Rural sounds, the voices, the language of the wild creatures, as heard hy the naturalist, belong to, and are in concord with, the country only. Our sight, our smell may perhaps be deceived for an interval by conservatories, horticultural arts, and bowers of sweets; but our hearing can in no way be beguiled by any semblance of what is heard in the grove or the field, The hum, the murmur, the medley of the mend, is peculiarly its own, admits of no imitation, and the voices of our birds convey particular intimation, and distinctly notify the various periods of the year with an accuracy as certain as they are detailed in our calendars. The season of spring is always announced as approaching by the notes of the rookery, by the jingle or wooing accents of the dark frequenters of the trees; and that time having passed away, these contentions and cadences are no longer heard. The cuckoo then comes and informs us that spring has arrived; that he has journeyed to see us, borne by gentle gales in sunny days; that fragrant flowers are in the copse and the mead, and all things telling of gratulation and of joy ; the children mark this well-known sound, spring out, and cuckoo ! cuckoo! as they gambol down the lane; the very plow-boy bids him welcome in early morn. It is hardly spring without the cuckoo's song: and, having told his tale, he has voice for no more-is silent or away. Then comes the dark, swift-winged marten, glancing through the air, that seems afraid to visit our uncertain clime; he comes, though late, and hurries through his business here eager again to depart, all day long in agitation and precipitate flight. The bland zephyrs of the spring have no charms for them ; but basking and careering in the sultry gleams of June and July, they associate in throngs, and, screaming, dash round the steeple or the ruined tower, to serenade their nesting mates; and glare and heat are in their train. When the fervor of summer ceases, this bird of the sun will depart. The evening robin, from the summit of some leafless bough or projecting point, tells us that autumn is come, and brings matured fruits, chilly airs, and sober hours; and he, the lonely minstrel that now sings, is understood by all. These four birds thus indicate a separate season, have no interference with the intelligence of the other, nor could they be transposed without the loss of all the meaning they convey, which no contrivance of art could supply; and, by long association, they have become identified with the period, and in peculiar accordance with the time.


Well! in my many walks I've rarely found
A place less likely for a bird to form
Its nest ; close by the rut-gulled wagon-road,
And on the almost bare foot-trodden ground,
With scarce a clump of grass to keep it warm,
Where not a thistle spreads its spears abroad,
Or prickly bush to shield it from harm's way;
And yet so snugly made, that none may spy
It out, save peradventure. You and I
Had surely passed it in our walk to-day,
Had chance not led us by it! Nay, e'en now,
Had not the old bird heard us trampling by,
And fluttered out, we had not seen it lie
Brown as the roadway side. Small bits of hay
Pluck'd from the old prop'd haystack's pleachy brow,
And withered leaves, make up its outward wall,
Which from the gnarled oak-dotterel yearly fall,
And in the old hedge-bottom rot away.
Built like an oven, through a little hole,
Scarcely admitting e'en two figures in,
Hard to discern, the bird's snug entrance win.
'Tis lined with feathers, warm as silken stole,
Softer than seats of down for painless ease,
And full of eggs scarce bigger ev'n than pease.
Here's one most delicate, with spots as small
As dust, and of a faint and pinky red.

A grasshopper's green jump might break the shells ;
Yet lowing oxen pass them morn and night,
And restless sheep around them hourly stray.




Pretty bird, how cheerfully dost thou sit and sing, and yet knowest not where thou art, nor where thou shalt make thy next meal; and at night must shroud thyself in a bush for lodging! What shame is it for me, that see before me so liberal provisions of my God, and find myself sit warm under my own roof, yet am ready to droop under a distrustful and unthankful dullness. Had I so little certainty of my harbor and purveyance, how heartless should I be, how careful; how little list should I have to make music to thee or myself. Surely thou comest not hither without a Providence. God sent thee not so much to delight, as to shame me, but all in a conviction of my sullen unbelief, who, under more apparent means, am less cheerful and confident; reason and faith have not done so much in me, as in thee mere instinct of nature; want of foresight makes thee more merry, if not more happy here, than the foresight of better things maketh me.

O God, thy providence is not impaired by those powers thou hast given me above these brute things ; let not my greater helps hinder me from a holy security and comfortable reliance on thee !

Bishop HALL, 15741656.



Behold! the birds fly

From Gauthiod's strand,
And seek with a sigh

Some far foreign land.
The sounds of their woe

With hollow winds blend :
“ Where now must we go?

Our flight whither tend ?”
'Tis thus unto heaven that their wailings ascend.

“ The Scandian shore

We leave in despair,
Our days glided o'er

So blissfully there :
We there built our nest

Among bright blooming trees;
There rock'd us to rest

The balm-bearing breeze;
But now to far lands we must traverse the sea.

“ With rose-crown all bright

On tresses of gold,
The midsummer night

It was sweet to behold :
The calm was so deep,

So lovely the ray,
We could not then sleep,

But were tranced by the spray,
Till wakened by beams from the bright car of day.

“ The trees gently bent

O'er the plains in repose ;
With dew-drops besprent

Was the tremulous rose ;
The oaks now are bare ;

The rose is no more ;
The zephyr's light air

Is exchanged for the roar
Of storms, and the May-fields have mantles of hoar

“ Then why do we stay

In the North, where the sun
More dimly each day

His brief course will run ?
And why need we sigh-

We leave but a grave,
To cleave through the sky

On the wings which God gave;
Then, Ocean, we welcome the roar of thy wave !"

Of rest thus bereaved,

They soar in the air,
But soon are received

Into regions more fair ;
Where elms gently shake

In the zephyr's light play,
Where rivulets take

Among myrtles their way,
And the groves are resounding with Hope's happy lay.

When earth's joys are o'er

And the days darkly roll,
When autumn winds roar-

Weep not, O my soul !
Fair lands o'er the sea

For the birds brightly bloom ;
A land smiles for thee,

Beyond the dark tomb,

Where beams never fading its beauties illume. Anonymous Translation,



On an oak-tree sat,
Sat a pair of doves;
And they bill’d and coo'd,
And they heart to heart,
Tenderly embraced
With their little wings;
On them suddenly
Darted down a hawk.

One he seized and tore,
Tore the little dove,
With his feathered feet,
Soft, blue little dove;
And he pour'd his blood,
Streaming down the tree;
Feathers too were strewed
Widely o'er the field;
High away the down
Floated in the air.

Ah, how wept and wept,
Ah, how sobb’d and sobb’d
The poor doveling then
For her little dove.

“ Weep not, weep not so, Tender little bird !” Spake the light young

hawk To the little dove.

“ O'er the sea away, O'er the far blue sea, I will drive to thee Flocks of other doves; From them choose thee then, Choose a soft and blue, With his feathered feet, Better little dove."

“Fly, thou villain! not O'er the far blue sea,

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