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Thy pathway through this desert-land was strew'd with many a
My mother, O my mother! thou hast left me in the storm,
Then, O, my dearest mother, I will wipe these tears away,
R. M. W.
ANIMATED AND VEGETABLE NATURE.
Heaven's unvarying chronologe, as read by our astronomers, determines that the Spring quarter shall begin on the 20th day of March. But when Spring really will begin, with what pace the returning season shall advance, how far accelerated by clear sunshine, or chilled and retarded by the blasts of invidious winter, ihat clings with stubborn grasp to his latest hold in the more northern regions, the almanack is insufficient to divine. Warm days, perhaps, succeeded by frosty nights and mornings. Winds, drying, indeed, but cold and boisterous, are looked for; and thus we say, “ March winds," and "equinoctial gales," and expect to hear of damage done among the shipping, and of wrecks along the coast : and when they who “ travel by land or by water" are remembered in the Litany, the wind whistling around reminds the congregations that they should send up a fervent Amen from their hearts' depth,-offering such a prayer as God will hearken to, hold those wild winds in His fist, and save the weary mariners from perishing. Cold winds! And thus
The tyrannous breathing of the north
Checks all our buds from blowing." We long for milder skies; and when the fitful gusts are lulled, and the sun breaks forth in strength, we gladly throw open our windows to receive his warmth, forgetful that a few days of sunshine may only beguile those buds into a premature unfolding, and leave them naked to the mercy of returning frost. Better that the cold wind and the hoar-frost continue on to the end of March ; better that the vegetation be kept in check up to the last week, than that the orchards be stripped bare in April, of the too-early blossoms. The discipline of Heaven is better than the hurry and the waywardness of men.
But, withal, the season is advancing. The ploughs drive hard, furrowing broad acres. Oats and barley shower into the furrows, the harrow sweeps over the surface to hide them in the earth, the scarecrow is planted, the rattle crakes, and the watchman goes his round to “tent the birds.” The throstle, perched on the bare bough, sings. The ringdove cooes. The rooks are sailing aloft in cloud-like flocks, or they cover the new-ploughed land, like a living carpet, in spite of man and beast, clearing the clod of grubs; and each bold bird, jet black, erect and sleek, marches as proudly as if he knew that the domain was his by the prescription of a tenure older than the Norman, or the Saxon, or the Roman either. And so indeed it is : they hold it by a universal gavelkind, and they render good service ; and, in spite of shot and rattle, their heritage is not likely to escheat. A few birds, that were driven last winter from the bleak mountain-ridges of Norway and Sweden to our milder climate, are going back to their summer quarters; and again the solan-geese whiten the rocks in the Scotch isles, and make those quiet shores hoar with eggs and goslings. Frogs are swarming, again, on the edges of our ponds; the rivers abound in fish that come in from the seas to spawn; the new-dropped lambs sport upon the fields; or, if the weather be wet and inclement, are tended in places of shelter, by every hand that can be mustered, through day and night. The busy bees, instinct with renovated life, issue from their hives in favourable hours, and, exquisitely weather-wise, choose the mornings of days that will be fine, and buzz away to reconnoitre the scenes of their next summer's diligence. And He who openeth His hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing, has already provided their earliest repast in bright crocuses, in modest wild flowers, in primroses, and violets, and daffodils; but, best of all, they shall be regaled with honeysuckles in hedgerows and round cottage-windows, and rich blossoms of peach, apricot, cherry, almond, and nectarine.
On the 21st day of this month, measuring time by the great orrery above us, day and night are equal all over the globe, and the globe itself, now trimmed equally, with its poles just square to the plane of the orbit, is in precisely such a position as poets would have it to be the whole year round, with “everlasting spring,” just as they sometimes fancy it must have been before angry angels were permitted to twist its axis out of place. But the reign of the seasons is more salutary than the dominion of the country, and observe rural occupations, and climb the hills, and look abroad into the great factories of sustenance for man and beast, and see Nature-shall we so speak ?--- sporting in the fickle sky, and observe that the very clouds and winds are breathing promise, and yet lecturing patience, and calm trust in the Divine Governor of earth and sky, he will come home refreshed in soul and body, and better instructed than ever to pursue his vocation with a tranquil perseverance and sure trust. And with renewed admiration he will adore the faithful One who makes the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice, who visits the earth and waters it, who greatly enriches it with the river of God which is full of water, who prepares us corn when he has so provided for it; who waters the ridges thereof abundantly, who settles the furrows thereof, who makes it soft with showers, who blesses the springing thereof.
This vernal equinox, like its counterpart in autumn, does not outlast a night; and the daylight of the 22d will shine at Greenwich four minutes longer than that of this nychthemeron, and so will protract itself until there be “no real night" at all in our latitudes.
All sleeping things have now left their hibernacula. Young nature is awake and merry. The husbandman is vigilant. He sows the seed, and must be content to wait until it shoots forth the blade, and the stem rises, and the blossom opens, and the fruit is ready. Now, if the citizen can take a trip into the circumjacent
ASTRONOMICAL FACTS OF MARCH, 1852.
RISING AND SETTING OF THE SUN.
Truro. London. Manchester. Edinburgh. Tain. Day.
Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. h. m. h. m. h. m. h, m. h. m. h. m. h. m. h, m.h. m. 16 45 5 416 47 5 396 50 5 366 55 5 316 59 5 27 116 24 5 576 25 5 56 6 27 5 546 29 5 526 31 5 50 216 2 6 136 2 6 136 2 6 13 5 2 6 1316 2
MERCURY, in the constellations Aquarius and Pisces, is invisible till the 21st, then an evening star to the end of the month. Or the 15th, at 10h. 30m., A.M., in superior conjunction with the Sur ; on the 29th, at 1h. 41m., P.M., in perihelion. Venus, in the cor. stellations Pisces and Aries on the 14th, at 2h. 35m., P.M., in conjunction with Uranus at 1° 9' S.: on the 15th, at 3h. 6m., A.M., with Saturn, at 3° 3' S. Mars, in the constellation Cancer, on the 4th, at 10h. 38m., P.M., stationary; on the 15th, passes the meridian at 8h. 18m., P.M. JUPITER, in the constellation Libra, on the 9th, at 4h. 41m., A.M., stationary; on the 15th, passes the meridian at 3h. 53m, A.M. SATURN, in the constellations Pisces and Aries, on the 15th, passes the meridian at 2h. 30m., P.m., and sets at 9h. 26m. URANUS, in the constellation Aries, on the 15th passes the meridian at 2h. 28m., P. M.
H. T. & J. Roche, Printers, 25, Hoxton-square, London.