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can alone stand as Anti-type of the weird melodist of Chris tabel and the Ancient Mariner.
The same difficulty presents itself with regard to the gor. geous metaphysical Genius of Old Spenser. We shall have to find his Anti-type in that peopled realm of majestic shadows where he lived. We see
“A Bird all white, well feathered on each wing,
Hereout up to the throne of God did flie,
And are we not satisfied—filled to the fulness of repletion -with the beauty of the “Similitude ?"
” But we have already sufficiently extended our recreations in this sunny latitude of charming thought. There are very many Similitudes of equal appropriateness and loveliness which present themselves. These are the chiefest. As for the smaller flock, we will only say in the quaint simile of Spenser:
“ The Nightingale is Sovereigne of song :
Before him sits the titmouse, silent bee."
Here we dismiss this, to us, inexpressibly delightful theme.
“So let it glide, like a bright-footed dream,
Out of the chambers of our daily life !"
DROLLERIES OF THE WOODS.
THE BLUE JAY.
JAY! Jay! Jay ! Hilloa !—What's to pay? What shrill clamor breaks upon the silence of the dark woods, like a watchman's rattle, sudden on the midnight-Jay! Ja-a-a-ay! in prolonged and angry shriek answers the alarm, from a thicket near at hand. Jay! sharp and shrill, takes up the cry yet from the distance, until far and wide the woods reecho with the clang of the gathering guardians of the wild !
The intruder stands mute in astonishment, at this unlookedfor outbreak. They come! they come! They gather yet more fiercely about him. See there! a saucy fellow has descended, limb by limb, a tree close by, screaming yet louder as he comes more near, with crest erect, spread tail
, and sharp, fierce eyes, and with snapping beak, seems ready to devour the unoffending stranger in his wrath. With many an antic pirouette, it peers into his face, and turning to its noisy fellows, now gathered close behind to back its valorous charge, shrieks the report of its inquisition, to urge their tardy courage on.
“What ho! my friends, am I a robber or a thief !” the bewildered hunter may remonstrate.
But the answer is in yet fiercer cries, until they dance above his head in a fan. tastic ecstasy of fierceness, and yell their deafening gibes and taunts into his ears. Patience has bounds: one shot into their midst—ha! hal—what a scurrying! Silence instantaneous, and how profound !
Whither have the brave and clamorous champions of the old wood fled ? Gone! gone !—not a blue coat or a brag. gart top-knot to be seen—ah me! It is a deceitful world, and valor is a most deceitful virtue.
The Blue Jay is the very Falstaff of heroes, and Jack was never more ready—aye faith, than Jay—to fight nine knights in Buckram-green, and with his dinted sword to make loud boasts thereof. But our knave has fun in him as well ; therefore we can afford him seeming pardon, for never Merry Andrew took a kick so well. It almost seems a sin to be so serious with him, and yet the fellow has enough of ugly mischief in him too. His long list of accomplishments, begin. ning at braggart and poltroon, may most properly be wound up with dandy and thief. He is that very Prince of dandies that, in olden times, was generally called Popinjay, and which has been modernized into Grammont, Brummel, or D'Orsay. He is certainly the most felicitous specimen of the exquisite that ever wore plumes, whether borrowed or not. The natural inference would be, that they were borrowed from his inveterate propensity for pilfering from his neighbors, but that the beauty of the plumage which really belongs to him, relieves him from the imputation of any such necessity.
See him, of a fine Spring morning, in love-making time! ---and oh! ye comely gallants, ye swash-buckler knights, that haunt about the environs of gay Dan Cupid's court, away with your swelling airs, you fanfaronade of mincing courtesies, and dainty terms—ye are all eclipsed—away! The transcendent graces of yon blue-plumed Euphuist of the acorn tree, doth so utterly surpass ye all, that your diminished heads were best hidden now, in very shame. See him raise up and down upon the mossy limb, his gay crest bent in quick and frequent salutation, while a rich, round, thrilling love-note, rolls liquidly from off his honeyed tongue.
Then see him spring in air with his wide wings, azure and white, and dark barred, graceful tail, spread to the admiring gaze of her he woos, float round and round her passive form; then to return again in rapturous fervor to her side, to over. whelm her glowing charms with yet more subduing graces.
But the fun of it all is, to see our Euphuist practicing these seductive arts by himself. You will often catch him alone, thus making love to his own beauty, with an ardor fully equal to that of the scene we have just described. Indeed, I am not sure that it does not surpass it. For, like other dandies, he is most in love with his own beauty. It is the richest and most fantastic scene I know of, among the comicalities of the natural world, to catch him in one of these practicing humors : he does court to his own charms with such a gay and earnest enthusiasm; he apes all the gestures, and the love-lorn notes of his seemingly volcanic amours, and turning his head back, to gaze on his own fine coat with such fantastic earnest, that one can scarcely resist roaring with laughter.
We like the impish philosophy that can thus burlesque its own follies. But his accomplishments, as we have hinted, are multifarious. Understand, we do not by any means set out to defend the morals, but the character of our friend Jay. We are opposed, in principle, to using hard names, especially to so courtly a personage as this; but, in plain truth, we must say, as we before insinuated, that he is one of the most arrant of thiefs and plunderers. In addition to the assumed character of knightly defender of the wide woods against all intrusive comers, he takes upon himself the superlative one of care-taker and inspector-general of his neighbor's nests. So great is his solicitude in their behoof, that the moment his watchful eye perceives that the weary parents have left the nest for food and recreation, he directly glides into their places, and lest some harm from cunning snake or mischievous squirrel should come to the dear speckled treasures, he takes one after another to his warm bosom, or his crap;
rather meekly reasoning to himself, the while, that the poor birds should be consoled that so benevolent a friend as he had rescued them from the wily snake, or other hard-hearted foes. Jay, indeed, is particularly famous for his tender heart; for suddenly discovering that all kind of provender is get ting scarce, he is seized with harrowing apprehensions lest the young of his neighbor, Grosbeak, should suffer from hunger, or the poor, dear parents overwork themselves in finding supplies for their hungry mouths, and to prevent such lingering suffering, he glides slyly to the nest, and, with the stern heroism of the Roman Brutus, subduing all natural weakness in the sense of official duty, devours the young to save them from the dreadful pangs of hunger. This severe duty is, of course, performed by this self-denying Lictor of the people, in the absence of the parents Grosbeak. Not, that he fears them-not he! He let the male Grosbeak give him an awful thrashing the other day, to be sure, because he had been caught by him in that neighborhood; but, then, it was more in pity than in anger, that he had submitted with philosophy, for he well knew that the benighted bird did not appreciate the benevolent purpose which had brought him there; and, then in coming in his absence, he had spared him the pain of witnessing what this most unpleasant duty cost his official dignity. The executioner should never show a weakness !
So jealous is he, too, of his sole prerogative of supervision over the interests and welfare of his neighbors—indeed, of the whole community—for no one can be better imagined as saying:
“No pent up Utica contracts our powers,
The whole boundless universe (of eggs and fledgings) is ours," --that he is forever on the look-out for all interloping strag. glers who may chance to have given way to the same weakness of appetite. Every Raccoon that shows his inquisitive
. nose, is assailed with vehement clamors and furious snap