit.
rition, or the appearance of a spirit. · Ghost, apparition the soul of In'di ca' tion, mark; something A person who is dead.
which points out.
his soft warble in every field. He sociably approaches your habitation, and takes up his residence in your vicinity.'
3. The happiëst bird of our spring, however, and one that rivals the European lark, in my estimation, is the Boblincon, or Boblink, as he is commonly called. He arrives at this choice portion of the year, which, in this latitude, answers to the description of the month of May, so often given by the poëts. With us it begins åbout the middle of May, and lasts until nearly the middle of June.
4. Earlier than this, winter is apt to return on its traces, and to blight' the opening beauties of the year; and later than this, begin the parching, and panting, and dissolving heats of summer. But, in this gēniäl' interval, nature is in all her freshness and frāgrance :* "the rains are over and gone, the flowers appear upon the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land.”
5. The trees are now in their fullèst foliage and brightest verdure ; the woods are gay with the clustered flowers of the laurel ; the air is perfūmed' by the sweet-brier and the wildrose ; the meadows are enameled with clover-blossoms; while the young apple, the peach, and the plum begin to swell, and the cherry to glow, ămong the green leaves.
6. This is the chosen season of revelry of the boblink. He comes ămidst the pomp and fragrance of the season ; his life seems all sensibility' and enjoyment, all song and sunshine. He is to be found in the soft bosoms of the freshest and sweetest meadows; and is most in song when the clover is in blossom. He perches on the topmost twig of ă tree, or on some long, flaunting weed, and, as he rises and sinks with the breeze, pours förth a succession of rich, tinkling notes ; crowding one upon another, like the outpouring melody of the sky-lark, and possessing the same rapturous o character.
· Vị cỉn' i ty, that which is near; . Rěv' el ry, extreme animal en neighborhood.
joyment; noisy feasting. · Blight, to mildew, injure, or ? Sěn'si bìl' i ty, state of being destroy.
easily affected ; delicacy of feeling. • Gtē' ni al, joyous and awakening Flaunting, (flånt'ing), spreading joy or happiness; productive. out loosely ; showy.
• Frā' grance, sweetness of smell. Měl' o dy, sweet singing ; pleas.
5 Turtle, (tér tl), here means a ing song. dove or pigeon ; the turtle dove,
in Răpt' ur ous, very joyous.
down to sometimes he isld win her brion and delight boblink
7. Sometimes he pitches from the summit of a tree, begins his song as soon as he is upon the wing, and flutters tremulously down to the earth, as if overcome with ecstasy' at his own music. Sometimes he is in pursūit of his paramour ;' always in full song, as if he would win her by his melody; and always with the same appearance of intoxication and delight.
8. Of all the birds of our groves and měadows, the boblink was the envy* of my boyhood. He crossed my path' in the sweetest weather, and the sweetest season of the year, when all nature called to the fields, and the rural® feeling throbbed in every bosom ; but when I, luckless urchin! was doomed to be mewed up, during the livelõng day, in that purgatory' of boyhood, a school-room, it seemed as if the little varleto mocked' at me, as he flew by in full song, and sought to taunt me with his happier lot. Oh, how I envied him! No lessons, no tasks, no hateful school; nothing but hõliday, frolic, green fields, and fine weather!
9. Further observation and experience have given me ă different idea of this little feathered voluptuary," which I will venture to impart for the benefit of my school-boy readers, who may regard him with the same unqualified envy and admiration which I once indulged. I have shown him only as I saw him at first, in what I may call the poëtical part of his career, when he in a manner devoted himself to elegant pursuits and enjoyments, and was a bird of mūsic, and song, and taste, and sensibility, and refinement." While this lasted, he was sacred from injury ; the věry school-boy would not fling a stone at him, and the merèst rustic would pause to listen to his strain. But mark the difference.
1 Ec' sta sy, excessive or over. Pur ga to ry, place of temporary powering delight.
punishment. · Păr' a mour, partner in love. 8 Var let, a low or saucy fellow;
3 In'tox i cā' tion, drunkenness; here means the Boblink. a very great elevation of spirits. Möcked, see Note 5, p. 16.
* En' vy, pain, uneasiness or dis 20 Nothing, (nůth' ing), not any. content caused by a knowledge of thing; no thing. the greater worth, advantages, pleas- " Vo lúpt' u a ry, a seeker of ure, or success of another.
pleasure alone. 6 Path, (påth).
19 Re fine' ment, freedom from * Rural, (r8' ral), belonging to or what is coarse, rough, inelegant, og suiting the country
10. As the year advances, as the clover-blossoms disappear, and the spring fades into summer, his notes cease to vibrate' on the ear. He gradually gives up his elegant tastes and habits, doffs his poetical and professional suit of black, assumes a russet or rather dusty garb,' and enters into the gross enjoyments of common, vulgar birds. He becomes a bon-vivant,» a mere gormand ;* thinking of nothing but good cheer, and gormandizing on the seeds of the long grasses on which he lately swung, and chanted so musically.
11. He begins to think there is nothing like “ the joys of the table,” if I may be allowed to apply that convivial' phrase to his indulgences. He now grows discontented with plain, everyday fare, and sets out on a gastronóm'icalo tour' in search of foreign luxuries. He is to be found in myriads' among the reeds of the Delaware, banqueting on their seeds ; grows corpulent" with good feeding, and soon acquires the unlucky renown of the or’tolan." Wherever he goes, pop! pop! pop! the rusty firelocks of the country are cracking on every side ; he sees his companions falling by thousands ăround him ; he is the reed-bird, the much sought for tid-bit” of the Pennsylvanian epicure."
12. Does he take warning, and reform ? Not he. He wings his flight still farther south, in search of other luxuries. We hear of him gorging himself in the rice-swamps ; filling himself
Vi' brate, move backward and that which is delightful to the forward ; quiver.
senses. 2 Garb, the outer appearance; Myr'iad, the number of ten clothing; dress.
thousand ; any very great number. Bon-vivant, (bỏng và vòng ), a 20 Banqueting, (bảngko wet ing), jovial companion ; a high liver. feasting ; indulging one's self freely
• Gormand, (går mand), a glut- with good eating and drinking. ton; a ravenous or greedy eater. 11 Cor pu lent, fat; large.
6 Con viv' i al, relating to a feast; 12 Ortolan, år' to lan), a singing jovial ; gay.
bird, about the size of the lark, • Găs'tro nom' ic al, relating to found in the southern part of Eurrpe, the stomach ; seeking something to and particularly in the Island of gratify appetite.
Cyprus, esteemed a great delicacy Tour, (t8r), a going round; a as food. journey.
18 Tid' bit, a delicate morsel. 8 Luxury, (lůk' sh8 rl), any very 4 Ep'i cūre, one given to luxury nice food or drink; too free indul. and pleasure ; especially, one who genca in costly food, clothing, etc. · indulges in the luxuries of the table.