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MUSIC OF NATURE.
« All nature's full of thee: The summer bower
Respondeth to the songster's morning lay ;
There is music in the hum of the industrious bee, as it wantons from flower to flower—music so sweet and harmonious, that it seems as it were the lullaby to the thousand meaner insects whose couches are made among the roses over which the bee rules with undoubted sway.
There is music in the grove-music of the richest kindstrains of sweet melody are heard from a thousand tuneful throats, and the delicious warble gives, to the otherwise silent spot, a fairy-like charm which is calculated to call our thoughts from the grosser scenes of life, to higher and nobler themes. Here
“ Through all the woods is heard the charming noise
Of chirping birds.”
'Tis here the poetry of heaven is truly expressed.
There is music in the breeze at eventide, as it passes Æolian-like o'er the face of the earth. There is music on the wind, as it rushes wildly down the mountain, and sweeps across the vale. There is music in the loud roar of the
storm, as it swells up and mingles with the louder notes of the sky breathed forth in thunder. There is music in the ocean's moan - fearful music- it comes upon the soul like a ripple of evil on the lake of mind, stirring up fears which, while it frights and appals, subdues and conquers. The music of the mighty deep, is the mysterious workings of Deity ; like the harp touched by fairy fingers—we listen and gaze on the mighty instrument, breathing its wild melody, while no visible hand calls it forth.
There is music in the gentle stream as it meanders, murmuring along through wood and wild. There is music in the mountain torrent, as it rushes down the steep; harsh and unharmonious as it is, there are inducements to linger near and revel in its sounds, and as they die away, and melt as it were, in the distance, leave a delicious feeling on the soul, which accompanies the recollection to render it even more pleasing. There is music in the air ! myriads of unseen minstrels tune their varied instruments, and fill all space with heavenly sounds. Romance, in its wildest dreams, never conceived any thing half so mysterious as this—the reality surpasses the imagery. The tongue cannot express the music of the air-man is lost in the bare contemplation of it. Who can write the language of Deity? who paint His glory? who criticise His poetry? Earth His music-stand! the elements and their creatures His instruments !
There is music in the lone cricket, as it chirps in the chimney-corner. To me, this is of all others the most pleasing music; my ways, my habits, my temperament are dark and sombre. I like to sit by the fire-side, “with good old folks, and hear them tell the dismal tales of times long past."
It is here, and only here, we realize true happiness, and
sum up life's toils, its troubles and vexations, while the lone minstrel chirps in concert, and echoes as it were our very thoughts. Connected with the cricket is the following little incident: it is said to have occurred, and is actually attested by persons now living.
An old gentleman had for twenty years or more noticed that at a particular hour of the night, a cricket and it is believed the same one), came out from a cranny in the chimneycorner, and seating itself on a piece of projecting brick, and after chirping away for some length of time, retired. Its habits were regular, its time limited : there was not, nor had there been, any change in this lone minstrel for the space of time named above. One night it did not appear: the old gentleman missed it, spoke of it, and became unhappy ; all the next day he was low-spirited, and seemingly much worried ; night came, but not the minstrel of the chimneycorner. The old gentleman, it appeared, had associated this mysterious and regular musician, with his own existence ; and so strongly was this opinion impressed upon his mind, that the moment its loss was fully established, he foretold his own death, which, strange as it may seem, actually took place within three days of the disappearance of the cricket. On removing an old hat of the deceased, which for some time had hung against the wall in the same room, the cricket, supposed to be the same, fell out-dead!
We might swell out this article with similar superstitions, more or less connected with the minstrel of the chimney
In all ages, crickets have been looked upon as ominous creatures : and one of the earliest nursery lessons, the writer of this remembers, was do not harna a cricket;" the why or wherefore never accompanied the admonition. Their music always reminds me of the good old ballads; with the former, we associate all those dear and
long to be remembered days, when seated around the blazing hearth, we have listened to the legends of other times, commemorated in verse, although not unlike the Barbara Allen style, were, nevertheless, relished with as much gout as if written by Walter Scott himself. With the latter, similar associations arise, but of a more decided, yet more tender character; the ballads of our infancy are the tales of youthful affection, the music of the cricket the tales of our grandames. The chords of the one may be broken, the sounds may die away, and be remembered only “as such things were:" but the other lives in our memory, when all that was brighter and fairer shall have passed away.
Note.-Connected with the simple plant Podophyllum, [Wild Mandrake,] is the following beautiful allegorical legend; we say allegorical, although the very formation of the simple plant gives it the means of producing sounds, which its botanical classification fully explains. It is said to breathe forth, at certain times, the most plaintive sounds and melancholy moans, indicative as of pain, or suffering. It is also said to utter, as it were, a wild scream or shriek, if rudely torn from its bed. We mention this merely for the poetic beauty of the legend, as possessing no proof of its having any foundation in truth.
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Note.-[Reasons which it would be deemed improper to state, or give publicly, induced the author to change the scene of the following Tale from Philadelphia to London; one at least will fully appreciate the motives of the writer, and whose good opinion is worth all the honor authorship can confer.]
THE WILL, OR VILLAINY PUNISHED.
“ Life is a fair, nay, charming form,
But disappointment is the worm
“ Twas on a dark, cold, cheerless night in the month of December, that a man was seen to enter one of those mean wooden buildings which destroy much of the beauty and elegance of that portion of London known as the West end. Having closed the door, a task seemingly of little trouble, he drew a chair to the fire, and without saluting the inmates, consisting of an elderly female and two children, a boy and girl, commenced the task of collecting the coals together, over which he held his skeleton hands for a few seconds, assuming the attitude of one who had somewhat severely felt the "pelting of the pitiless storm.”
“ Well William,” exclaimed the woman, did him ?”