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some parts it descends quite precipitously into the sea, whose waves are dashed into magnificent white foam against its black and impenetrable sides. We said "impenetrable ;” but not in all cases ; for here and there are caves which the ceaseless action of the restless waves has worn, and where the wild sea-bird finds repose and shelter. Down the steep declivity, and winding in and out in rapid turnings, a pathway of steps has been cut, protected on each side by a wall; this is the road to the lighthouse. Some three or four hundred of these steps are cut out of the solid rock; and at every turn of the winding path you will do well to pause, and gaze on the strangely wild scene below :-wave after wave dashing against every projecting rock, or fiercely rushing into every rocky inlet, and coming out again in foam only to be borne back by the new waves rushing in, in their fury or their play. It is a sight to make one pause. At every turn, and they are many, of the steps, we thus watch the billowy sport, until at last we reach the door which leads—to the Stack! O, no, to the suspension bridge which connects the island with the solitary sea-surrounded rock upon which the lighthouse is erected. In the middle of this bridge stay a moment or two, and look at the narrow channel beneath you. Besides the sides of the two islands, the narrow passage has many projecting points of rock, over which the waves dash and foam in laughing joy. In a storm it must be fearfully sublime; for now in comparative calm the foam is dashed into our faces as we gaze on the monster in his sport.
We are now across the bridge, and a few yardswalk brings us to the summit of the Stack, on which the beacon is erected.
We found the man residing at the lighthouse pleasant, courteous, and communicative. He took us up to the lighting-room, and showed us the working of the machine, and explained, as much as to unscientific understandings he could, the whole process. To us the more acceptable sight was the far out-spreading sea, so grandly magnificent in its boundlessness. Opposite to us was the Skerry lighthouse, clearly visible; and thus dotted about are these guides to the houseless and storm-tossed sailor, telling him of his danger, and pointing out to him his safety and repose. We have visited several lighthouses, but not one so romantically situated, nor approached by so glorious and beautiful a walk, as the lighthouse built on the South Stack.
OVER THE CLENT HILLS.
One of our favourite haunts is the Clent Hills. Unnumbered are the rambles which we have had over their elastic sward. At all times of the year, and under all circumstances, have we walked over their breezy tops, or, throwing our bodies along the grateful sides, watched the glorious views lying before and around us. In the sweet spring time, when the early snowdrop, or clustering primrose, or sweet violet, welcomed our coming; on the hot summer day, when the wild hyacinth sapphired the ground, and not a breath of air fanned the burning forehead; in autumn time, when the graceful harebell, the magnificent fern, and the precious heather, vied with each other to attract us; and when
“The flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove thro' the air ;” also in the bright frosty winter morn, when the hills were covered with snow, and all the country around was a scene of desolation and death, have we rambled over these well-beloved hills, and
, in all seasons received the gifts which nature never denies to those who know how to ask. We have visited them by every means and all the ways by which they are accessible; from the busy and toooften field-forgetting town of Birmingham :-by coach to Hales Owen, and thence by foot to the hills; by rail to Stourbridge, whence a lovely walk of about three miles brings you to Clent; by walking the whole distance have we visited this favourite scene; and once again, on a light sunny day, the old desire seized us, the rambling demon took possession of us, and we resolved again to visit Clent.
But how to go? We had exhausted all the usual methods of reaching them, and we wanted a new one. After some thought upon the subject, we resolved to go first to Harborne, a village some two or three miles from Birmingham, and, instead of taking the high road thence to Hagley, and thus reaching Clent, to make our way across the fields, ever keeping the hills in view for our guidance. It was a bright morning; the sun shone forth right regally; when with a heart as bright as his beams, with a light buoyant step, we struck into the lanes ; then through the meadows; through fields covered with mown grass, whose fragrance filled the air ; through fields of golden corn, whose stiff, upbristling ears, as Homer has it, scarcely bent before the gentle breeze, which made sweet music rustling among the wheat; through fields of oats, whose delicate grace makes this grain to all other cereals what the birch tree is to all the other denizens of the woods—their queen. Through these various fields, in beautiful alternation, we rambled, now gathering a posy of wild flowers for the wee things at home; now making up bunches of the rich, fragile, and graceful grasses, with which English fields abound; now resting to behold the varied, but in its every variety surpassingly beautiful, scene around
Pause where we might, our change of place had brought a change of prospect ; but to our unjaundiced eyes every new view had some peculiar charm, which compensated for anything which in comparison with others it might seem to have lost. Rambling with open eyes—with eyes that can see, is always replete with new and unanticipated pleasures There is no aspect of nature but has a grace, a joy, and a glory of its own. In every lane, in every field, through which we passed, we found this grace, this joy; and bountiful, generous nature gave them from her rich treasury, and was not one tittle the poorer.
In this spirit we wandered on, regardless of the flight of time. Mid-day approached, and with it came to us a new delight. The brightness of the sun was overcast. Clouds floated about the sky. The deep shadows which they threw upon
the field as they passed, showed that they were rainy clouds. Soon no room was left for doubt. Thick misty rain came down ; and then up the sides of the
; hills rolled the dark clouds; and now they are altogether enveloped in the veil of clouds; but it is not dense enough to hide them from our sight, only sufficiently so to give an indistinctness to their outline, and indefiniteness to the extent of their spurs, which makes them appear gigantic when compared with their ordinary appearance. Let him who would behold hills in perfection rejoice if he obtain such a sudden change from a light sunny day to a misty rainy one, as we now bad. How much more