Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

once

To the author of the “ Flora Domes- flowers courting the look by their varied tica,” and to the reader who may not have loveliness, and the smell by their delicacy; seen a volume so acceptable to the culti- large juicy apples bowing down the almost valor of flowers, it would be injustice to tendril-shootswherefrom they miraculously extract from its pages without remarking spring; plants of giant growth with mulils usefulness, and elegance of composi- tiform shrubs beyond, and holly-hocks tion. Lamenting that “plants often meet towering like painted pinnacles from hid. with an untimely death from the igno- den shrines : rance of their nurses,” the amiable

Can imagination boast, author “ resolved to obtain and to com

'Mid all its gay creation, charnis like these ? municate such information as should be requisite for the rearing and preserving a

Dr. Forster, the scientific author of a portable garden in pots ; --and hencefor- treatise on " Atmospheric Phenomena, ward the death of any plant, owing to the

and other valuable works, has included carelessness or ignorance of its nurse, numerous useful observations on the weashall be brought in at the best as plant- ther in his recently published “ Perennial slaughter."

Calendar,” a volume replete with instruc

tion and entertainment. He observes, The cultivation of plants commences

in the latter work, that after certain atmowith our infancy. If estranged from it spheric appearances on this day in the by the pursuits of active life, yet, during year 1809, “ a hard and freezing shower a few years' retirement from the

great

of hail and sleet came with considerable hum" of a noisy world, we naturally violence from the east, and glazed every recur to a garden as to an old and cheer- thing on which it fell with ice; it in ful friend whom we had forgotten or

crusted the walls, encased the trees and neglected, and verify the saying,

the

garments of people, and even the a man, and twice a child.” There is not plumage of birds, so that many rooks “one of woman born” without a sense of and other fowls were found lying on the pleasure when he sees buds bursting into ground, stiff with an encasement of ice. leaf; earth yielding green shoots from Such weather," Dr. Forster observes, germs in its warm bosom; white fruit- “ has been aptly described by Philips as blossoms, tinted with rose-blushes, stand- occurring oftentimes during a northero ing out in clumps from slender branches; winter :

Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow,
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view
The face of Nature in a rich disguise,
And brightened every object to my eyes ;
For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in glass,
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow,
The thick -sprung reeds the watery marshes yield
Seem polished lances in a hostile field.
The stag in limpid currents, with surprise,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
The spreading oak, the beech, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing ether shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
That wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When, if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies;
The cracking wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled shower the prospect ends.

Philips, Lett. from Copenhagmi. " It may be observed, that in both the the storm. There is something very reabove descriptions of similar phenomena, markably unwholesome in east winds the east wind is recorded as bringing up and a change to that quarter often die

fearful enemy

lurbs the nervous system and digestive In the truth of these observations as
organs of many persons, causing head- regards health, he who writes this is un-
aches, fevers, and other disorders. More happily qualified to concur from expe
over, a good astronomical observation rience; and were it in his power, would
cannot be made when the wind is east : erer shun the north-east as his most
the star seems to oscillate or dance about
in the field of the telescope."

Sir, the north-east, more fierce than Russian cold,
Pierces the very marrow in the bones,
Presses upon the brain an arid weight,
And superflows life's current with a force
That checks the heart, and soul, and mind, and strength,
In all their purposes: -

Up with the double window-sashes-quick!
Close every crevice from the withering blast,
And stop the keyhole tight-the wind-fiend comes !

[ocr errors]

January 20.

fast-pinned paper, unmindful of the phy

sical law which forbids her head revolving St. Fabian, Pope. St. Sebastian. St. faster than the great orbit on which the Erithymius. St. Fechin.

ominous comet flies.” St. Fabian. This saint is in the church of England

ST. AGNES' EVE. calendar; he was bishop of Rome, A. D. Formerly this was a night of great im. 250 : the Romish calendar calls him pope. port to maidens who desired to know who

they should marry. Of such it was reSt. Sebastian's Day

quired, that they should not eat on this Is noted in Doblada's Letters from Spain, day, and those who conformed to the as within the period that ushers in the car- rule, called it fasting St. Agnes' fast. nival with rompings in the streets, and vulgar mirth.

And on sweet St. Agnes' night “ The custom alluded to by Horace of

Please you with the promis’j sight, sticking a tail, is still practised by the

Some of husbands, some of lovers, boys in the streets, to the great annoyance

Which an empty dream discovers.

Ben Jonsox. of old ladies, who are generally the objects of this sport. One of the ragged Old Aubrey has a recipe, whereby a striplings that wander in crowds about lad or lass was to attain a sight of the Seville, having tagged a piece of paper fortunate lover. “ Upon St. Agnes' night with a hooked pin, and stolen unperceiv- you take a row of pins, and pull out every ed behind some slow-paced female, as one, one after another, saying a Pater wrapt up in ber veil, she tells the beads Noster, sticking a pin in your sleeve, and she carries in her left hand, fastens the you will dream of him or her you shall paper-tail on the back of the black or marry.” walking petticoat called Saya. The whole Little is remembered of these homely gang of ragamuffins, who, at a convenient methods for knowing “all about sweetdistance, have watched the dexterity of hearts," and the custom would scarcely their companion, set up a loud cry of have reached the greater number of read- Làrgalo, làrgalo' – Drop it, drcpit'- ers, if one of the sweetest of our modern this makes every female in the street look poets had not preserved its recollection in to the rear, which, they well know, is the a delightful poem.

Some stanzas are fixed point of attack with the merry lightculled from it, with the hope that they troops. The alarm continues till some may be read by a few to whom the poetry friendly hand relieves the victim of sport, of Keates is unknown, and awaken a dewho, spinning and nodding like a spent sire for further acquaintance with his top, tries in vain to catch a glance ai the beauties:-

The Eve of St. Agnes.
St. Agnes' Eve ? Ah, tiiter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold ;
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold :
They told her hów, upon St. Agnes' Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey'd middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;

Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline

Out went the taper as she hurried in ;
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died :
She clos'd the door, she panted, all akin
To spirits of the air, and visions wide
No uttered syllable, or, woe betide !
But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
Paining with eloquence her balmy side;

As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stified, in her dell.

A casement high and triple arch'd there was,
All garlanded with carven imag'ries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device
Innumerable of stains and splendid (yes,
As are the tiger-moth's deep damask'd wings;
And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,

And twilight saints, with dim emblazonings,
A shielded 'scutcheon blush'd with blood of queens and kings.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast,
As down she knelt for Heaven's grace and boon;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem'd a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for Heaven :

Her vespers done
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one ;
Loosens her fragrant boddice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees •
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awbile she dreams awake, and sees,

In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex'd she lay,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress'd
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow day,
Blissfully haven'd both from joy and pain;
Clasp'd like a missal where swart Paynims pray;

Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Stol'n to this paradise, and so extranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listened to her breatbing.

Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains :—'twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream :-

66

He took her hollow lute,
Tumultuous,-and, in chords that tenderest be,
He play'd an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call’d, “ La belle dame sans mercy :"
Close to her ear touching the melody;
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter'd a soft moan :
He ceas'd—she panted quick-and suddenly

Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone :
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep:
There was a painful change, that nigh expellid
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep,
At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh ,
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;

Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Fearing to move or speak, she look'd so dreamingly

Ah, Porphyro !" said she,“ but even now

Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear, “ Made tuneable with every sweetest vow; “ And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear : How chang'd thou art ! how pallid, chill, and drear “Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, “ Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!

“ Oh, leave me not in this eternal woe,
« For if thou diest, my love, I know not where to go."

Beyond a mortal man impassion'd far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, fush'd, and like a throbbing star,
Seen 'mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose,
Into her dream he melted, as the rose
Blendeth its odour with the violet,
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows

Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet
Against the window-panes.

“ Hark! 'tis an elfin-storm from faery land,
“Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed
“ Arise-arise! the morning is at band ;-

Let us away, my love, with happy speed.com
And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.

.

[ocr errors]

FLORAL DIRECTORY.

St. Fabian

Large Dead Nettle. Lurnium garganicami

[graphic]

wonderful miracles before her death, which Aquarius,

was by beheading, when she was thirteen OR, THE WATER BEARER. years oid; whereupon he enjoins females The sun enters Aquarius on this day, to a single life, as better than a married though he does not enter it in the visible one, and says, that her anniversary " was zodiac until the 18th of February. forinerly a holiday for the women in

Ganymede, who succeeded Hebe as England.” Ribadeneira relates, that she cup-bearer to Jove, is fabled to have been was to have been burned, and was put into changed into Aquarius. Canobus of the the fire for that purpose, but the flames, Egyptian zodiac, who was the Neptune refusing to touch her, divided on each of the Egyptians, with a water-vase and side, burnt some of the bystanders, and meazure, evidently prefigured this con- then quenched, as if there had been stellation. They worshipped him as the none made: a compassionate quality in God of many breasts, from whence he re- fire, of which iron was not sensible, for plenished the Nile with-fertilizing streams. her head was cut off at a single blow Aquarius contains one hundred and eight Her legend further relates, that eight days stars, the two chief of which are about after her death she came to her parents fifteen degrees in height:

arrayed in white, attended by virgins with His head, his shoulders, and bis lucid breast,

garlands of pearls, and a lamb whiter Glisten with stars; and when his urn inclines, than snow; she is therefore usually repreRivers of light brighten the watery track. sented by artists with a lamb by her side ;

Eudosia. though not, as Mr. Brand incautiously

says, “ in every graphic representation."

It is further related, that a priest who offiJanuary 21.

ciated in a church dedicated to St. Agnes,

was very desirous of being married. He St. Agnes. St Fructuosus, &c. St. prayed the pope's license, who gave it

Vimin, or Vivian. St. Publius. St. him, together with an emerald ring, and Epiphanius

commanded him to pay his addresses to St. Agnes.

the image of St. Agnes in his own church. “ She has always been looked upon," Then the priest did so, and the image pur says Butler, “as a special patroness of forth her finger, and he put the ring therepurity, with the immaculate mother on; whereupon the image drew her finof God." According to him, she suffered ger again, and kept the ring fast, and martyrdom, about 304, and performed the priest was contented to remain a ba

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »