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Сторінка 158 - Nightingale, another of my airy creatures, breathes such sweet loud music out of her little instrumental throat, that it might make mankind to think miracles are not ceased. He that at midnight, when the very labourer sleeps securely, should hear, as I have very often, the clear airs, the sweet descants, the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of her voice, might well be lifted above earth, and say, Lord, what music hast thou provided for the Saints in Heaven, when thou affordest...
Сторінка 39 - In the centre of this grove there stood an oak which, though shapely and tall on the whole, bulged out into a large excrescence about the middle of the stem. On. this a pair of ravens had fixed their residence for such a series of years that the oak was distinguished by the title of the Raven Tree.
Сторінка 250 - I remember in the place where I was a boy, with what .terror this bird's note affected the whole village; they considered it as the presage of some sad event, and generally found or made ope to succeed it.
Сторінка 249 - But of all those sounds, there is none so dismally hollow as the booming of the bittern. It is impossible for words to give those who have not heard this evening call an adequate idea of its solemnity. It is like the interrupted bellowing of a bull, but hollower and louder, and is heard at a mile's distance, as if issuing from some formidable being that resided at the bottom of the waters.
Сторінка 39 - Many were the attempts of the neighbouring youths to get at this eyry : the difficulty whetted their inclinations, and each was ambitious of surmounting the arduous task. But when they arrived at the swelling, it jutted out so in their way, and was so far beyond their grasp, that the most daring lads were awed, and acknowledged the undertaking to be too hazardous. So the ravens built on, nest upon nest, in perfect security, till the fatal day arrived in which the wood was to be levelled. It was in...
Сторінка 168 - He is the joyous prophet of the year — the harbinger of the best season: he lives a life of enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature : winter is unknown to him; and he leaves the green meadows of England in autumn, for the myrtle and orange groves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa: — he has always objects of pursuit, and his success is secure.
Сторінка 168 - May, which consists like that of the housemartin, of a crust or shell composed of dirt or mud, mixed with short pieces of straw, to render it tough and permanent...
Сторінка 124 - There is something singularly curious and mysterious in the conduct of these birds previous to their nightly retirement, by the variety and intricacy of the evolutions they execute at that time. They will form themselves perhaps into a triangle, then shoot into a long, pear-shaped figure, expand like a sheet, wheel into. a ball, as Pliny observes, each individual striving to get into the centre, &c., with a promptitude more like parade movements, than the actions of birds.
Сторінка 46 - ... will build in society with their separate kindred : and the former even revisits in autumn the places it had nestled in. But such situations as these birds require, the ruined castle, abbey, or church tower, ledge in the rock, &c., are not universally found, and are apparently occupied from necessity. The rooks appear to associate from preference to society, as trees are common everywhere ; but what motive they can have in view in lingering 132 THE MAGPIE.
Сторінка 167 - The swallow is one of my favourite birds, and a rival of the nightingale, for he cheers my sense of seeing as much as the other does my sense of hearing. He is the glad prophet of the year, the harbinger of the best season ; he lives a life of enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature ; winter is unknown to him ; and he leaves the green meadows of England in autumn for the...