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might I have exclaimed in the words of my poetical friend :
" Around an endless wild of forests lies,
And pines on pines for ever meet the eyes!”
The land, as I have before suggested, was perfectly level. Not the smallest acclivity was visible, and therefore no valley rejoiced the sight with its verdure.
The staple commodity of the State is rice, but cotton is now eagerly cultivated where the soil is adapted to the purpose. The culture of indigo is nearly relinquished. It attains more perfection in the East-Indies, which can amply supply the markets of Europe. It is to the crop of cotton that the Planter looks for the augmentation of his wealth. Of cotton there are two kinds; the sea-island and inland. The first is the most valuable. The ground is hoed for planting the latter part of March ; but as frosts are not infrequent the beginning of April, it is judicious not to plant before that time. Cotton is of a very tender nature. A frost, or even a chilling wind, has power to destroy the rising plant, and compel the Planter to begin anew his toil.
The winds in autumn are so tempestuous, that they tear up the largest trees by the roots. Honer, some thousand years ago, witnessed a similar scene :
“ Leaves, arms and trees aloft in air are blown,
Of the feathered race, the mocking-bird first claims my notice. It is perfectly domestic, and sings frequently for hours on the roof of a log-house. It is held sacred by the natives. Even children respect the bird whose imitative powers are so delightful.
I heard the mocking bird for the first time on the first day of March. It was warbling, close to my window, from a tree called by some the Pride of India, and by others the Poison-berry Tree. Its song was faint, resembling that of birds hailing the rising-sun; but it became stronger as the spring advanced. The premices of this mocking songster could not but delight me ; and I adadressed the bird in an irregular Ode, which Mrs. Drayton did me the honour to approve.
ODE TO THE MOCKINGBIRD.
SWEET bird, whose imitative strain, Of all thy race can counterfeit the note,
And with a burthen'd heart complain, Or to the song of joy attune the throat ;
To thee I touch the string,
Thou hail'st the coming spring,
Thou bringest to my mind,
The characters we find Amid the motley scenes of human life ; How very few
appear The garb of truth to wear, But with a borrow'd voice, conceal a heart of strife.
Sure then, with wisdom fraught,
Thou art by nature taught, Dissembled joy in others to deride ;
And when the mournful heart
Assumes a sprightly part,
But when, with midnight song,
Thou sing'st the woods among,
Sure then thy rolling note
Does sympathy denote,
Pour out thy lengthen'd strain,
With woe and grief complain,
Thy moving tale reveal,
Make me soft pity feel,
The humming- bird was often caught in the bells of flowers. It is remarkable for its variegated plumage of scarlet, green, and gold.
The whip-poor-will, is heard after the last frost, when, towards night, it fills the woods with its melancholy cry of Whip poor Will! Whip poor
Will! I remember to have seen mention
* Put for awak'st.
made of this bird in a Latin poem, written by an early Colonist. Hic Avis repetens, Whip! Whip! Will, voce jocosa, Qua tota verno tenipore nocte canit.
The note of the red-bird is imitated with nice precision by the mocking-bird; but there is a bird called the loggerhead that will not bear passively its taunts. His cry resembles Clink, clink, clank; which, should the mocking-bird presume to imitate it, he flies and attacks the mimic for his insolence. But this only incurs a repetition of the offence; so true is it that among birds as well as men, anger serves only to sharpen the edge of ridicule. It is observable, that the loggerhead is known to suck the eggs of the mocking-bird, and devour the young ones in the nest.
Eagles were often seen on the plantation. The rencounter between one of them and a fish-hawk is curious. When the fish-hawk has seized his prey, his object is to get above the eagle ; but when unable to succeed, the king of birds darts on him fiercely, at whose approach the hawk, with a horrid cry, lets fall the fish, which the eagle catches in his beak besore it descends to the ground.
The woods abound with deer, the hunting of which forms the chief diversion of the Planters. I never failed to accompany my neighbours in their parties, but I cannot say that I derived much pleasure from standing several hours behind a tree.
This mode of hunting, is, perhaps, not generally known.
On riding to a convenient spot in the woods, the hunters dismount, take their stands at certain distances, hitch their horses to a tree, and prepare their guns,—while a couple of negroes lead the beagles into the thickest of the forest. The barking of the dogs announces the deer are dislodged, and on whatever side they run, the sportsmen fire at them from their lurking places. The first day two bucks passed near my tree. I had heard the cry of the dogs, and put my gun on a whole cock. The first buck glided by me with the rapidity of lightning; but the second I wounded with my fire,
as was evident from his twitching his tail be| tween his legs in the agony of pain. I heard
Colonel Pastell exclaim from the next tree, after discharging his piece, “By heaven, that fellow “ is wounded, let us mount and follow him,“ he cannot run far.” I accompanied the venerable Colonel through the woods, and in a few minutes, directed by the scent of a beagle, we reached the spot where the deer had fallen. It was a noble buck, and we dined on it like kings.
Fatal accidents sometimes attend the hunters in the woods Two brothers a few years ago, having taken their respective stands behind a tree, the elder fired at a deer which the dogs had started; but, his shot being diverted by a fence, it flew off and lodged in the body of