Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

looked after them and thought, “Ah! some pious mother has sent you on that errand.” And was it not a happy thought-for who could refuse a little book from a little girl; and was it not a good plan for teaching children how to do good? They will never forget that they were so employed, and the days may come in their future life when, having begun to do good so early, they will, under the favour of God, be permitted to do "greater things than these.” I wish many of you, my young friends, on reading this, may go and do likewise ; for this is my object in telling you this little tale.

We had the advantage of a full moon during our stay at Lowestoft; and I much enjoyed a walk on the sands when it rose over the distant waters, and shone down upon the rippling waves, forming with its rays upon their surface what you might almost fancy was a pavement of silver ! It was truly beautiful. I loved, too, the silence and the solitude of the scene. Did I say silence ? no: there is never silence on the sea-shore. Night and day, for thousands of years, there has been, along that shore, either the roar of the rolling wave or the murmur of the gently swelling waters, but never silence-entire silence. These thoughts were in my mind as I paced those sands by moonlight, and I would fain have turned poet. I took paper and pencil, but could get no further than

There may be silence in the depths woods,
Or on the mountain top, or in the cells
Here ages after ages, night and day,
The restless waves of ocean roll and break
With never-ceasing roar.

Of caverns vast--but never here!

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

We give this name to the PIKE, for what the Shark is in the salt seas and oceans the Pike is in our fresh water rivers and lakes—an enemy and a destroyer of all living things that come within his reach-for it matters little to the Pike what he devours—all kinds of fish except the perch, whose spines protect him, are alike the prey of this voracious creature.

The Pike is to be found in most of the lakes of Europe and the north of Asia, and also in many of the larger rivers of Lapland, Siberia, and the adjacent countries. In the northern regions it grows to a very considerable size; four or five feet in length not being an uncommon size, and some having been taken of the length of eight feet or more. In England they have been found weighing upwards of 50lbs., and one caught in Loch Ken, Galloway, weighed 61lbs. Its flesh is white and tender, but not rich in flavour.

The head of the Pike is very flat, the eyes are small and of a gold tinge; the upper jaw is broad and shorter than the lower, which turns up a little at the end, and is marked with minute punctures; the teeth are very sharp, disposed not only in the point of the upper jaw, but in both sides of the lower, in the roof of the mouth, and it has often three rows upon the tongue, and even down to the orifice of the stomach; the gape of the jaws is wide, although loosely connected; they have on each side an additional bone like the jaw of a viper, which renders them capable of greater distention when the prey is swallowed; the body is long, the back broad and almost square when in its best state; the belly is always white. When in high season their colours are very fine, being green, spotted with bright yellow, and the gills are of a most vivid red; out of season the green assumes a grey appearance, and the yellow spots turn pale. The dorsal fin is placed low on the back.

The Pike has been poetically styled the wolf of fishes, and tyrant of the watery plain; and, in fact, in proportion to his strength and celerity, he is the most active and voracious of the fresh water fish. He will attack every fish less than himself, and is sometimes seen choked by attempting to swallow such as are too large a morsel. It is immaterial of what species the animal it pursues appears to be, whether of another or its own: all are indiscriminately devoured; so that every fish owes its safety to its minuteness, its celerity, or its courage: nor does the Pike confine itself to feed on fish and frogs, it will draw down the water rats and the young ducks as they are swimming about, and even attack the legs of persons who are bathing. "I have been assured (says Walton) by my friend Mr. Seagrave, who keeps tame otters, that he has known a Pike, in extreme hunger, fight with one of his otters for a carp that the otter bad caught, and was then bringing out of the water."

THE BEAUTIES OF THE SEASONS.

SPRING awakes the sleeping flowers,
Strews her blossoms o'er the bowers,
Lovely beauties scatters round,
All our walks with sweets abound.
Crystal drops descend, and then
Parched meads look green again;
And our gardens now are drest,
Gaily in their richest vest.
Rippling streamlets onward flow,
Where the cress and rushes grow:
Herds increase, and fleecy lambs
Skip and gambol with their dams.
Little warblers on the spray,
Sing and carol all the day;
Others, soaring to the sky,
Pour their thrilling notes on high.

SUMMER gilds the fields with corn;
Crimson fruits the trees adorn;

While soft breezes fill the grove,
Where the smiling peasants rove.
See the orb of day ascend;
Majesty his steps attend,
Pouring forth in genial beams
Light and heat in copious streams.

AUTUMN scatters o'er the plain
Auburn leaves (a withered train)
Making all the forests seem
Pensive for their wonted green.
Spring and Summer glid along;
Short the cuckoo's mellow song;-
Autumn flies as swiftly past,
And stern WINTER comes at last.
Rigid frost with icy hand,
Holds the waters, binds the land;
Hedgerows sparkle with his gems;
Pearly drops adorn their stems;
Flakes of snow each other chase
Down to earth, as in a race;
See them hanging on the branch;
See them form an avalanche,
Where the lofty mountains rise,
Pointing upwards to the skies;
There the glistening granite glows,
And the sun its beauty shows.

All creation seems to be
Pregnant with felicity;
View it in the placid streams,
Glistening in the solar beams;
See it sparkling in the snow,
High upon the mountains brow;
Dancing on the tumbling rill;
Issuing from the warbler's bill;
See it twinkling in each star;
Gilding western clouds afar.

How the dewdrops gleam with joy; How gently zephyrs pass us by;

« AnteriorContinuar »