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thought of death and graves, and then we dipped into the musical water and lipped Castalian glories, and laved our hot brow, and then fell into a cool resting-place upon some short sweet grass by the side of a hazel bush, and took from our pocket Thompson's “Seasons," and read, and fell asleep, dreaming of the beautiful Musidora. Musidora cost us a wet jacket, and a heavy cold. Nothing but thunder could have awakened us from that dream.
We seem to hear even now the murmuration of that rivulet, and a woodcock getting up by its side. We are off. Reader, farewell.
Whither, midst falling dew,
Thy solitary way ?"
We wonder if the Poet ever got any answer to that question. We will bet a bag of buckshot, that the water-fowl to whom the interesting interrogatory was addressed, was out of sight, and out of the sound of its echo, before the spoken sentimentality ran up against a mark of interrogation. “Whither," aye, " whither" should a duck go, in the age of percussion caps, batteries, and patent cartridges ? Under what upper cloud may “the fowler's eye" mark in “distant flight,” his
“figure floating," "vainly,” or without power to do him “wrong, or his fowler self, justice? The bird, which the bard apotheosised, must have been either close by, or afar off. If he was near, he could have been talked to, or shot at, according to the taste of the spectator, and there would then have been no gammon about “ vainly the fowler's eye." If he was too far off, and only “painted on the crimson sky," then neither goose-shot nor poetical questions could have touched a feather on his ear.
Let us pray to be forgiven by all just admirers of the thoughtful music from which we have adopted the entablature of our present madness, if we have seemed to borrow.—God save the word! when could we repay !-steal-look atwith any sort of levity,—the choice-culled flowers of phrase that sculpture those sweet dreamings of Bryant. They are mournful philosophy, reasoning grief, imagination with feet.Sense, heart, mind, flight. That brings us to the subject of ducks.
Talk of “flights,' and you will remember straightway old Drayton ;
“The duck and mallow first the falconer's only sport
Of river flights the chief,”. Permit us, dear reader, to call your attention, for a few moments, to the flight of the mallard, or shoveller—which, we know not—in the precedent picture. If thou art blind, yet hast shot heretofore, know that the engraving exhibits, water, sky, bushes, hassocks, two ducks in trouble, a boat, one man with a setting pole, and another with a gun, in the bow. If thou be blind, thou hast not lost much, for we do not hold the picture dearly. Two very-gentle-men have come out, at three hours after sunrise, to shove for crippled birds of any nation or species, black or white, infidel or christian, grasseater or
crabcannibal. They are of the class of people who take their comfort while they shoot. Their clothes are accurate and comely fits. The gentleman with the pole, shoves with his coat on, buttoned up. Doubtless, they will knock over the invalid who flutters in the rear. It will be a merciful certainty, if the shooter stands firm, and holds right. The wounded one winnows the air weakly. Those birds had flown to the up-gushing fountains of the fresh meadows, and the healing creek-greens, to cure their stricken pinions, and sides sore with lead spent to sting them, in the lower bays ;not killed, but feverish after a hard experimental blow, struck by some patient point-shooter, who had begun to be tired of waiting for a company to wheel up nearer to his stool. That wooden parallelogram, called a scow, chiefest for a trout-pond cannot accomplish an original death ;-unless a spring of teal, or a river broadhill, lie in close security behind some straggling patch of rushes, in the direct track of the intended water road. Yet let us not do injustice to the pretty picture. It shows, how, in a quiet way, a lover of pure air and kaleidiscopical colors, may float down an ebbing stream, through channel-enclosing bushes, and sedges trespassing upon the ancient but diminishing dominion of the river gods, and suddenly startle from his falsely imagined safety, some unfortunate speculator in water-weeds, who thought his weak or shattered fortune would be made sound and fat by “ going in.'' One of these ducks is clearly “lame.” The other looks as though he was taking the benefit of the wild-fowl absent debtor act.—[That act differs from the enactment of the human New York Legislature, in one peculiar respect. In the one case, if the fowl owes you any feathers, or flesh, and can get out of your jurisdiction-or rather Collineodiction-he is safe ; and may grant, bargain, sell, devise, bequeath, and run away