Изображения страниц

Farewell, great orb of day! content I view
Thy fiery disk forsake our hemisphere,
Conveying light and life to other climes.
How still is all around ! no human sounds,
Nor low of wand'ring herds, nor bleat of sheep,
Break the deep silence of these wastes remote.
The spoil secur'd, with joyous heart I leave
The solitary scene, to join, once more,
- In the far distant vales, my fellow men.

There lies my way, betwixt those hills that rise
On either side, and form a hollow pass,
And, pointing to the western sky, reflect
The sun's departed rays. Yet once again
I turn, and, in the changing east, remark

The ev’ning shades their filmy vapours draw
"Across the blue expanse ; whilst in the west,
Deep azure yet surmounts the saffron robe
That clothes the smiling heav'ns. How sweet to mark,
As down the heath I wind, the distant scene
Unfolding by degrees! At first appear
The blue topp'd hills, with floating vapours crown’d,
Drawn from the vale beneath; the spiral wreath
Of smoke ascending through the tranquil air,
Its source unseen, 'till the close-crowding trees
Denote the shelter'd farm that lies below.
How fast each well known object now recurs !
The grassy slope, the winding shrubby lane,
The clatt'ring mill; and now, at large display'd,
The village rises to my gladden'd eye.
Here let me pause upon this antient stile
O’ergrown with moss, and Nature's charms surver,
Clad in her ev'ning robe; and let my ear
Catch the sweet rural sounds that float around.
But hark! what melody is this, that bursts
Upon my ravish'd sense ? the rustic youths,
Their daily labour done, in yon grey tow'r
Ring round the tuneful peal. I love the strain,
Whether its merry morning notes proclaim
The plighted vows of some unpolish'd pair,
Or chiming slow, as now, with frequent pause,
Chaunt a sweet requiem to the dying day.
The peal has ceas'd. The rustic youths repair,

With hasty foot, each to his simple home.' p. 31-S1.
The second book is about the shooting of partridges; and very
Tull of moral reflections and instructions to young sportsmen.
We proceed, however, to the third, which describes the destruc-
ţion of pheasants, and is inore original and poetical.



Explores the ground beneath ; 'till hither led
By chance, he startles at my dang’rous form,
Flaps his wide wings, and quickly soars aloft.
Through wither'd grass and ferns the whitethroat creeps,
Oft stopping to inhale the scented air

the foot or licht

T With eager nose; then fast, with foot as light

As falling leaf, he nimbly winds away.' p. 87-89. The book closes with the description of a woodland sunset, without omitting the circumstances appropriate to the author's vocation.

• Thus through the winding shades as slow I pass,

The pheasant cockets, ere he seeks in sleep
To close his brilliant eye, whilst whistling sharp

In her descending flight his mate responds.' p. 92. The Fourth Book, which treats of Woodcock Shooting, has very considerable merit. The winter landscape is prettily sketched, and the adventures of the woodcock himself pursued with considerable feeling.

Ill fares it with him then,
On stormy seas mid-way surpris'd: no land
Its swelling breast presents, where safe reclin'd
His panting heart might find a short repose;
But wide around the hoarse-resounding seas
Meets his dim eye. Should some tall ship appear
High bounding o'er the waves, urg'd by despair,
He seeks the rocking masts, and throws him down
Amid the twisted cordage :--thence repell’d,
If instant blows deprive him not of life,
He flutters weakly on, and drops at last,
Helpless and flound'ring, in the whit’ning surge.
Yet not the perils of th' aerial way,
Nor varied death, that hovers on the shore
From guns, and nets, and hairy springes, serve
The fruitful race t'extirpate. When the year
Struggles to break from winter's rough embrace,
And with a livelier vesture clothe the earth,
The woodcock musters on the sea-beat shore
His bands decreas'd. On some propitious day
He springs aloft, and through the pathless air,
With course unerring, seeks his native shores.
Perchance on some Norwegian forest vast,
Beneath colossal pines and mingl'd firs,
Where murm’ring streams with fruitful current, wind
Again their wonted course, his old abode,
He plumes his spotted wing anew, and gives
His yielding heart to love : Fearless he roves
Amidst his feather's family, 'till Fate


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »