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beautiful vociferation. During mid- ing afresh at every time we waved our day he disappears, and is mute ; but hats, or vainly slung a pebble towards again, at dewy even, as at dewy morn, their nests—and one grove of elms, to he pours his pipe like a prodigal, nor whose top, much lower than the castle, ceases sometimes, when night has came, ever and anon, some noiseless brought the moon and stars. Best belo- Heron from the muirs. ved, and most beautiful of all Thrushes Higher and higher than ever rose that ever broke from the blue-spotted the tower of Belus, soars and sings the shell !-thou who, for five springs, LARK, the lyrical poet of the sky. hast"
hung thy procreant cradle" Listen, listen! and the more remote among the roses, and honeysuckles, the bird, the louder is his hymn in and ivy, and clematis, that embower heaven. He seems, in his loftiness, to in bloom the lattice of my cottage- have left the earth for ever, and to have study-how farest thou now in the forgotten his lowly nest. The primsnow !—Consider the whole place as roses and the daisies, and all the sweet your own, my dear bird ; and re- hill-flowers, must be unremembered in member, that when the gardener's chil- the lofty region of light. But just as the dren sprinkle food for you and yours Lark is lost—he and his song together all along your favourite haunts, that it -both are again seen and heard was is done by our orders. And when all the vering down the sky, and in a little earth is green again, and all the sky while he is walking contented along blue, you will welcome us to our ru. the furrows of the brairded corn, or ral domicile, with light feet running on the clover lea, that has not felt the before us among the winter leaves, plough-share for half a century. and then skim away to your new nest In our boyish days, we never felt that in the old spot, then about to be some- the Spring had really come, till the clearwhat more cheerful in the undis- singing Lark went careering before turbing din of the human life within our gladdened eyes away up to heathe flowery walls.
ven. Then all the earth wore a vernal Why do the songs of the Blackbird look, and the ringing sky said,“ winand Thrush make us think of the song- ter is over and gone. As we roamed, less STARLING? It matters not. We do on a holiday, over the wide pastoral think of him, and see him tooma moors, to angle in the lochs and pools, beautiful bird, and his abode is ma- unless the day were very cloudy, the jestic. What an object of wonder and song of some lark or other was still awe is an old Castle to a boyish ima- warbling aloft, and made a part of our gination! Its height how dreadful! happiness. The creature could not up to whose mouldering edges his fear have been more joyful in the skies, carries him, and hangs him over the than we were on the greensward. We, battlements! What beauty in those too, had our wings, and flew through unapproachable wall-flowers, that cast our holiday. Thou soul of glee ! who a brightness on the old brown stones still leddest our flight in all our pasof the edifice, and make the horror times !-bold, bright, and beautiful pleasing! That sound so far below is child of Erin !—for many and many The sound of a stream the eye cannot a long, long year hast thou been mina reach-of a waterfall echoing for ever gled with the dust! Dead and gone, among the black rocks and pools. The as if they had never been, all the capschool-boy knows but little of the his- tivations of thy voice, eye, laugh, motory of the old Castle,-but that little tion, and hand, open as day to “meltis of war, and witchcraft, and impri- ing charity !"-He, too, the grave and sonment, and bloodshed. The ghostly thoughtful English boy, whose exquiglimmer of antiquity appals him-he site scholarship we all so enthusiastivisits the ruin only with a companion, cally admired, without one single parand at mid-day. There and then it ticle of hopeless envy,—and who acwas that we first saw a Starling. We companied us on all our wildest expeheard something wild and wonderful ditions, rather from affection to his in their harsh scream, as they sat playmates than any love of their sports, upon the edge of the battlements, -he who, timid and unadventurous or flew out of the chinks and cran- as he seemed to be, yet rescued little nies. There were Martens too, so Marian of the Brae from a drowning different in their looks from the pretty death, when so many grown-up men House-Swallows--Jack-daws clamour- stoo:l aloof in selfish fear,--gone, too, for ever art thou, my beloved Edward panniered three dozen, you are at a Harrington! and, after a few brilliant wooden bridge--you fish the pool above years in the oriental clime,
it with the delicate dexterity of a -"on Hoogley's banks afar, Boaz, capture the monarch of the flood, Looks down on thy lone tomb the Evening Star."
and on lifting your eyes from his starry Methinks we hear the “ song o' the side as he gasps his last on the silvery GREY LINTIE,” perhaps the darling shore, you behold a cottage, at one bird of Scotland. None other is more gable end an ash, at the other a sycatenderly sung of in our old ballads. - more, and standing perhaps at the When the simple and fervent love-poets lonely door, a maiden far more beautiof our pastoral times first applied to the ful than any angel. maiden the words,“ my bonnie burd- This is the Age of Confessions; and ie,” they must have been thinking of why, therefore, may we not make a the Grey Lintie-its plumage ungaudy confession of first love ? I had finishand soberly pure—its shape elegant, ed my sixteenth year, I was almost yet unobtrusive-and its song various as tall as I am now,-almost as tall ! without any effort-now rich, gay, Yes, yes,- for my figure was then sprightly, but never rude or riotous straight as an arrow, and almost like now tender, almost mournful, but an arrow in its flight. I had given never gloomy or desponding. So, too, over bird-pesting, but I had not are allits habits, endearing and delight- ceased to visit the dell where first I ful. It is social, yet not averse to so- found the grey lintie's brood. Talelitude, singing often in groups, and as writers are told by critics to rememoften by itself in the furze-brake, or ber that the young shepherdesses of on the briary knoll. You often find Scotland are not beautiful as the fico the lintie's nest in the most solitary tions of a poet's dream. But she was places—in some small self-sown clump beautiful beyond poetry. She was so of trees by the brink of a wild hill then, when passion and imagination stream, or on the tangled edge of a fo- were young, -and her image, her unrest; and just as often you find it in the dying, unfading image, is so now, hedgerow of the cottage garden, or in when passion and imagination are old, a bower within, or even in an old and when from eye and soul have gooseberry bush that has grown into disappeared much of the beauty and a sort of tree.
glory both of nature and life. I loved One wild and beautiful place we her from the first moment that our well remember-ay, the very bush in eyes met,--and I see their light at this which we first found a grey
linnet's moment, the same soft, bright, burnnest-for, in our native parish, from ing light, that set body and soul on some cause or other, it was rather a fire. She was but a poor shepherd's rarish bird. That far-away day is as daughter ; but what was that to me, distinct as the present now. Imagine, when I heard her voice singing one friend, first, a little well surrounded of her old plaintive ballads among with wild cresses on the moor, some- the braes, when I sat down beside thing like a rivulet flows from it, or ra- her,—when the same plaid was drawn ther
you see a deep tinge of verdure, over our shoulders in the rain-storm, the line of which, you believe, must be when I asked her for a kiss, and produced by the oozing moisture-you was not refused,--for what had she follow it, by and by there is a descent to fear in her beauty, and her innopalpable to your feet—then you find cence, and her filial piety,—and was yourself between low broomy knolls, not I a mere boy, in the bliss of pasthat, heightening every step, become sion, ignorant of deceit or dishonour, ere long banks, and braes, and hills. and with a heart open to the eyes of You are surprised now to see a stream, all as to the gates of heaven? What and look round for its source—there music was in that stream! Could “ Sa. seem now to be a hundred small sources bean odours from the spicy shores of in fissures, and springs on every side Arały the Blest” so penetrate my soul -you hear the murmurs of its course with joy, as the balmy breath of the over beds of sand and gravel-and broom on which we sat, forgetful of hark, a waterfall! A tree or two begins all other human life! Father, moto shake its tresses on the horizon-a ther, brothers, sisters, uncles, and birch or a rowan. You get ready aunts, and cousins, and all the tribe of your angle-and by the time you have friends that would throw me off, --if I should be so base and mad as to from the dead-At of horrid dreams in marry a low-born, low-bred, ignorant, which I had lain on the floor of my uneducated, crafty, ay, crafty and de- Agnes's own cottage, and cursed the. siguing beggar,--were all forgotten in sight of the heaven and the earth, my delirium,-if indeed it were deli- and shuddered at the thought of the rium,--and not an everlastingly-sa- dread and dismal God—when I cred devotion of the soul to nature and We wish that we had lying on the to truth. For in what was I deluded ? table before us Grahame's pleasant A voice,-a faint and dewy voice,- Poem, “ The Birds of Scotland ;" but deadened by the earth that fills up we lent our copy some years ago to a her grave, and by the turf that, at this friend—and a friend never returns a very hour, is expanding its primroses borrowed book. But hereisa veryagreeto the dew of heaven,-answers,
“ In able substitute“ A Treatise on Bri. nothing !"
tish Song-Birds,” published by John “Ha! ha! ha!” exclaims some read- Anderson, jun., Edinburgh, and Simper in derision, " here's an attempt at kin and Marshall, London. The small the pathetic, a miserable attempt in- musicians are extremely well engraved deed, for who cares about the death of a by Mr Scott, of Edinburgh, from very mean hut-girl? we are sick of low life.” correct and beautiful drawings, done Why, as to that matter, who cares for by an English artist, and there is a the death of any one mortal being ? well-written introduction, of 40 pages, Who weeps for the death of the late from the pen of Mr Patrick Syme. Emperor of all the Russias? Who We presume that the rest of the letterwept over Napoleon the Great ? When press is by the same gentleman--and it Chatham or Burke, Pitt or Fox died does him very great credit. The volume -don't pretend to tell lies about a includes observations on their natural nation's tears. And if yourself, who, habits, and manner of incubation ; perhaps, are not in low life, were to with remarks on the treatment of the die in half an hour, (don't be alarm- young, and management of the old ed,) all who knew you, except two or birds, in a domestic state. three of your bosom friends, who, “ The delightful music of song-birds partly from being somewhat dull, and is, perhaps, the chief cause why these partly from wishing to be decent, charming little creatures are, in all might blubber-would walk along countries, so highly prized. Music is Prince's Street at the fashionable hour an universal language ;-it is undera of three, the very day after your fu
stood and cherished in every country neral. Nor would it ever enter their —the savage, the barbarian, and the heads to abstain from a comfortable civilized individual, are all passiondinner at the British Hotel, ordered, ately fond of music, particularly of perhaps, a month ago, at which time melody. But, delightful as music is, you were in rude health, merely be- perhaps there is another reason that cause you had foolishly allowed a cold may have led man to deprive the to fasten upon your lungs, and carry warblers of the woods and fields of liyou off in the prime and promise of berty, particularly in civilized states, your professional life. In spite of all where the intellect is more refined, your critical slang, therefore, Mr Edi- and, consequently, the feelings more tor or Master Contributor to some li- adapted to receive tender impressions ; terary journal, she, though a poor -we mean the associations of ideas. Scottish Herd, was most beautiful; Their sweet melody brings him more and when, but a week after taking particularly in contact with groves and farewell of her, I went, according to meadows-with romantic banks, or our tryst, to fold her in my arms, and beautiful sequestered glades—the chewas told by her poor father that she rished scenes, perhaps, of his early was dead, -ay, dead and buried—that youth. But, independent of this, the she had no existence that neither the warble of a sweet song-bird is, in itself, daylight nor I should ever more be very delightful ;-and, to men of segladdened by her presence-that she dentary habits, confined to cities by was in a coffin, six feet in earth—that professional duties, and to their desk's the worms were working their way to- most part of the day, we do not know wards the body, to crawl into her bo- a more innocent or more agreeable resom-that she was fast becoming one creation than the rearing and training inass of corruption—when I awoke of these little feathered musicians.”
Now, we hear many of our readers “ What are town-gardens and shrubcrying out against the barbarity of beries in squares, but an attempt * .confining the free denizens of the air ruralize the city ? So strong is the dee in wire or wicker cages. Gentle read- sire in man to participate in country ers, do, we pray, keep your compas. pleasures, that he tries to bring some sion for other objects. Or, if you are of them even to his room. Plants and disposed to be argumentative with us, birds are sought after with avidity, and let us just walk down stairs to the lar- cherished with delight. With flowers der, and tell the public truly what we he endeavours to make his apartments there behold-three brace of par- resemble a garden ; and thinks of tridges, two ditto of moor-fowi, a groves and fields, as he listens to the cock-pheasant, poor fellow,-a man wild sweet melody of his little captives. and his wife of the aquatic, or duck Those who keep and take an interest kind, and a wood-cock, vainly pre- in song-birds, are often at a loss how senting his long Christmas bill to treat their little warblers during “ Some sleeping kill'd
illness, or to prepare the proper food
best suited to their various constitu, All murder'd."
tions ; but that knowledge is absoluteWhy, you are indeed a most logical ly necessary to preserve these little reasoner, and a most considerate Chris.
creatures in health : for want of it, tian, when you launch out into an in- young amateurs and bird-fanciers have vective against the cruelty exhibited often seen, with regret, many of their in our cages. Let us leave this den of favourite birds perish.” murder, and have a glass of our wife's Now, here we confess is a good phyhome-made frontiniac in her own sician. In Edinburgh we understand boudoir. Come, come, sir,-look on there are about 500 medical practitionthis newly-married couple of canaries. ers on the human race,-and we have -The architecture of their nest is cer- dog-doctors, and horse-doctors, who tainly not of the florid order, but my come out in numbers--but we have Lady Yellowlees sits on it a well-sa- had no bird-doctors. Yet often, too tisfied bride. Come back in a day or often, when the whole house rings two, and you will see her nursing from garret to cellar with the cries of triplets. Meanwhile, hear the ear- children teething, or in the hoopingpiercing fife of the bridegroom !- cough, the little linnet sits silent on Where will you find a set of happier his perch, a moping bunch of feathers, people, unless, perhaps, it be in our and then falls down dead, when his parlour, or our library, or our nursery? lilting life might have heen saved by For, to tell you the truth, there is a the simplest medicinal food skilfully cage or two in almost every room of the administered. Surely if we have phyhouse. Where is the cruelty-here, or sicians to attend our tread-mills, and in
your blood-stained larder ? But you regulate the diet and day's work of must eat, you reply. We answer-not merciless ruffians, we should not sufnecessarily birds. Thequestion is about fer our innocent and useful prisoners birds-cruelty to birds; and were that thus to die unattended. Why do not sagacious old wild-goose, whom one the Ladies of Edinburgh form thema single moment of heedlessness brought selves into a Society for this purpose ? last Wednesday to your hospitable Not one of all the philosophers in board, at this moment alive, to bear the world has been able to tell us what a part in our conversation, can you is happiness. Sterne's Starling is weakdream that, with all your Jeffreyan ly supposed to have been miserable. ingenuity and eloquence, you could Probably he was one of the most con, persuade him—the now defunct and tented birds in the universe. Does dejected—that you were under the confinement,-the closest, most una painful necessity of eating him with companioned confinement-make one stuffing and apple-sauce?
of ourselves unhappy? Is the shoes The intelligent author of the Trea, maker, sitting with his head on his tise on British Birds does not con- knees in a hole in the wall from morndescend to justify the right we claim ing to night, in any respect to be pito encage them ; but he shows his ge- tied ? Is the solitary orphan, that sits nuine humanity in instructing us how all day sewing in a garret, while the to render happy and healthful their old woman for whom she works is out imprisonment. He says very prettily, washing, an object of compassion ? or the widow of fourscore, hurkling over idea of what he was saying; and had the embers, with a stump of a pipe in he been up to the meaning of his words, her toothless mouth? Is it so sad a would have been shocked at his unthing indeed to be alone? or to have grateful folly. Look at Canaries, and one's moţions circumscribed within Chaffinches, and Bullfinches, and the the narrowest imaginable limits ?- rest,” how they amuse themselves for Nonsense all. Nine-tenths of man- a while flitting about the room, and kind, in manufacturing and commer- then finding how dull a thing it is to cial countries, are cribbed and confi- be citizens of the world, bounce up to ned into little room,-generally, in their cages, and shut the door from deed, together, but often solitary. the inside, glad to be once more at
Then, gentle reader, were you ever in home. Begin to whistle or sing youra Highland shieling? It is built of turf, self, and forthwith you have a duet, or and is literally alive ; for the beautiful a trio. We can imagine no more perheather is blooming, and wild flowers fectly tranquil and cheerful life than too-and walls and
roof are one sound that of a Goldfinch in a cage, in Spring, of bees. The industrious little crea- with his wife and his children. All tures must have come several long his social affections are cultivated to miles for their balmy spoil. There is
the utmost. He possesses many acbut one human creature in that shiele complishments unknown to his breing, but he is not at all solitary. He no thren among the trees ;—he has never more wearies of that lonesome place, . known what it is to want a meal in times than do the sun-beams or the shadows. of the greatest scarcity; and he adTo himself alone, he chants his old mires the beautiful frost-work on the Gaelic songs, or frames wild ditties of windows when thousands of his feahis own to the raven or red deer. thered friends are buried in the snow, Months thus pass on; and he descends or what is almost as bad, baked up again to the lower country. Perhaps he into pies, and devoured by a large supgoes to the wars-fightsbleeds--and per-party of both sexes, who fortify returns to Badenoch or Lochaber; and their flummery and flirtation by such once more, blending in his imagination viands, and, remorseless, swallow dothe battles of his own regiment, in zens upon dozens of the warblers of Egypt, or Spain, or at Waterloo, with the woods. the deeds done of yore by Ossian sung, Ay, ay, Mr Goldy! you are wonlies contented by the door of the same dering what I am now doing, and shieling, restored and beautified, in speculating upon me with arch eyes which he had dreamt away the sum- and elevated crest, as if you -would mers of his youth.
know the subject of my lucubrations. To return to birds in cages ;—they What the wiser or better wouldst thou are, when well, uniformly as happy as be of human knowledge? Sometimes the day is long. What else could oblige that little heart of thine goes pit-a-pat, them, whether they will or no, to burst when a great, ugly, staring contributor out into song,-to hop about so plea- thrusts his inquisitive nose within the sed and pert,—to play such fantastic wires-or when a strange cat glides tricks like so many whirligigs,-to round and round the room, fascinating sleep so soundly, and to awake into a thee with the glare of his fierce fixed small, shrill, compressed twitter of joy eyes ;—but what is all that to the woes at the dawn of light? So utterly mis- of an Editor?-Yes, sweet simpleton ! taken was Sterne, and all the other sen- do you not know that I am the Editor timentalists, that his Starling, who he of Blackwood's Magazine - Christoabsurdly opined was wishing to get pher North ! Yes, indeed, we are that out, would not have stirred a peg had very man,-that self-same much-ca. the door of his cage been flung
wide lumniated man-monster and Ogre. -open, but would have pecked like a There, there !--perch on my shoulder, very game-cock at the hand inserted and let us laugh together at the whole to give him his liberty. Depend upon world. it, that Starling had not the slightest