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There the hum of the bees through the noonday is Light as a breeze astir,
heard,

Stemmed with the gossamer ;
And the chirp, and the cry, and the song of the bird ; Soft as the blue eyes of a poet's child.
There up the tree-trunk, like a fly on the wall,

The very flower to take
To pick the grey moss, runs the tree-creeper small;

Into the heart, and make There the wren golden-crested, so lovely to see,

The cherished memory of all pleasant places; Hangs its delicate nest from the twigs of the tree;

Name but the light harebell, And there coos the ring-dove-oh, who would not go,

And straight is pictured well
That voice of the wood to hear, dreamy and low!

Where'er of fallen state lie lonely traces.
Yes, come to thc wood—to the woodpecker's tree.
There is joy 'mong the green leaves for thee and for We vision wild sea-rocks,
me!

Where hang its clustering locks,

Waving at dizzy height o'er ocean's brink; Hark! heard ye that laughter so loud and so long?

The hermit's scoopèd cell; Again now!-it drowneth the wood-linnet's song!

The forest's sylvan well, "T is the woodpecker laughing !- the comical ell! Where the poor wounded hart came down to drink His soul must be merry to laugh to himself!And now we are nearer-speak low- he not heard! We vision moors far-spread, Though he's merry at heart, he's a shy, timid bird. Where blooms the heather red, Hark! - now he is tapping the old, hollow tree:- And hunters with their dogs lie down at noon; One step farther on-now look upward-that's he! Lone shepherd-boys, who keep Oh, the exquisite bird ! — with his downward-hung On mountain-sides their sheep, head,

Cheating the time with flowers and fancies boon. With his richly-dyed greens—his pale yellow and red! On the gnarled tree-trunk with its sober-toned grey,

Old slopes of pasture-ground; What a beautiful mingling of colours are they!

Old fosse, and moat, and mound, Ah, the words you have spoken have frightened the

the Where the mailed warrior and crusader came ;

Old walls of crumbling stone, bird

Where trails the snap-dragon ;
For by him the lowest of whispers was heard;

Rise at the speaking of the Harebell's name.
Or a footfall as light as the breezes, that pass
Scarcely bending the flowers, he perceives on the

We see the sere turf brown,
grass.

And the dry yarrow's crown The squirrel above him might chatter and chide;

Scarce raising from the stem its thick-set flowers ; And the purple-winged jay scream on every side;

The pale hawkweed we see, The great winds might blow, and the thunder might

The blue-flowered chiccory, roll,

And the strong ivy-growth o'er crumbling towers. Yet the fearless wood pecker still cling to the bole;

Light Harebell, there thou art, But soon as a footstep that's human is heard,

Making a lovely part A quick terror springs to the heart of the bird !

For the old splendour of the days gone by, For man, the oppressor and tyrant, has made

Waving, if but a breeze The free harmless dwellers of nature afraid !

Pant through the chestnut trees, 'Neath the fork of the branch, in the tree's hollow That on the hill-top grow broad-branched and high. bole,

Oh, when I look on thee, Has the timid woodpecker crept into his hole;

In thy fair symmetry, For there is his home in deep privacy hid,

And look on other flowers as fair beside, Like a chamber scooped into a far pyramid;

My sense is gratitude, And there is his mate, as secure as can be,

That God has been thus good, And his little young woodpeckers deep in the tree.

To scatter flowers, like common blessings, wide. And not till he thinks there is no one about, Will he come to his portal and slyly peep out; And then, when we're up at the end of the lane, We shall hear the old woodpecker laughing again.

THE SCREECH OWL.

THE HAREBELL.
(CAMPANULA ROTUNDIFOLIA.)
It springeth on the heath,

The forest-tree beneath,
Like to some elfin dweller of the wild;

Pray thee, Owl, what art thou doing,
With that dolefulest tu-whoo-ing?
Dark the night is, dark and dreary,
Never a little star shines cheery ;
Wild north winds come up the hollow,
And the pelting rain doth follow;
And the trees the tempest braving,
To and fro are wildly waving!

There are the red rose and the white;
And stems of lilies, strong and bright;
The leaf and tendril of the vine ;
The iris and the columbine;
The strenky tulip, gold and jet;
The amaranth and violet;
There is the bright jonquil; the trail
Of bind-weed, chalice-like and pale ;
The crumpled poppy, brave and bold;
The pea ; the pink; the marigold.

Every living thing is creeping
To its den, and silence keeping,
Saving thou, the night hallooing
With thy dismalest tu-whoo-ing!

Nought I see, so black the night is,
Black the storm, too, in its might is;
But I know there lies the forest,
Peril ever there the sorest,
Where the wild deer-stealers wander;
And the ruin lietb yonder,
Splintered tower and crumbling column,
All among the yew-trees solemn,
Where the toad and lizard clamber
Into many an ancient chamber,
And below, the black rocks under,
Like the muttering coming thunder
Lowly muttering, rolling ever,
Passes on the fordless river:-
Yet I see the black night only
Covering all, so deep and lonely!

Pr'ythee, Owl, what is 't thou 'rt saying So terrific and dismaying? Dost thou speak of loss and ruin, In that ominous tu-whoo-ing? While the tempest yet was stiller, Homeward rode the kindly miller, With his drenched meal-sacks o'er him, And his little son before him ; Dripping wet, yet loud in laughter, Rode the jolly hunters after; And sore wet, and blown and wildern, Went a huddling group of children ; But each, through the tempest's pother, Got home safely to its mother; And ere afternoon was far on, Up the mountain spurred the Baron. How can evil then betide 'em ! In their houses warm they hide 'em. In his chimney-corner smoking, Sits the miller, spite thy croaking; And the children, snug and cozy, In their beds sleep warm and rosy ; And the Baron with his lady, Plays at chess sedate and steady.

Hoot away, then, an' it cheer thee, Only I and darkness hear thee. Trusting Heaven, we 'll fear no ruin, Spite thy ominous tu-whoo-ing!

There are they grouped, in form and hue,
Flower, bud, and leaf to nature true!
Yes, although slighted and forlorn,
And oft the mark of modern scorn,
I love such pictures, and mine eye
With cold regard ne'er passed them by.
I love them most, that they present
Ever some goodly sentiment;
The virgin-mother, young and mild ;
The cradle of the holy child;
Or, 'mid a visioned glory faint,
The meek brow of some martyred saint;
And with their painters I can find
A kindred sympathy of mind.

Flowers are around me bright of hue,
The quaint, old favourites and the new,
In form and colour infinite,
Each one a creature of delight.
But with this fair array is brought
Full many a deep and holy thought,
And for me garden-beds and bowers,
Like the old pictures of the flowers,
Within their bloomy depths enshrine
Ever some sentiment divine!

L'ENVOI.

Go, little book, and to the young and kind,
Speak thou of pleasant hours and lovely things;
Of fields and woods; of sunshine; dew and wind;
Of mountains ; valleys, and of river-springs;
Speak thou of every little bird that sings ;
Of every bright, sweet-scented flower that blows;
But chiefest speak of Him whose mercy flings

Beauty and love abroad, and who bestows
Light to the sun alike, with odour to the rose.

FLOWER-PAINTINGS,

I LOVE those pictures that we see
At times in some old gallery,
Hung amid armed men of old,
And antique ladies, quaint and cold ;
'Mong furious battle-pieces, dire
With agony, and blood, and fire ; -
Flower-pictures, painted long ago,
Though worn, and old, and dimmed of glow,
I love them, although art may deem
Such pictures of but light esteem.

My little book that hast been unto me,
Even as a flower reared in a pleasant place,
This is the task that I impose on thee; -
Go forth; with serious style or playful grace,
Winning young, gentle hearts; and bid them trace •
With thee, the Spirit of Love through earth and

air ;
On beast and bird, and on our mortal race.

So, do thy gracious work; and onward fare,
| Leaving, like angel-guest, a blessing everywhere!

Sketches of Natural History.

TO ANNA MARY AND ALFRED WILLIAM

HOWITT, THESE SKETCHES, ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR THEIR AMUSEMENT,

ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.

THESE simple and unpretending Sketches require no introduction; and yet, when title-page, contents, and dedication have been made out, an introduction so naturally follows, that it might be supposed a book could not be put together without one,-though the writer, as in my case, has little to say either of her. self or her volume.

All, therefore, that I shall now remark is, that these Sketches were written for my own Children; and many of them at their suggestion; and that in seeing the pleasure they have derived from them, I have hoped their young contemporaries may find them equally agreeable. A few of them have already appeared in some of the Juvenile Annuals, and may therefore be familiar to many of my young readers; but I trust they will pardon a reprint of what is already known, in the prospect of finding more that is new.

Nottingham, May 1834.

Amid the foaming waves thou sat'st,

And steer'dst thy little boat;
Thy nest of rush and water-reed

So bravely set afloat.
And on it went, and safely on

That wild and stormy tide;
And there thou sat'st, a mother-bird,

Thy young ones at thy side.
Oh Coot! oh bold, adventurous Coot,

I pray thee tell to me,
The perils of that stormy voyage

That bore thee to the sea !
Hadst thou no fear, as night came down

Upon thy watery way,
Of enemies, and dangers dire

That round about thee lay?
Didst thou not see the falcon grim

Swoop down as thou passed by?
And 'mong the waving water flags

The lurking otter lie?
The eagle's scream came wildly near,

Yet, caused it no alarm?
Nor man, who seeing thee, weak thing,

Did strive to do thee harm?
And down the foaming waterfall,

As thou wast borne along,
Hadst thou no dread? Oh daring bird,

Thou hadst a spirit strong!
Yer, thou hadst fear. But He who sees

The sparrows when they fall;
He saw thee, bird, and gave thee strength

To brave thy perils all. He kept thy little ark afloat;

He watched o'er thine and thee; And safely through the foaming flood

Hath brought thee to the sea."

SKETCHES OF NATURAL HISTORY.

THE CAMEL.

THE COOT.
On Coot! oh bold, adventurous Coot,

I pray thee tell to me,
The perils of that stormy time

That bore thee to the sea!
I saw thee on the river fair,

Within thy sedgy screen ;
Around thee grew the bulrush tall,

And reeds so strong and green.
The kingfisher came back again

To view thy fairy place;
The stately swan sailed statelier by,

As if thy home to grace.
But soon the mountain-food came down,

And bowed the bulrush strong; And far above those tall green reeds, · The waters poured along. “ And where is she, the Water-Coot,"

I cried, “ that creature good ?" But then I saw thee in thine ark,

Regardless of the food.

CAMEL, thou art good and mild,
Might'st be guided by a child;
Thou wast made for usefulness,
Man to comfort and to bless.
Thou dost clothe him ; thou dost feed;
Thou dost lend to him thy speed.
And through wilds of trackless sand,
In the hot Arabian land,
Where no rock its shadow throws;
Where no pleasant water flows;
Where the hot air is not stirred,
By the wing of singing bird,

And Eve in her young innocence

Delayed her footsteps there;
And Adam's heart grew warm with praise

To see a tree so fair.
And though the world was darkened

With the shade of human ill,
And man was cast from Paradise,

Yet wast thou goodly still.

There thou go'st untired and meek,
Day by day, and week by week,
Bearing freight of precious things,
Silks for merchants, gold for kings;
Pearls of Ormuz, riches rare,
Damascene and Indian ware;
Bale on bale, and heap on heap,
Freighted like a costly ship!
When the red Simoom comes near,
Camel, dost thou know no fear?
When the desert sands uprise
Flaming crimson to the skies,
And like pillared giants strong,
Stalk the dreary waste along,
Bringing death unto his prey,
Does not thy good heart give way?
Camel, no! thou do'st for man
All thy generous nature can!
Thou do'st lend to him thy speed
In that awful time of need;
And when the Simoom goes by,
Teachest him to close his eye,
And bow down before the blast
Till the purple death has passed!
And when week by week is gone,
And the traveller journeys on
Feebly; when his strength is fled,
And his hope and heart seem dead,
Camel, thou dost turn thine eye
On him kindly, soothingly,
As if thou would'st cheering, say,
" Journey on for this one day!
"Do not let thy heart despond ;
“There is water yet beyond !
"I can scent it in the air;-
“ Do not let thy heart despair!"
And thou guid'st the traveller there.
Camel, thou art good and mild,
Might'st be guided by a child;

Thou wast made for usefulness,
Man to comfort and to bless ;
And these desert wastes must be
Untracked regions but for thee!

And when an ancient poet

Some lofty theme would sing, He made the Cedar symbol forth

Each great and gracious thing.
And royal was the Cedar

Above all other trees!
They chose of old its scented wood

For kingly palaces.
And in the halls of princes,

And on the Phænix-pyre,
'T was only noble cedar-wood

Could feed the odorous fire. In the temple of Jerusalem,

That glorious temple old, They only found the cedar-wood

To match with carved gold. Thou great and noble Solomon,

What king was e'er like thee ? Thou 'mong the princes of the earth

Wast like a Cedar tree! But the glory of the Cedar tree

Is as an old renown,
And few and dwindled grow they now

Upon Mount Lebanon.
But dear they are to poet's heart;

And dear to painter's eye;
And the beauty of the Cedar tree

On earth will never die !

THE MONKEY.

MONKEY, little merry fellow, Thou art nature's punchinello! Full of fun as Puck could be ; Harlequin might learn of thee! Look now at his odd grimaces ! Saw you e'er such comic faces ? Now like learned judge sedate ; Now with nonsense in his pate!

CEDAR TREES.
The power that formed the violet,

The all-creating One;
He made the stately Cedar trees

That crowned Mount Lebanon.
And all within the garden

That angels came to see,
He set in groves and on the hills

The goodly Cedar tree.
There played the gladsome creatures,

Beneath its shadow dim; And from its spreading, leafy boughs Went up the wild bird's hymn.

Nature, in a sunny wood,
Must have been in merry mood,
And with laughter fit to burst,
Monkey, when she made thee first.
How you leaped and frisked about,
When your life you first found ont;
How you threw, in roguish mirth,
Cocoa-nuts on mother earth;

How you sate and made a din Louder than had ever been, Till the Parrots, all a-riot, Chattered too to keep you quiet;

THE FOSSIL ELEPHANT.

The earth is old! Six thousand years

Are gone since I had birth; In the forests of the olden time,

And the solitudes of earth.

Little, merry Monkey, tell
Was there kept no chronicle ?
And have you no legends old,
Wherein this, and more is told ?

How the world's first children ran Laughing from the monkey-man, Litile Abel and his brother, Laughing, shouting to their mother!

And could you keep down your mirth, When the floods were on the earth; When from all your drowning kin, Good old Noah took you in?

In the very ark, no doubt, You went frolicking about; Never keeping in your mind, Drowned monkeys left behind!

No, we cannot hear of this;
Gone are all the witnesses;
But I'm very sure that you
Made both mirth and mischief too!

Have ye no traditions,-none
Of the court of Solomon ?
No memorial how ye went
With prince Hiram's armament?

We were a race of mighty things;

The world was all our own.
I dwelt with the Mammoth large and strong,

And the giant Mastodon.
No ship went over the waters then,

No ship with oar or sail;
But the wastes of the sea were habited

By the Dragon and the Whale.
And the Hydra down in the ocean caves

Abode, a creature grim;
And the scaled Serpents huge and strong

Coiled up in the waters dim.
The wastes of the world were all our own;

A proud, imperial lot!
Man had not then dominion given,

Or else we knew it not.
There was no city on the plain;

No fortress on the hill;
No mighty men of strength, who came,

With armies up, to kill.
There was no iron then - no brass -

No silver and no gold;
The wealth of the world was in its woods,

And its granite mountains old.
And we were the kings of all the world;

We knew its breadth and length;
We dwelt in the glory of solitude,

And the majesty of strength.
But suddenly came an awful change!

Wherefore, ask not of me;
That it was, my desolate being shows,

Let that suffice for thee.
The Mammoth huge and the Mastodon

Were buried beneath the earth;
And the Hydra and the Serpents strong,

In the caves where they had birth!
There is now no place of silence deep,

Whether on land or sea;
And the Dragons lie in the mountain-rock,

As if for eternity!

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And far in the realms of thawless ice,

Beyond each island shore,
My brethren lie in the darkness stern,

To awake to life no more!
And not till the last conflicting crash

When the world consumes in fire, Will their frozen sepulchres be loosed, And their dreadful doom expire!

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