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in some sequestered path which is but seldom trodden by any feet saving their own! What terrible havoc the murderous gun makes with their splendid feathers, scattering their gold and crimson and purple plumes upon the wind, and drawing down the bright scarlet rim that encircles their deep-shining eyes, which the filmy darkness covers ! The sound of their voices, too, calling on each other from the distant thickets, harmonises well with the silence of the scene. Then to come upon them unawares where they are squatting among the entangled grass and plants, and see them spring up, and with a loud noise whirr through the woven branches to some more secret covert, is a beautiful and striking sight, and especially in this month, when every motion of their strong wings scatters a shower of golden leaves to the ground. Lovely are the woods at all seasons, but never more so than in autumn, when they stand robed in solemn grandeur, like giants battling with the spoiler who has come to divest them of their splendid attire, which every motion of their brawny arms shakes off, while the watching wind laughs at their strength, and, gathering up their fallen honours, drives them before him, and goes whistling in triumph over the valleys.
Although autumn is beautiful to look upon, still it is a melancholy sight to witness the falling leaves to see all that rendered summer so green and lovely unhoused, turned out from their shady dwelling-places, dividing even themselves, and each carrying away a portion of its home, and wandering on to destruction over the earth which they above all other things had adorned. Who can walk abroad at such a season without thinking of that change which must ere long take place without turning a thought towards those who are gone those whom we loved and conversed with, and with whom we have often wandered in spring, in the leafy bloom of summer, or in the solemn silence of autumn ? What pleasant companions have we parted with—what valued friends have heen called away! Some of them, too, were young and beau
tiful, with rosy health enthroned in their cheeks, and delight · brightening in their eyes. How short a time it seems since we went with them to gather violets! Who could have deemed that so
soon the voice which gave utterance to all those pleasing thoughts—that poured forth words rapidly as a bird utters its own music-should become mute? And could all those young hopes die ? could those ideas perish which grew daily in their own strength, apparently independent of the body, gathering power from things unseen, saving to the mind's eye, and visiting remote worlds, which fancy peopled-even such as they dreamed the soul would inhabit? But they are gone!
The tender spray, dotted with ten thousand hopes, realised the expectations of Spring, and flushed broadly into Summer's green lap their full tribute of leaves; and Autumn came with such stealthy steps, that his march was unperceived; and brought such a beauty in his decay, that we saw not the havoc he had made, until Winter showed his bleak forehead in the naked distance, and gazed in proud triumph on the desolating marauders he had let loose.
“ This is the state of man! To-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blossoms,
What visions have we beheld in forests floating among the summer greenery, as we lay with half-shut eyes
“ Under an oak, whose antique roots peep'd out
Upon the brook that brawl’d along the wood !” Sometimes the long leaves talked and swayed to and fro in breezy eloquence; now lifting up their husky voices, and sending forth a string of rustling words; then sinking down to prolonged whispers, just moving their green lips, and making
sounds a little lower than the lisping of the brook. Then a golden form would spring from a pillow of light, and bury its beamy head in the blue folds of the foliage, its twinkling feet glittering among the heavy grass, which shone like silken tassels beneath the pressure of the tall sunbeam. The rainbow-dyed plumage of the pheasant squatting under the broad fern spread out before our dreamy eyelids like the rich folds of an eastern maiden's mantle ; and the darker leaves of the underwood threw out lines of raven tresses; and the jarring of branches sounded like the tramp of horsemen who were in search of the brighteyed sultana. Two pale flowers bending towards each other formed her clasped hands; and as they moved nearer together, our heart sent forth a prayer for her safety. The dark trailing bramble falling in stripes over the red bracken imaged a crouching tiger on the watch beneath an old oak; the moving spray of a woodbine seemed coiled like his tail in anger ; and the crimson flowers of the betony brightened into eyes which we gazed upon until they glared, and even uplifted our arm with a sleepy effort to parry the anticipated spring. Then we listened to the sound of “the rivulet,” that
" Wanton and wild through many a green ravine
Beneath the forest flow'd. Sometimes it fell
We heard wild music, sometimes floating between us and the sky; then it seemed to linger in distant dells, or even sounded at our feet ; and when we sprang up, the chirp of the grasshopper, the low notes of birds, the billowy converse of the leaves, and the stream talking in its sleep, were all the sounds we heard.
The murmur of harp-strings, the clear voice of women, the low rumble of a drum, the far-off flow of the lute, or
The wondrous strain
were all hushed! Then we saw processions in the waving flowers; banners fluttering in the tall scarlet poppies ; white plumes nodding in the thistle down ; knights in gold and silver armour in the yellow king-cups and white daisies ; and graceful maidens, bending their beautiful forms to listen to the warriors whom they seemed to be riding beside, in the cuckooflowers. Scouts flew to and fro in the form of butterflies, and whispered their messages into the ears of lady fair or baron bold, then hurried on again to the utmost verge of the gorgeous cavalcade. Pages also were in attendance in the gaudy livery of the tiger-moth; and ever and anon the humble-bee sounded his trumpet, and the humming gnats blew their tiny horns, while ranks of blue-bells and cohorts of lilies seemed to move before us in the breeze. Towns and palaces were painted on the mossy stems of trees, and many a scene appeared
“ For some were hung with arras green and blue,
Showing a gaudy summer morn,
His wreathed bugle-horn.
On dewy pastures, dewy trees,
A haunt of ancient peace.” The following account of feeding hogs on mast at this season, from Gilpin, is highly curious :
“ It is among the rights of the forest borderers to feed their
hogs in the forest during the pawnage month, as it is called, which extends throughout October. The method of treating hogs at this season of migration, and of reducing a large herd of these unmanageable brutes to perfect obedience and good government, is as follows :—The first step the swineherd takes is to investigate some close-sheltered part of the forest, where there is a conveniency of water, and plenty of oak or beechmast, the former of which he prefers when he can have it in sufficient abundance. He fixes next on some spreading tree, round the bole of which he wattles a slight circular fence of the dimensions he wants, and covering it roughly with boughs and sods, he fills it plentifully with straw or fern.
“Having made this preparation, he collects his colony among the farmers, with whom he commonly agrees for a shilling ahead, and will get together perhaps a herd of five or six hundred hogs. Having driven to their destined habitation, he gives them a plentiful supper of acorns or beech-mast, which he had already provided, sounding his horn during the repast. He then turns them into litter, where after a long journey and a hearty meal they sleep soundly.
“The next morning he lets them look around, -shows them the pool or stream where they may occasionally drink, leaves them to pick up the offals of the last night's meal, and, as evening draws on, gives them another plentiful repast under the neighbouring trees, which rain acorns upon them for an hour together. After this they again sleep.
“ The following day he is perhaps at the pains of procuring them another meal, with music playing as usual. He then leaves them a little more to themselves, having an eye, however, on their evening hours. But as their bellies are full, they seldom wander far from home, retiring commonly very orderly and early to bed.
“ After this, he throws his sty open, and leaves them to cater for themselves; and has but little trouble afterward during the whole time of their migration. Now and then, in calm wea