Puslapio vaizdai

"The swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantlings proudly, rows
Her state with airy feet; yet oft they quit
The dank,' and rising on swift pinions, tower
The mid aerial sky."

According to nearly all the old poets, and some of the mod-
erns, the swan pours forth its last breath in sublime and en-
chanting music. There is a fable that a stork, which listen-
ed to the song of a dying swan, told her it was contrary to
nature to sing so much out of season, and asked her the rea-
son of it.
"Why," said the swan, "I am now entering into
a state where I shall be no longer in danger of either snares,
guns, or hunger; and who would not rejoice at such a deliv-
erance ?"

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6. Among the divers the largest and finest species is the great loon, which is frequently seen on inland lakes in this country, but is seldom shot, as it dives instantaneously at the flash of a gun, and then swims a great distance under water. The cry of the loon, which is melancholy in its tone, resembling the howling of the wolf, is said to portend3 rain.

7. The auks, which have their dreary homes on the frozen coasts and islands of the Northern Ocean, but from which they wander hundreds of miles out to sea, have generally small wings; but these they use as aids in diving and swimming. The great auk can not fly at all; but he climbs up the rocky cliffs, and is often seen on floating ice.

8. The puffin is another bird of the auk family; and in the southern hemisphere the same family is represented by the penguins, which are very singular-looking birds, having no wings nor proper feathers, but two fins or flippers, like the seal. These birds are found in immense flocks on the southern islands. On land they hop along in a very awkward manner, but they swim with great swiftness, and are often seen far out at sea.

9. The petrels, or fulmars, are eminently birds of the ocean, rarely approaching the land, some of them appearing to be almost constantly on the wing, and following the course of ships for days together without alighting. The common albatross, which belongs to this family, extends its wings far

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ther in flying than any other sea-bird known. wing it is the very ideal of beauty; and it sits ter as light and graceful as a swan.

10. The gulls are a numerous and well-known family, dispersed over every quarter of the world. The terns or seaswallows, the skimmer of the seas, and the gray, white, and black-backed gulls, are names by which some of the species are known. The family of the pelicans, which includes the cormorants, darters, frigate birds, the Solan goose or gannet, and the phaetons, closes the list of the sea-birds-and a numerous list it is. And what a degree of life they impart to the grand, gloomy, majestic, and otherwise solitary ocean!

11. And how strictly in accordance with the wild and gloomy grandeur of the scene are the habits of these birds, and the hardy lives they lead!

When on the the wa


"Watchful and agile, 10 uttering voices wild

And harsh, yet in accordance with the waves
Upon the beach, the winds in caverns moaning,
Or winds and waves abroad upon the water.
Some seek their food among the finny shoals,
Swift darting from the clouds, emerging soon
With slender captives glittering in their beaks;
These in recesses of steep crags construct
Their eyries11 inaccessible, and train

Their hardy broods to forage12 in all weathers."

12. How cheering the presence of these birds is to the weary mariner, none but those who " 'go down upon the sea in ships" can tell. But in an economical relation, also, this order of birds is of considerable importance. To it we owe all our domesticated breeds of geese, ducks, etc.; from it our finest feathers and downs, employed as articles of luxury, or by the fair sex as dresses and adornments of ornamental comfort, are derived; and among northern nations the collection of the eggs and young of many wild species is an object of regular employment and commerce.

13. We have thus given a very brief account of the swimming-birds. In the preceding orders-in the birds of prey, the perchers, the climbers, the scratchers, the runners, the waders -we are constantly reminded of benevolent design in the wisdom which has created and arranged them, each in its

proper sphere, and all in beautiful harmony: and here again we find the same beautiful adaptation in the powers, instincts, and habits of these water-birds to the places they are design. ed to fill in the great chain of animated nature.

14. The swimmers are a large class of birds, and wide is the range which has been assigned them; for they not only throng13 on the line of the ocean, and frequent every bay and headland of its winding shores in every quarter of the globe, but wherever, in their lofty flights, the surface of an inland lake or river meets their view, remote from the dwellings of man, there also some of them cluster at certain seasons, either to feed, or to rear their young. Theirs are the wild solitudes of Nature-the ocean, the sandy coast, the solitary lake; and when driven from these for repose at night or shelter from the storm, rocky isles far in the ocean's void,14 and rocky shores difficult of access, are their resting-places.


15. While the waders have thin bodies, that they may make their way the more easily through the rank watergrass of the marshes which they frequent, those of the swimmers are broad and flat, to enable them the better to float on the surface of the water. The plumage of the swimmingbirds is also remarkably thick and close, especially on the under parts of the body; the skin is covered with a dense15 coat of soft down; and the outer surface is polished and oily, thus effectually protecting their bodies from the water, while the feathers of all land-birds, on the contrary, are quickly saturated 16 by it. The air is, indeed, made the common element of both classes; but the one is so formed as best to obtain its support on the water, the other on the land: each element furnishes the food appropriate17 for its own tenants;18 and thus every part of nature teems19 with happy, joyous life.

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"The wood, the mountain, and the barren waste, the craggy rock, the river, and the lake, are never searched in vain; each has its peculiar inhabitants, that enliven the scene and please the philosophic eye."-MONTague.

1. In full accordance with the sentiments of the author we have quoted above, we have often wandered in the recesses of our woods and the passes of far-stretching and craggy mountains, searched around our wild or beautiful lakes and our precipitous sea-coasts, and we have never been disappointed.

2. If we did not always meet with some species new to our collection, we found fresh facts to record of those we already possessed; and we delighted in the landscape enlivened by the airy creatures whose structure we had been examining, and whose habits we could there survey so freely. What would be the landscape without its living inhabitants? The luxuriance of vegetation, varying with beautiful flowers and rich foliage, has indeed charms quiet and seducing, but not such as fully satisfy the mind.

3. In the depth of the forest, or on the mountain's top, ere break of day had awakened their various tenants, and in some of our beautiful mornings of mid-year, we have seen how deeply tinted seemed the green of the foliage, and how chaste and blended were the tints on the nearly barren rock; how lovely the sylvan flowers appeared, showing their freshest blossoms amid the soft and matted growth beneath, and how exquisite the structure of the moss or lichen within our reach; how calm, clear, and serene the air, how deep the shadows; but how complete the quiet, how still the silence!

4. There is something in the gradual change from darkness to daylight in places such as these, which, while it is pleasing and agreeable to witness, leaves a deep and impressive feeling as of something wanting, not to be dispelled by the richest or most attractive vegetation. Soon, however, the stillness is broken, the various creatures go to their usual occupations, the scene is at once enlivened, the void is filled, and the harmony of Nature is complete.





On the top of the waves you may
see their forms;

They run and dive, and they whirl and fly,
Where the glittering foam-spray breaks on high;
And against the force of the strongest gale,
Like phantom1 ships, they soar and sail.


2. High o'er the restless deep, above the reach
Of gunner's hopes, vast flocks of wild ducks stretch;2
Far as the eye can glance on either side,
In a broad space and level line they glide;
All in their wedge-like figures from the north,
Day after day, flight after flight, go forth.

3. In-shore their passage tribes of seagulls urge,3 And drop for prey within the sweeping surge; Oft in the rough opposing blast they fly

Far back, then turn, and all their force apply,
While to the storm they give their weak complaining cry,

Or clap the sleek white pinion to the breast,

And in the restless ocean dip for rest.


HAN'-TOM, unreal; existing in appear-2 STRETCH, sail away in long lines.
ance only.
3 URGE, push their way.

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