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To soften Man with song, that he might gain
They told me Pan was dead, and I, who love
So musing and so sorrowing, down the stream I floated, while the misty weather-gleam Grew golden, and the delicate pearly green Of quiet sunset barred the western sheen. Between the banks all bright with marigold And starlike daisies, meadow-sweet, and manifold Such odorous flowers, and fringed with pendent trees That kissed the quiet wave and sang low lullabies, Stirred by soft breezes—my light boat drew on With motion gentle as a floating swan, Till in a quiet cove she drove aground Beneath the silvering willows.
The while the river o'er its shallows ran
As the yellow sheen
Its beauty marred. Then suddenly I saw
A SOMEWHAT similar instinct to that which compels the salmon to leave the salt water of the sea, and ascend the rivers and streams, to deposit its spawn, would appear to lead the black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) from the sea-shore and cliffs, which one would naturally suppose to be its proper habitat, to the inland lakes and meres, where it breeds. The change is not less great in the bird than it is in the fish—from sea insects, shell-fish, and odds and ends of salted articles of food, to in the case of the salmon fresh-water insects and worms, and in the case of the gull to land insects, slugs, worms, and other the dainty dishes of inland birds. But the salmon affect many of our fresh-water rivers ; the gulls have only a few favourite breedingplaces, where, however, they breed in enormous numbers. Scoulton Mere, in Norfolk, is perhaps the chief of these, and is a sight no one who journeys in its neighbourhood should miss. It is situate near Hingham, and is twenty-eight miles from the sea. In that county of lakes, it may be interesting to notice the difference in the designations of its numerous sheets of water. The majority are called “Broads,” a term peculiar to Norfolk. The others of any size are called “Meres.” The latter have no communication with any rivers, but are hollows in the surface, caused, so geologists tell us, by erosion, and supplied by springs. The Broads are always in intimate connection with the slow running rivers of that county—the Yare, the Bure, and the Waveney. At one time the whole of the Broad district must have been under water, as is evidenced by its flat, marshy character. As the years rolled on, the waters subsided, the hollows silted up, as they are doing year by year now, with reeds and other aquatic vegetation, which, decaying, helped to fill up the lakes, until marsh took the place of water, and after drainage, hard, firm land the place of marsh. The remaining waters, shallow and broad, took the name of “Broads."