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when out of sight, with the view of put- and that is — why, that is an Eider drake, ting you off the scent. This is true more and one of the birds that Tom has spe. particularly of the Great Northern Diver ; cially commissioned me to secure. He the Red-throated is a less powerful bird, is floating calmly and majestically on the and is more easily circumvented.* surface ; there are one or two aitendant
The bay of Ury is a favourite resort of grey-brown Eider ducks beside him; he the loon ; but to-day it does not seem at has come from the far North, where it is first as if we were to succeed in sighting high treason to molest him, and it goes him. As we row leisurely along the against the grain to shoot the great coast, I scan the whole breadth of the handsome simple bird now, when he has bay with my glass. That is a brown trusted himself to our hospitality. So I skua in the midst of a shrieking assem- hand him over to Peter, who has no blage of gulls; that is a cormorant hard scruples on the subject, and who quickly at work among the whiting; that is a gets him on board. Just as we are exblack guillemot in its winter plumage ; lamining his plumage (lying quietly on our these are parties of the graceful North- oars), a long shapely neck rises out of ern Hareld who are feeding greedily the water beside the boat, and a grave, upon the tiny bivalves at the bottom ;t steady eye is fixed enquiringly upon us.
Before the guns can be pointed at him, he • Mr. Gray picturesquely describes the peculiar cry has disappeared as silently as he had risen, of the Red-throated Diver:-“ Among rustic people,
ngustis peopleand then John and Peter set themselves the ordinary note of the Red-throated Diver is said to portend rain; in some districts, indeed, the bird is known by the name of rain goose. I have oftener than have work enough cut out for them. It once had an opportunity of hearing the birds calling at: nightfall in the Outer Hebrides. On the ist of August, 1870, I witnessed a curious scene at Lochmaddy, in the island of North Uist, about nine o'clock in the evening. The air was remarkably still and sultry, and frequent
for it the Gaelic name of Lach Bhinn, or the musical that for a time broke upon the irksome quiet that other-duck, which is most appropriate : for when the voices of wise prevailed. At length the thunder, on becoming a number are heard in concert, rising and falling, borne louder, seemed to waken up the divers on various along upon the breeze between the rollings of the surf, lochs within sight of where I stood, and first one pair, the effect is musical, wild, and startling. The united then another. rose high into the air, and fiew round in cry of a large flock sounds very like bagpipes at a discircles, until there must have been twenty or thirty in tance, but the note of a single bird when heard very all. After a time, they settled in one of the salt creeks near is certainly not so agreeable. On one occasion I about half a mile to the eastward, and then there arose , took great pains to learn the note, and the following a wild and unearthly noise from the birds, which I can- words are the nearest approach that can be given of it not describe. It is, in fact, a sound which no one can in writing: it articulates them very distinctly, though in ever forget after once hearing it, especially in these a musical bugle-like tone: -vur, o, u, ah ! our, 0, Hebridean solitudes, where it acquires its full emphasis. a, ah !' Sometimes the note seems to break down in Next morning, about four o'clock, while bowling along the middle, and the bird gets no further than our, or towards the Sound of Benbecula in the face of a rain- ower, which it runs over several times, but then, as cloud such as I wish never to see again, several of the with an effort, the whole cry is completed loud and birds passed us overhead at a considerable height, clear, and repeated several times, as if in triumph. At uttering the same cries, which might be likened to a this time they were busily feeding, diving in very deep person in despair making a last shout for help when no water on a sand bottom, and calling to one another help is near."
when they rose to the surface. I never saw these * Mr. Graham (he must really be got to print his ducks come very near the shore; perhaps this is partly Birds of lona and Mull; it would be as great a success owing to the bay which they frequent having shores as St. John's Wild Sports of the Highlands) has a which they could not approach easily, as there is delightful account of the Northern Hareld at page 389 | usually a heavy surf breaking upon them. I have freof Mr. Gray's volume: "The Long-tailed Duck comes quently watched them at night, to see if they would to Iona in the early part of November, when there ap come into any of the creeks, but they never did ; on the pears a small flock of a dozen or so which takes up its contrary, after dusk they would often leave the bay; station off the northern coast of the island. These are the whole of them would fly off simultaneously in the generally reinforced during the frosts and severe direction of the mainland of Mull, as if they were bound weather of December and January by fresh arrivals / for some well-known feeding ground. I have often which are driven in from the sea, and from their more seen them actively feeding in the day-time, though unsheltered haunts, till at last very great numbers are more generally they are floating about at rest or divertassembled in the bay. Towards the end of March this ing themselves. They are of a very lively and restless large flock begins to break up into pairs and small par- disposition, continually rising on the wing, flying round ties; many go away; and when the weather keeps fine and round in circles, chasing one another, hurrying they make long excursions, and for days the bay is quite along the surface, half-flying, half-swimming, and acdeserted. A change of weather, however, will still companying all these gambols with their curious cries. bring them back, and a smart gale would assemble a When the storms are at their loudest, and the waves considerable flock of them, and this as late as the running mountains high, then their glee seems to reach second week in April; but after this time you see them its highest pitch, and they appear thoroughly to enjoy no more. Thus we have them with us about four the confusion. When watching them on one of these months: they arrive with the first frown of winter, and occasions, I had to take shelter under a rock from a depart with the earliest blink of summer sun. The dreadful blast, accompanied by very heavy snow, which Northern Hareld brings ice and snow and storms upon in a moment blotted out the whole landscape ; everyits wings; but as soon as winter, with his tempestuous thing was enveloped in a shroud of mist and driving rage, rolls unwillingly back before the smile of advan- | sleet; but from the midst of the intense gloom there cing spring to his Polar dominions, the bird follows in arose the triumphant song of these wild creatures rising his train; for no creature revels more amidst the gloom above the uproar of the elements; and when the mist and rage and horrors of winter than the ice duck. The lifted, I beheld the whole flock careering about the bay cry of this bird is very remarkable, and has obtained l as if mad with delight."
again succeed in getting him within shot. I Ægean. How the hero seeks his bride ; Later on, we are fortunate enough to se- how he finds her, like Nausicaa, at the cure another Great Northern, besides washing-tub; how he woos her with soft two or three of the Red-throated variety ; speeches and honeyed words ; how she, and then we hoist our sail, and running till that moment fancy free, blushes and rapidly home before the evening breeze falters, and will not bid him to leave her; which is rippling the water, reach the pier how the craft of love proves stronger from which we had started in the morn-than the craft of age; - all this we had ing, just in time to see the stars come heard before, in language which none of out. Our bag is not a large one; it us, the busiest or the laziest, ever quite might indeed have been indefinitely in- forget. But somehow the narrative of the creased, had we chosen to slaughter use-old story-teller does not lose its charm less, innocent birds, as I have known when transplanted to a more barren soil, Christian gentlemen do ; but a bag which and translated into a harsher tongue. contains a Northern Diver and an Eider Nay, it is brought even nearer to us when drake will not be sneered at by any hon- we find that it has all happened over est naturalist.
again in that “ North countrie" to which The post-bag has arrived during my we belong, and to that race which is akin absence, and the table is littered with the to our own. Have you time (ere I put accumulated letters and papers of the away my pen) to listen to some lines past week. Having recovered from the from Mr. Weatherly's really admirable pleasant drowsiness which after a winter version of the wooing of Kalla by the day spent on the sea is apt to overtake Son of the Sun-god? This is how it one at an early period of the evening, I happened. read my letters, glance at the newspapers, Peiwar, the Son of the Sun-god, while and finally settle myself to the perusal of following the reindeer and the white bear a privately printed translation of the to their haunts in the North, hears of recently discovered or recently recon-Ithe land of Kalewala, and of the beautistructed Lap epic, Peivash Parneh, ful maiden Kalla: which the author has forwarded to me
A tale is told of the maiden, through that unique institution of our
A saga is sung in his ears : age - the book-post.* As a rule the
That far from the Waal-star, westward, Sagas are rather dry reading ; but this Apart from the sun's orb eastward, episode of the wooing and winning of There lies the glittering glimmer Kalla is as seductive as a romance. Of sea-shores silverly shining; Whether it is the merit of the story itself, And peaks that gleam as with gold, or of the peculiar metre which Mr. Cliffs that sparkle with copper, Weatherly has adopted, or of the cir.
Heavenward rising, their edges
Twinkling with tin. cumstances in which I am privileged to read it, I do not exactly know; but the
And friendly is Kalewa's fireside, fascination of the narrative is undeniable. Fishful is Kalewa's sea-stream ; The environment certainly may have Never, in vain, to the sea depth something to do with it. The book is
Sinketh the netstone. keen with the keenness of that Northern Sea from which I have newly returned,
And bright in the mirror-like sea waves, and which at this moment is lying in a
The lighted sea cliffs glow,
With the fiery flames of the sunlight. flood of moonlight outside the window.
With the coloured rain of the sun-rays, It is all about the north wind, and the
Gleaming above and below; aurora, and the long-haired Vikings, who - A second world in the waters, came down upon these shores in their A reflex of joy and of light ; handy little craft, and helped to make us! And the maiden in wimpling fountains the hardy sailors we have grown. It
Seeth her image. belongs characteristically to the Mare
So he summons the chivalry of the Tenebrosum, and yet it is reminiscent (if Sunland around him, and sails away to there be such a word in the dictionary) the North: of earlier story - of stories that wandering tribes had listened to as they sat
And the voyagers watch the hours round the watch-fires they had kindled
Move up, pass on, go by,
Till a year is marked to the dead; on the shores of the Hellespont and the
While ever with tidings hie * Peivash Parneh: the Sons of the Sun-God.
Birds to the southland. Translated by Frederick E. Weatherly, B. A., Author of “Muriel, and other Poems," 1873.
At length they arrive at Kalewala :
What see the Sons of the Sunland ?
his blindness. However, between wine They behold the beautiful maiden
and guile, his consent is extorted, and he On shore ; on a lovely height
joins the hands of the lovers, and gives She stands in the sleeping forest,
theni permission to depart. This is the Mighty, gentle, divine,
nuptial song : A mystic beautiful maiden. Nearer they sail and nearer ;
Lo! in the northern sky, Full two heads taller they found her,
The sign of the gods' protection ;
Lo! with broad arch of crimson
Hark! the clashing of lances !
Hark! the murmur of armies, She stept with one foot in the tide,
Now low, now high. And yonder, a flaming pine-tree
Lo! the glory of gods, that befriend us, Blazed on a rock beside :
Beams o'er the bridals. While on sticks and staves the maiden Spread out white flaxen raiment,
Luminous armies of clouds Stood wringing the dripping raiment,
Cover the sky, Stood swinging the heavy beater,
And with gleaming and glance While the echo ran round the sea-marge
On in the dance To the sounding ends of the land.
The armed warriors sweep by,
The bright cloud-warriors, the angels The Son of the Sun-god speeds in his
Of heavenly, sweet sanctification, wooing :
Of faith that will not lie! Down to the shore he leapt,
Nor does the generous giant permit Stretching his lissom limbs With the mighty leap, and stept
them to depart empty-handed: To the maiden full lightly. He gave of the booty and plunder, And taking her hands he claspt her
Won when a Viking of old, And prest her close to his bosom,
As gifts for the Son of the Sunland, Claspt her in gladness and glee,
Woollen raiment, and girdles of gold, And in noble and masterful accents,
And swansdown, and soft snowy linen; Spake as she trembled :
But chiefest and best of the treasures
Was a cord most cunningly fashioned “O be gentle and kind to me, maiden !
With knots threefold and fine ; I am not made out of cloud-mists,
A charmed gift from a Wuote, I am no watery phantom,
To win such a wind as might aid them, But a man with life and with love.
Gentle or stormy. Hark! how beneath my bosom Beateth a mortal heart !
There is a touch of pathos in the picLay thy head on my bosom,
ture of the blind old father standing on Listen, love, without fear."
the strand, while the song of the sailors Gently she leant upon him,
dies away in the distance : Scarce daring, in tender dismay :
He spake : and she passed from her father, And sudden the woman is won ! There streams from the Son of the Sun-god, Parted, for grief and for gladness, From the beaming face of the hero,
The wife of the Sun of the Sun-god.
| Away from the great red cliffs Joy, like the light of the sun. As in the Northern-lights' glimmer,
Sailed the gold-ship through bright blowing Clustering columns and pillars
breezes ; Shake in the flickering sheen,
Lonely, lonely, on shore And in her soul's mighty emotion
Lingered the blind one !
Stood, and gazed, without seeing, The maiden knew life and love.
| At the silver sand of the shore, The young people are not long of un- | While ever long while he listened, derstanding each other, and settling the To the song that sounded from far. matter; but the consent of her monstrous old father
The knotted cord (the most valuable of
the giant's gifts) occupies an important Kalew, blinded in battle, place in the last part of the poem, which Moveless, a giant shape,
relates how Kalla's brothers, finding their Clad in a white-bear's skin;
father on their return in a state of pro. A monster to see,
found intoxication, and discovering the A sight of grief and of terror,
deception that Kalla had practised upon has to be obtained before she can leave ; him, take to their boats and pursue the and the ferocious old gentleman is Son of the Sun-god. The pursuit is of naturally unwilling to be left alone in course disastrously unsuccessful, and Peiwar carries home in safety the tall and plants were summoned to come and form comely bride :
a litter for the Virgin and Child in the And the tale is still told on the Kölens,
Stable at Bethlehem. They all made ex.
cuses one after the other; some were too Still sung is the Saga in Lapland ; Though long ago Peiwar and Kalla
busy, some declared themselves too inHave passed from their homes in the South. significant, some too great, or it was too land
early or too late for appearing. At last Unto Walhalla ! this pretty little white star offered herself
humbly for the place, and she was after. wards rewarded for her virtue by her flowers being turned to a golden yellow.
St. John's Wort, St. Peter's Wort, flowFrom The Saturday Journal.
er about the time of their respective THE NAMES OF PLANTS.
Saint's Days. The Star of Bethlehem, THE titles given by our ancestors to Rose of Sharon, Joseph's Walking-stick, distinguish one plant from another, before Jacob's Ladder (the beautiful Solomon's they were marshalled by Linnæus into Seal), are apparently accidental fancies. battalions of orders and species, distin- The Holy Ghost fower, the Peony, guished by the number of their stamens, flowers of course at Whitsuntide. and construction of pistils — or arranged A series of traditions connects some into more natural families by Lindley and peculiarity in a plant * with an event in the later botanists, are often extremely Bible history. The knotgrass, Polygpoetic. There is a wealth of imagery onum persicum, has a large black spot and of fanciful allusions, “playing with on its smooth leaves, caused by a drop words and idle similes," in them, which is of blood falling from our Saviour, at the sometimes very interesting to trace out. time of the Crucifixion, on one of the
Some plants are named, like the “ Eye- plants which grew at the foot of the bright,” according to the “doctrine of Cross. Signatures," - i.e., the notion that the The “ Judas tree” is that on which appearance of a plant indicated the dis- the wretched traitor hanged himself in ease which it was intended to cure — his misery -- rather an unsafe stem to “the black purple spot on the corolla choose, but then it broke under his proved it to be good for the eyes,” said weight, as we are told. the medical science of the day.
The Cross was made of the wood of Next come the similitudes.
the Aspen or trembling Poplar, and its The “Day's eye,” whose leaves spread,
I leaves have been smitten by the curse of Shuts when Titan goes to bed.
I perpetual quivering restlessness ever
since. The "Hell's weed," (the dodder) which
The “Virgin's Pinch” is the black strangles the plant to which it attaches mark on the Persicary. itself.
| “Job's Tears," so called “for that The Columbine, so called because in
every graine resembleth the drops that reversing the flower the curved nectaries
Sfalleth from the eye." look like the heads of doves (colombes)
The Passion-flower, in which all the sitting close together in a nest.
five emblems of the Passion are to be There is a whole garden full of plants
found by the faithful, the nails, crown of sacred to the Virgin Mary, generally be
e thorns, hammer, cross, and spear. cause they flower at some period con
“ Christ's Thorn,” the Gleditchia, from nected with “Our Lady's " Days, the
which the Crown of Thorns was supposed Visitation, the Assumption, the Birth,
irth; to have been made. the Baptism, Purification, such as the
| Cruciform plants are all wholesome, “ Lady's Smock," "Lady's Mantle,"
“the very sign of the Cross making all “Lady's Fingers," " Lady Slipper,"lo
in good things to dwell in its neighbour“ Lady's Tresses,” the pretty little green Ophry's with a twisted stem. The * Vir
hood.” gin's 'Bower" begins to blossom in July,
* Or a bird or beast, as in the owl's note. “They say the owl was a baker's daughter," sings poor Ophelia. The legend declares that our Saviour went into a baker's shop and asked for some bread; the mistress
put a piece of dough into the oven for him, but her August.
daughter said it was too big and took away all but a
little bit. It immediately swelled to an immense size. particular month, but has a very particu
The girl began to cry “Heugh, heugh," and was trans.
formed into an owl, to cry so all her life for her wickedlar story for its name. The different l ness.
Evergreens have always been held em- why she was so much valued in ancient blematical of the hope of eternal life. days, seems not known. “If the dining.
They were carried with a corpse and room,” says Pliny, “be sprinkled with it, deposited on the grave by the early the guests will be the merrier.” “Many Christians, to show that the soul was odde old wives' fables are written of it, ever living. An earlier pagan use was tending to witchcraft and sorcerie, which when the Druids caused “all dwellings honest eares abhorre to heare." to be decked with evergreen-bouglis in Little bits of historical allusions, and winter, that the wood spirits might take national loves and hatreds crop up refuge there against the cold, till they amongst the flowers. The striped red could return to their own homes in the and white rose, “ York and Lancaster,” forests, when spring came back again.” i symbolizing the union of the Royal There is one group of plants named from Houses, has a pedigree of nearly four human virtues and graces, quite inde- hundred years to shew. pendent of any qualities of their own.! The early willow catkins are called Honesty, heartsease, thrift, true love, “palms," as they were used as a substiold man's friend, herb-o'-grace. Others tute in Northern counties for the real from some resemblance to bird or beast, leaves, and carried on Palm Sunday in larkspur, crowfoot, cranesbill, coltsfoot, procession, the name is, therefore, the devil's bit, where the root seems to probably coeval with the Roman Catholic have been bitten off ; adder's tongue, faith in England. “Wolf's bane" points cat's tail, pheasant's eye, mare's tail. to the time when the beast was still alive
Others owe their names to their virtues and dreaded in the English forests. as simples, All-heal, “ feverfeu” (fugis), “Dane's Blood," the dwarf Elder, has the blessed thistle, carduus benedictus, peculiarly red berries, and shows the fear good for giddinesse of the head, it and hatred left behind them by our grim strengtheneth memorie, and is a singular invaders. remedie against deafnesse,” we are told The English are accused by the Scotch in old Gerarde's herbal. “Get you some of having introduced the Ragwort into of the carduus benedictus, and lay it to Scotland, and they call it there by a very your heart; it is the only thing for a evil name. qualm," says Margaret, in “Much Ado “Good King Henry” is a very inconspicAbout Nothing," quizzing Beatrice about uous ordinary wild plant, but as no King Benedict. “Benedictus, why Benedictus ? | Henry, bad or good, has existed in Eng. You have some moral in this Benedictus,” | land since the time of the eighth, the answers Beatrice, testily.
name is certainly very old. Other Chris. Each month had its own particular | tian names have been given, apparently flower - the “ Christmas rose," the pretty merely from sentimental reasons, Sweet green hellibore, snowdrops, “fair maids Cecily, Herb Robert, Basil, Sweet Wilof February," the “ Mayflower," that liam, Lettuce, Robin run i th’ hedge, covers the hedges with beauty, the “ June Sweet Marjoram, Lords and Ladies. rose.”
The fairies have their share in plant The “ Poor man's weather-glass," the nomenclature. Pixy pears, the rosy rose pimpernel, closes when there is rain in hips, which form the fairies' dessert, the the air ; the “ Shepherd's hour glass,” by " foxes” glove, which the “good folk" which he knows the time of the day. The wear, the * pixy stools,” or mushrooms, extreme regularity, indeed with which which form “ihe green sour circlets, many flowers open and close at particular | whereof the ewe not bites.” The grass hours, is such that Linnæus made a dial is made green by the fairies dancing, and of plants, by which a man might time the stools are set ready for them to sit on himself as with a clock, by watching when they are tired. their petals unclose.
There remain a number of names, The merely pretty allusions are many which have accidentally been chosen to -“Venus' looking-glass, Love lies bleed- express particular ideas. “ Lad's Love,” ing, Queen of the meadows (the beautiful given to your flame in the country, when spiræa). Crown imperial, Monkshood, the swain's words are scanty: Marvel of Peru, Sundew, Silver weed,
Violet is for faithfulness, Goldie-lockes, “a moss found in marish
Which in me doth abide. places and shadie dry ditches, where the
Sonnet, 1584. sun never sheweth his face."
Why the insignificant vervain, or "holy- The “ Pansy" (that's for thought'). herbe,” is “cheerful and placid," and 'or “Heartsease," still called in country