Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

BY MRS. HEMANS.
Fount of the Woods! thou art hid no more
From Heaven's clear eye, as in time of yore!
For the roof hath sunk from thy mossy walls,
And the Sun's free glance on thy slumber falls,
And the dim tree shadows across the pass,
As the bonghs are sway'd o'er thy silvery glass,
And the reddening leaves to thy breast are blown,
When the Autumn wind hath a stormy tone,
And thy bubbles rise to the flashing rain
Bright Fount! thou art Nature's own again!

Fount of the Vale! thou art sought no more
By the Pilgrim's foot, as in time of yore,
When he came from afar, his beads to tell,
And to chaunt his hymn, at our Lady's well.
There is heard no Are through thy bowers,
Thou art gleaming lone midst thy water flowers ;
But the herd may drink from thy gushing wave,
And there may the reaper his forehead lave,
And the woodman seeks thee not in vain-
Bright Fount! thou art Nature's own again!
Fount of the Virgin's ruin'd shrine !
A voice that speaks of the past is thine!
It mingles the tone of a thoughtful sigh
With the notes that ring through the laughing sky;
Midst the mirthful song of the summer bird,

And the sound of the breeze, it will yet be heard ! * There is a beautiful Spring in North Wales, formerly dedicated to the Virgin, and much frequented by Pilgrims..

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

MISOELLANEOUS.

ORIGINAL

A VISIT IN CANADA.

CHAPTER SECOND.

In the depths of the forest, a profound and solemn silence reigns, unbroken except by the murmur of waters or the rushing of winds. The flutter of the dove nestling among the thick leaves and raising her many colored neck to peep out at the passer, the whirring sound of the partridge starting in surprise from her covert, the shrill but not uomusical voices of the white winged birds sporting on the lake, or the half heard tread of the wild beast prowling around with stealthy pace, if they fall occasionally upon the ear, relieve the oppressive sense of loneliness. They come as witnesses that the pulse of life has not ceased, and that all animated existence is not extinct. The feeling of solitude comes more heavily upon the soul in the silent watches of the night, than in the broad day, when the sun beams play arnong the branches, and the quivering shadows are thrown over the path way. Then it seems as if nature held her Sabbath of rest, The stars glide on in their silent courses in the depths of the blue sky : the moon shines coldly down. The fires kindled in front of the green encampment of the hunter, make the darkness around seem more thick and dense; the insects, except the busy gnat and active musqueto, have folded up their wings and retired to their little chambers to sleep. There is not even the drowsy hum of the beetle to disturb the calm solemnity of the scene. In such a situation we should almost welcome the surly bear to share with us our pillows, and rejoice in the society of a troop of wolves almost as much as in the meeting of those we hold dearest. It is a species of solitary confinement where the wide woods on either hand are the walls of the prison. The companionship of the deadliest enemy would be acceptable, and the fear of the death blow would be wholly overcome by the gratification of knowing we could receive even injury from a fellow being.

The sources of some of the magnificent Rivers which scatter fertility over the vast regions traversed by their channels are embosomed in the solitude of the Kennebec forest. In the space of a single day's march, the traveller may quench his thirst from the head streams of the noble Penobscot and the beautiful Kennebec, flowing southward through the rich territory of the Eastern section of the Union; and recline on the banks of the De Loup, which taking a

Northern direction joins the Chaudiere and conveys the tribute of the hills to the majestic Saint Lawrence, flowing through the green vallies of Canada. It is with no little satisfaction he reflects while crossing the little rivulets intersecting each other like threads of silver, that he passes with a stride, the waters wandering onward to waft the treasures of commerce and increase the wealth of an enterprising and active population.

After leaving the height of land forming the boundary between the nations, the route is with the Loup River. Near its confluence with the Chaudiere, we emerge unexpectedly from the shade. The forest retires on either hand. Cultivated fields spread out before us, sprinkled with white cottages and enlivened by the sounds of industry. So rapid is the change, it seems like the work of magic. The transition is not preceded by indications of the neighborhood of civilization; but bursts suddenly upon the sight. After toiling through the scenes where nature is still in her primeval wildness, where the prospect is bounded on all sides by the foliage so deep and dense that we can scarce catch a glimmer of the sun beam, or look out at the blue heavens, wide plains of waving grain, luxuriant meadows, and smooth hills rise upon the sight. It seems the work of a new creation. When we arrived weary and toil worn, the scenery was fresh and glowing. The clouds which had drenched us with their heavy rains had added a livelier tint to vegetation, and rested in heavy folds on the distant heights closing the still valley we entered, where all looked tranquil and happy. The twitter of the swallow from the roof, smoothing his feathers and turn

eye
down

upon the dog snarling at the door, came in mel. low notes upon

the

ear, and never had the sounds of this cheerful companion of man seemed more sweet than then, inviting us to enter the cottage beneath his straw built home.

The stranger cannot without difficulty persuade himself he is not enjoying a pleasant dream, or that the spell of some enchanter is not thrown upon his senses.

He hears the accents of a strange tongue and voices addressing him in a foreign language; he sees other modes of dress than those of his native land, dwellings of unknown forms, and a garden country stretching around him.

The Chaudiere is a large and rapid stream, issuing in Lake Megantic and flowing through the Seignories of Vaudrieul, Saint Joseph, Sainte Marie, Saint Etienne, Jolliett and Lauzon, it pours its waters into the Saint Lawrence about six miles above Quebec, at the distance of an hundred miles from its fountain. The channel is

ing his

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

too much obstructed by rapids, rocks, and cataracts to admit of boat navigation. The banks are precipitous and high, clothed with trees of scanty stature and diminutive growth. The fords are numerous, and are marked by the tops of Pines fastened to stakes below the surface of the stream, and which seem as if Aourishing in their pative element. The arrangement for ferries is somewhat peculiar. Two canoes hollowed from logs are placed parallel with each other; a platform of stout planks is laid over them, and the structure when floating with its burden, appears like a wandering bridge swept away by the swift current, with the passing carriages still on its top.

The road to Quebec leads along the Eastern bank of the Chaudiere. The farms on its margin are laid in narrow tracts, containing usually about 75 acres each, in the remoter settlements, and bounded by fences running at right angles with the river. The front does not exceed thirty or torty rods in width, and as the farm bouses are usually built near the centre of the lots, they form a continued village stretching mile after mile along the highways.Proposing hereafter to speak of the feudal tenures by which the lands are held, we shall not now delay our journey to remark on the system.

The Houses are similar to each other in construction, differing only in size, or external peatness. They are built of timbers, hewn and interlocked at the extremities, and secured in their proper position by upright posts inserted in grooves sawed for their reception. The roofs are steep and high, rising at a great angle of inclination : a mode of erection well suited to the stormy inclemency of a severe climate, affording greater space for the convenience of the inhabitants, and preventing the winter's snow from accumulating. The exterior edge is indented with points, in the form of half diamonds. The rows of shingles iu the middle of the ascent are pointed in similar manner, or the figures are traced with paint: a third series of these singular ornaments is worked on the joining at the summit of the two sides. Little turrets are raised on either end, and the chimney of loosely piled stones, scarcely projects above the surface of the wood. The doors are low, with the thresholds raised many inches above the level of the floor, so that the tenants are forced to clamber out as well as to climb in. The windows are divided perpendicularly along the middle and swing on hinges. They are furnished with shutters of substantial plank or board, and, with the sashes, are painted black. Dormant windows

« НазадПродовжити »