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OCTOBER

With hound and horn, o'er moor, and hill, and dale,
The chace sweeps on; no obstacle they heed,
Nor hedge, nor ditch, nor wood, nor river wide.
The clamorous pack rush rapid down the vale,
Whilst o'er yon brushwood tops, at times, are seen
The moving branches of the victim stag:
Soon far beyond he stretches o'er the plain.
0, may he safe elude the savage rout,
And may the woods be left to peace again!

Hushed are the faded woods; no song is heard, Save where the redbreast mourns the falling leaf. At close of shortened day, the reaper, tired, With sickle on his shoulder, homeward hies. Night comes with threatening storm, first whispering

low,

Sighing amid the boughs; then, by degrees,
With violence redoubled at each pause,
Furious it rages, scaring startled sleep.
The river roars. Long-wished, at last, the dawn,
Doubtful, peeps forth; the winds are hushed, and sleep
Lights on the eyes unsullied with a tear;
Nor flies, but at the plough-boy's whistle gay,
Or hunter's horn, or sound of hedger's bill.
Placid the sun shoots through the half-stript grove;
The grove's sere leaves float down the dusky flood.

The happy schoolboy, whom the swollen streams, Perilous to wight so small, give holiday, Forth roaming, now wild berries pulls, now paints, Artless, his rosy cheek with purple hue; Now wonders that the nest, hung in the leafless thorn, So full in view, escaped erewhile his search; On tiptoe raised,-ah, disappointment dire ! His

eager hand finds nought but withered leaves.

Night comes again; the cloudless canopy Is one bright arch,-myriads, myriads of stars. To him who wanders 'mong the silent woods, The twinkling orbs beam through the leafless boughs, Which erst excluded the meridian ray.

NOVEMBER. .

LANGUID the morning beam slants o'er the lea;
The hoary grass, crisp, crackles ’neath the tread.

On the haw-clustered thorns, a motley flock Of birds, of various plume, and various note, Discordant chirp; the linnet, and the thrush With speckled breast, the blackbird yellow-beaked, The goldfinch, fieldfare, with the sparrow, pert And clamorous above his shivering mates, While, on the house-top, faint the redbreast plains.

Where do

ye
lurk, ye

houseless commoners, When bleak November's sun is overcast; When sweeps the blast fierce through the deepest

groves, Driving the fallen leaves in whirling wreaths;

When scarce the raven keeps her bending perch; When dashing cataracts are backward blown?

A deluge pours; loud comes the river down: The margin trees now insulated seem, As if they in the midway current grew. Oft let me stand upon the giddy brink, And chace, with following gaze, the whirling foam, Or woodland wreck: Ah me, that broken branch, Sweeping along, may tempt some heedless boy, Sent by his needy parents to the woods For brushwood gleanings for their evening fire, To stretch too far his little arm !-he falls, He sinks. Long is he looked for, oft he's called; His homeward whistle oft is fancied near : His playmates find him on the oozy bank, And, in his stiffened grasp, the fatal branch.

Short is the day; dreary the boisterous night: At intervals the moon gleams through the clouds, And, now and then, a star is dimly seen.

When daylight breaks, the woodman leaves his hut, And oft the axe's echoing stroke is heard; At last the yielding oak's loud crash resounds, Crushing the humble hawthorn in its fall. The husbandman slow plods from ridge to ridge, Disheartened, and rebuilds his prostrate sheaves.

DECEMBER.

WHERE late the wild flower bloomed, the brown leaf

lies; Not even the snow-drop cheers the dreary plain : The famished birds forsake each leafless spray, And flock around the barn-yard's winnowing store.

Season of social mirth! of fireside joys !
I love thy shortened day, when, at its close,
The blazing tapers, on the jovial board,
Dispense o'er every care-forgetting face
Their cheering light, and harmless mirth abounds.
Now far be banished, from our social ring,
The party wrangle fierce, the argument
Deep, learned, metaphysical, and dull,
Oft dropt, as oft again renewed, endless :

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