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afford it much supply: but then we have others as small, that, without the aid of trees, and in spite of evaporation from sun and wind, and perpetual consumption by cattle, yet constantly maintain a moderate share of water, without overflowing in the wettest seasons, as they would do if supplied by springs. By my journal of May, it appears that the small and even considerable ponds on the vales are now dried up, while the small ponds on the very tops of the hills are but little affected. Can this difference be accounted for from evaporation alone, which certainly is more prevalent in bottoms? or rather, have not those elevated pools some unnoticed recruits, which in the night-time counterbalance the waste of the day, without which th cattle alone must soon exhaust them? Dr. Hales, in his · Vegetable Statics, advances from experiment, that the moister the earth is, the more dew falls on it in a night ; and more than a double quantity of dew falls on an equal surface of moist earth. Hence we see that water, by its coolness, is enabled to assimilate to itself a large quantity of moisture nightly, by condensation; and that the air, when loaded with fogs and vapours, and even with copious dews, can alone advance a considerable and never-failing resource. Persons that are much abroad, and travel early and late, such as shepherds and fishermen, can tell what prodigious fogs prevail in the night on elevated downs, even in the hottest parts of summer ; and how much the surfaces of things are drenched by these swimming vapours, though, to the senses, all the while, little moisture seems to fall.”
We shall close this month with a poem by Herrick, entitled
THE COUNTRY LIFE.
“ Sweet country life ! to such unknown
Whose lives are others', not their own,-
Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear All scores, and so to end the year; But walk'st about thy own dear grounds, Not craving others' larger bounds : For well thou know'st 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life-but sweet content. When now the cock, the ploughman's horn, Calls forth the lily-wristed Morn, Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go, Which, tho' well soil'd, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet and hands. There, at the plough, thou find'st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them, And cheer'st them up by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough. This done, then to th' enamellid meads Thou goest ; and, as thy foot there treads, Thou seest a present godlike power Imprinted in each herb and flower ; And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine, Sweet as the blossoms of the vine. Here thou behold'st thy large, sleek neat Unto the dewlaps up in meat ; And, as thou look'st, the wanton steer, The heifer, cow, and ox draw near, To make a pleasing pastime there. These seen, thou goest to view thy flocks Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox ; And find'st their bellies there as full Of short sweet grass, as backs with wool ; And leav'st them, as they feed and fill,A shepherd piping on the hill. For sports, for pageantry, and plays, Thou hast thy eves and holy-days ; On which the young men and maids meet To exercise their dancing feet, Tripping the comely country round, With daffodils and daisies crown'd. Thy wakes, thy quintels, here thou hast, Thy May-poles too, with garlands graced ;
SUMMER is come again, waving her green garlandry over hill and valley, and bending the long grass with her breezy footsteps in the luxuriant meadows. She has spread her gorgeous carpet of crimson heath-bells over the wide forest wastes and brown moors, and left a deep twilight in the dense foliage of the trees; you
hear her clear voice whispering through the green corn, and smell her fragrant breath in the balmy hay-field ; you catch the deep blue of her skiey eyes mirrored in the sleepy rivers, and
see the skirts of her golden drapery trailing over a thousand flowers. She touches the green leaves with her sunny fingers, and they bound upon their branches in rustling music; the silvery willow nods gracefully before her, and the scarlet poppy waves its rich velvet banner as she passes. There is but one voice lifted up in the earth, exclaiming « Summer is come again!"
What is there so pleasant as to enter an old wood on a sultry summer's day, and to throw oneself at the root of some goodly tree on the cool moss or long grass ! Perchance a brook murmurs at our feet, welling away between its shelving bank, now in sunshine, now in shade, while myriads of lovely flowers bend over it, gazing upon their own beautiful shadows ;-how like Narcissus appears a solitary primrose arching its slender stem as if to kiss its own image in the clear water; and it will die away, gazing upon its own beauty !-Oh what delight to ramble from glen to glen, from thicket to thicket! How like Jason we seem, threading such leafy labyrinths! What if he bore off the golden fleece!—cannot we carry home the golden saxifrage, with its rich-wrought flowers ? Poetry-nothing but dreamy poetry seems to haunt us here. – Hark! heard you Ophelia singing “Oh, willow ! willow !” No-it was but the dashing water.—Surely yonder is Una leading her milk-white lamb! Passed she not the glade ? No—'twas but a sunbeam that fell for a moment upon the white trunk of a noble tree, then vanished. But did not Gurth the swineherd blow his horn, and summon his dog Fangs to drive the herd to Cedric's castle ? or did he laugh at Wamba's jest ? No—'twas but the woodpecker that sent his merry laugh through the greenwood. Hark! it " came as near as near could be !”—was it not Geraldine complaining to Christabel that they had “ bound her to a palfrey white !” No—'twas merely the wood-pigeon cooing to its distant mate.—Oh delusive poetry !-dreamy old wood ! I will shut mine eyes, and then I shall hear nymph, and faun, and dryad steal lightly past me, as if afraid to waken the flowers.