« ПредишнаНапред »
foliage of the Asu(fraxinus excelsior), The heathen Saxons believed that images of manly strength and female the human racc sprang from a log of gracefulness. This tree holds a pro- ash, which the gods endowed with viminent place in the Scandinavian my- tality. Similar was the idea of the thology, as an allegorical representation Greek Hesiod, the poet of a people so of the universe.
unlike the old Saxons; he sang that The northern Scalds feigned that in the Brazen age men were made there was a mystic ash called Yg- from the ash (a wood well adapted for drassil, whose branches spread over
weapons of war). * all the earth. Its leaves were the A relic of the ancient veneration for clouds; the branches, the atmosphere; the ash still exists in some parts of the ash-keys or seeds, the constella- Scotland and the north of England; tions. It had three vast roots, one the peasants, when their children are reaching to heaven, one to the abode sickly, split young ash trees, and pass of the giants, and one to hell, or Nilg- the patients through the clefts to en heim. And beside the latter root was sure convalescence, as though they beHvergelmer, or the abyss, wherein lieved the ash to be endued with a vital were Nidhogger, the snake-king, and principle. numberless serpents that gnawed con- The House of Anhalt, whose princi. tinually at the roots of the ash; these pality lies in Upper Saxony, has been typify the evil principle, and the cor- productive of great men warriors, ruptions and vices that injure the statesmen, literati, &c. George, Prince world. By the side of the root that of Anhalt, in the sixteenth century, reached to the abode of the frost giants thought it not derogatory to his rank was the well of Mimer (i. e., wisdom), to become a Protestant minister, in in which knowledge and understanding order to preach the doctrines of Lulay hid; and Mimer drank every ther. Wolfgang of Anhalt was exmorning of the dew which fell from pelled from his territories for his zeal the leaves of Ygdrassil, i. e., the dew in the cause of the Reformation. that flows over the sky before the sun Another prince of this House founded rises. Whenever the All-Father, an academy of belles-lettres. LeoOdin, came to that well he was not pold of Anhalt, in the eighteenth cenpermitted to drink till he gave his eye tury, distinguished himself in the field in pledge (typifying the descent of the of battle in Italy and in the Nethersun, Odin's eye, into the sea). By lands, and had the merit of creating the side of the root, which reached to the Prussian infantry. It were long beaven, was the Urdar Fount (the to enumerate the glories of the House fountain of the Past), where stood of Anhalt, which deduces its origin three virgins, named Urd, the Past ; from Gomer, son of Japhet, whose Werandi, the Present; and Skulde, descendants, migrating from Ascania the Future, who were perpetually in Bythinia, settled in Germany ; drawing the water of life to refresh hence the princes style themselves also the mystic ash, and to keep it in eter- Counts of Ascania. Their principal nal verdure. Two swans (the sun stronghold, the Castle of Anhalt in the and the moon) were fed on the Urdar Hartz, was built in the tenth century. Fount. In the branches of the Ygdras- All that now remains of it is some sil dwelt an eagle (the air) that knew of the vaults. In the midst of these many things; and between his eyes relics of Time rises a magnificent ashsat a sparrow-hawk (pure ether) called tree, from whose top streams a whiteVeder lofner (storm damper). A squir- and-red banner; and against the trunk rel (hail, rain, and snow) ran up and of the tree is affixed a tablet, with the down the tree to bring intelligence be following fine inscription : “ Amid tween the eagle and the snake-king, ruins and shady foliage, in memory of Nidhogger (expressing the power of a noble ancestry and their achievethe evil one in the air, to raise storms, ments, prowess, and piety, with mourn&c.), and four stags (the four winds) ing at the evanescence of all earthly careered among the branches. It things, and with joyfulness at the immust be confessed that there is much perishable existence of Justice, Virtue, of poetic imagination in this Scandi. Faith, Hope, and Love, posterity lifts navian allegory.
up its eyes to a higher sphere."
*"Works and Days,” line 144.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAX.
The poets fabled that Cupid at first graceful stem, flexile branches, light made his arrows of the ash, but after- foliage, and bright red berries, it looks wards chose the funereal cypress. like some foreign beauty in an assemThe wood of the ash, combining bly of our native sylvans. From its lightness with strength, has always preference of elevated sites, and from been highly esteemed for making war
the resemblance its leaves bear to those like weapons, such as the spear, the of the ash, it has been erroneously lance, and the bow. The spear with called “mountain ash,” having no which Chiron armed his pupil, Achilles, affinity with the genus fraxinus. was of ash. In its character of a mar- The mountain ash was revered by tial tree we will accompany it with a the Druids, and was held by Celticraces real soldier - song, sung by German as powerful against malevolent spells of troops in the former wars, commemo- sorcery. In some places it is called rating the military renown of Stras- quicken (a corruption of witchen tree), burg. But in translating from the and in Scotland, rowan, which is said original we have thought that by the to be derived from rune, the alphabet alteration of the name of Strasburg of the Scandinavians applied by their the ballad became peculiarly applicable priests, with some modifications, to to the all-engrossing siege of the pre- magical purposes. The peasantry in sent day.
Scotland, the north of England, and parts of Wales, used (and, perhaps, in remote parts still do) to carry
a bit of this tree sewed up in their (“O Strasburg! au Strasburg!
clothes to avert baneful spells; and to Du wunderschöne stadt. u.s.w.")
hang a branch in the dairy to foil the Sebastopol ! Sebastopol !
butter witch. A bough of mountain City of wondrous pride!
ash that had been carried round the Before thy walls, thou scene of dole,
Beltane fire was fixed over houses, and Hath many a soldier died.
left until the following summer, to neu
tralise the effects of “the evil eye.” The noblest Britain e'er hath sent
A curious story of the anti-necroAcross the ocean-foam
mantic qualities of this tree was reAh me! what young and loved ones went
lated by old Irish Shannachies, and Forth from their father's home.
recorded in Keating's “ Ireland." The
Tuatha They're gone-for so 'twas need—“yet more!
de Dannans, having, emiMore for Sebastopol !"
grated from Ireland, dwelt in Attica, That cry sounds through the cannon's roar,
which was invaded by a fleet and army The drums' incessant roll.
from Syria. The Tuatha de Dannans,
who were always adepts in magic, The mother pleads and weeps full sore, gave a powerful aid to the Athenians, Pleads for her stripling son:
by causing demons to enter into the “ Kind Captain! for Heaven's love, restore bodies of their soldiers slain in battle, My boy, my only one."
and bringing the re-animated dead
into the field again next day. The “ Alas! nor gold nor gems could buy Syrians, greatly perplexed at finding Thy son from out our band;
themselves repeatedly opposed by their For he must march and, haply, die
slain antagonists, consulted one of their In far Crimean land.
most learned priests, who recommended “ Thy prayers avail not, nor the woe
them to set a guard over the next
battle-field, and to drive a stake of That fills his true love's soul; For he must go to face the foe
mountain ash through the body of Before Sebastopol.”
each man they slew. They followed
the advice, and each corpse, thus treatShe weeps, she cries, “My child farewell! ed, at once decomposed and became A long farewell to thee:
incapable of resuscitation. The Syrians From that dread scene, where thousands fell, then gained the advantage; and the Thou'lt ne'er return to me."
Tuatha de Dannans fled to Lochlin.
This wild legend reminds us of the wellAs the oak has been termed the known story of the Hungarian vamForest-Jupiter, so has the MOUNTAIN pires, whose malpractices were checkAsu (sorbus aucuparia) been styled ed by driving a stake through the the Venus of the Woods. With its corpses which, on being exhumed, had
M. E. M.
betrayed tokens of vampirism. From some tender remembrance of former superstitions such as these must have days, some affecting incident of his originated the barbarous, and now ob- youth. How profound it must have solete, custom of putting a stake been, when the association could so through the corpse of a suicide, as forcibly agitate a despot so selfish and one whom it might be feared would so ambitious as Xerxes ! not rest within an unhallowed grave. As a tribute to those mighty but
Here are the handsome leaves of gentle genii, the powers of reminiscence, that fine tree, the PLANE (platanus who seldom visit us without bringing Orientalis). The true Oriental plane some tearful regrets in their train, we is, we believe, becoming scarce in will dedicate to the plane tree a strain Great Britain, being in great measure of supplanted by the American plane.
RETROSPECT. The true plane grows to an enormous size in southern countries. Pliny mentions one, in Lycia, so large that
Scenes were bright around me the hollow in its trunk formed a kind
In my summer's prime; of cave, eighty feet in circumference,
Hope's glad wreaths had crown'd me in which Lucinius Mutianus, governor In that sunny time. of the province, entertained eighteen Skies were blue above me, guests, who sat commodiously on
Earth with flowers was gay ; benches placed all round.
There were hearts to love me, The same author says, that the plane Lips kind words to say. was first brought over the Ionian Sea into the Island of Diomede (now Pe- Oh! my happy leisure, lagosta) as a monument of that hero;
In those days of old, thence it passed into Sicily and Italy,
When Time's glass could measure where it was so much valued for the
Hours with sands of gold. shade it afforded, that it was even irri
Hours- I spent them straying
E'en as zephyrs free, gated with wine.
With the cowslips playing The Greeks planted it round the
On the verdant lea; Portico at Athens, and consecrated it to Genius and intellectual pleasures,
Loitering on the mountains, Theocritus, in his 2nd Idyl, celebrates
Mid the purple heath; it as the favourite tree of the beauti.
Seeking hidden fountains ful Helen.
Mossy stones beneath ; In Georgia and Persia the plane Gazing on a ruin was held sacred, and votive offerings Grand, though rent and gray, were hung upon it.
Where wild flowers were strewing Elian relates, that Xerxes happened,
Beauties o'er decay; when on a march, to meet with a magnificent plane. He looked upon it
On a rough root seated with admiring eyes, ordered his men Deep in forest-nook, to halt and pitch his tent beneath its Poring, fancy-cheated, shade, and passed whole days, and a
O'er a favourite brook.
List’ning to the whisper great part of many nights, in gazing
Of the twilight sea, fondly upon it, and indulging in silent
When it breath'd, sweet Hesper ! reveries. He even suspended costly
Welcomings to thee. ornaments, as gifts of love, upon its branches. It was with the greatest
But I priz'd not duly reluctance that he at length tore bim
All that then was mine: self from the spot to proceed on
Felt not warmly, truly, his way, and even then he left behind
Bliss as gift divine. him one of his attendants to watch
Then half pleased, half doubting, over the beloved tree. This strongly Look'd I on my joys, marked affection could have been nei. Like a child that's pouting ther the admiration of a paturalist O'er his heap of toys. nor the superstition of an idolater, but a feeling more pathetic, which While I own'd the splendour touched the heart of the proud Persian
I blam'd the heat of noon; king. There was something in the I thought too cold the tender appearance of that plane that revived Light of crescent moon.
Flowers e'en while enchanting
tanis, a city of Thessaly, round which With their tints mine eye,
it grew abundantly. The name is Ah! I chid them, wanting
still preserved in various European Roses' fragrancy.
languages - castagno in Italian, chaLarks I watch'd upspringing
taigne in French, castanienbaum in
Some of the largest trees in the "Sweet-but oft too loud."
world are of this species. There is Yea! how much of treasure
one on Mount Etna whose circumfe. Froward heart makes void
rence at the ground is eighteen feet; Yea! how much pure pleasure
and within the hollow trunk is a hut Leaving un-enjoy'd.
for drying and storing the nuts. It is
called' il Castagno de cento Cavelli Thou, my soul insensate !
(the chestnut of a hundred horse), on Dost thou seek at last
account of a tradition that a Queen Somewhat to compensate
of Spain, with a hundred mounted atFor the wasted Past ?
tendants, once found shelter beneath Give me back the dullest
its branches from a storm. Of sweet hours that were ;
Near the ruins of Bradgate Palace, Now of joy the fullest Freight 'twould seem to bear.
once the residence of Lady Jane
Grey's family, is a group of stately Give me from the frailest
chestnuts, growing there since the time Of youth's fading bowers
of Edward I. Their branches must One--but one-the palest
have often given their shade to that Of those former flowers ;
lovely, wise, and pious young girl, the Grateful on my bosom
martyred Lady Jane. I the boon would lay;
Whenever we see at a little distance Priz'd like richest blossom
a large Horse Chestnut (@sculus of the Rose's spray.
hippo-castanea) in full beauty, decked
with its erect, stately, fair flowerEcho! bring but near me
spikes, it looks to us as though thickly By-gone Music's strain;
studded with wax candles for some Faintest note would cheer me, Wafted here again.
floral festival. This tree was not Slightest word once spoken
known in England till the seventeenth By Love's gentle voice
century. It is a native of the northern Give, to bid this broken
parts of Asia. The Turks grind its Heart once more rejoice.
bitter nuts into powder to give to
horses whose wind is injured. Hence Had my wayward spirit
the popular name. Known its former bliss,
Here is a branch of the dignified 'Twould not now inherit
ELM (ulmus campestris), with its furGrief so deep as this —
rowed and pointed leaves. Its green Grief for hopes neglected,
flowers have a pleasant smell, like vio. Garlands flung to waste,
lets, in warm seasons.
According to the poets, when Or
pheus, on losing his beloved Euridyce, Drooping flowers recover
sang her loss to the accompaniment of In soft summer rain
his lyre, a wood of elms, called into Winter's tears weep over
being by the sweet sounds, sprang up Perish'd bloom in vain.
all round him. Vainly comes Repentance,
It was a funereal tree among the When Time blots the date:
ancients, who planted it round tombs. O the bitter sentence
In France, too, it was a custom, deIn these words, “Too late !"
rived from antiquity, to plant it in
churchyards. This fine tree, the CHESTNUT (fagus Most of the elms in St. James's castanea), admirable for its beautiful Park, London, were planted by Charles form, and estimable for its esculent II. But there is one elm near the enfruit, was brought by Tiberius Cæsar trance of the passage leading to Spring from Sardis, in Lybia, to Italy; thence Gardens, which is of older date, having it passed into France and England. been planted by the Duke of Glouces Its appellation castaneu is from Cas- ter, brother of Charles I. When that ill-fated monarch was proceeding to Upon thy bark the hamlet's race the scaffold, he recognised the tree, Their grandsires' loves recorded trace. and pointed it out to Bishop Juxon. O thou that through two centuries past In that sad, Day, awful moment, what
Didst o'er the swains thy shelter cast, a remembrance of youth, happiness,
And still dost canopy to-day and power, all humbled to the dust,
Their lightsome dance, their featful play, must have flashed upon bis mind; yet
Tell, from thy tender youth till now,
In this thy green old age, hast thou conquered by Christian resignation,
E'er seen their simple manners changed ? for he spoke firmly and calmly of the Seen their true soul's firm faith estrang'a ? familiar tree and its touching associa- No! Innocence with light divine, tions.
And nature these pure hearts among Near Gisors, in Normandy, was an Unaltered still as brightly shine old historic elm, which had been the As when thou wert a sapling young : scene of many royal conferences. Be- And to preserve the memory neath its canopy Henry II. of Eng- Of those long dead who planted thee, land and Philip Augustus of France
Thou bidst us in their children view conferred together concerning the de
Their faithful type, their record true. bated restoration of the dower of Margaret, sister of Philip, betrothed to "Live, ancient tree, and flourish long;
Flourish o'er time and tempests strong : Prince Henry of England, then lately deceased (1183). Again, in 1187, the
Live while these scenes endure, till spring
Shall yield its last sweet blossoming. two kings, who had been at variance,
To stately oak and cedar yield met beneath the old elm, and were re
Their claim rich palaces to build. conciled. Afterwards they quarelled Beneath a gilded roof to dwell again, touching the personal interests Proud self-styled wisdom loveth well; of the Count de Toulouse, a relative But thy kind boughs with shelter bless of Philip, though the two kings had Meek worth and modest happiness." joined the Crusades, and were pledged not to bear arms against each other. The bark of the LIME TREE, or They met, however, once more in Linden (tilia Europea), furnished the September, 1188), beneath the cele- Romans with tablets to write on. This brated elm, but no agreement was ef- was the bark called liber, whence a fected. Some insult was offered by the book, in Latin, is called liber. Strips knights of Henry to those attendant on of this bark also bound the garlands of Philip; and the latter, in a rage, the ancients. It now furnishes our swore that the desecrated tree should gardens with their basst matting. never more witness the meeting of mo- A tale of classic fabulists relates narchs, and felled it to the ground. that Philyra, a nymph beloved by
In France, before the Revolution, Saturn, became the mother of Chiron, the elm was an especial rural favourite. the Centaur. Shocked at the unna. In every hamlet there was some old and tural appearance of her offspring, she beloved one, beneath whose shade the implored the pity of the gods, and young danced and woved, and the old they changed her into a lime - tree. conversed together; and on whose This tree was, among the ancients, an boughs were hung the votive tributes
emblem of conjugal fidelity, because of the religious to the patron saint of Baucis, the loving wife of Philemon, the place. Gresset* has left some was changed into one by Jupiter and simple lines on the subject of such a Mercury, as we have before observed. time-honoured tree, which we essay to A lime of extraordinary size, which translate :
grew near the house of the ancestors
of Linnæus, gave the family name of THE VILLAGE ELM.
Linné (in Swedish the linden, or lime),
Latinised into Linnæus. In England ("Feuillage antique et venerable, Temple des bergers de ce lieu.")
this tree was formerly called the lineAncient and venerable tree!
tree. Fane of the peaceful shepherds here,
In the market-place of Freyburg, in Fair Elm, of virtuous poverty
Switzerland, stands a venerable lime, The monument for many a year! a memorial of the famous battle of
FROM THE FRENCH OF GRESSET.
Born at Amiens, 1709; became a member of the French Academy; died at his native place, 1777. et Properly, bast, from a Russian word; it is largely exported from Russia.