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A thousand great effects which spring from toil
Once again observe
Yet let me praise the garden-loving maid,
Or sit aside to speer and whisper scandal. HURDIS. Innumerable herbs and flowers now embellish our gardens, gratify our sense of smell, and purify and renovate the atmosphere. The fields of clover (trin folium pratense), which are now in blossom, produce a delightful fragrance. Of this plant there are two varieties, the white and the purple; from the latter, the bees extract much honey. The bean blossoms also shed a still more exquisite odour. The elder, now in flower, diffuses its Frontiniac scent to the air, which it likewise imparts to wine made in imitation of that from the grapes growing in the neighbourhood of the town of that name in France. The sweet-scented vernal grass (anthoxanthum odoratum), which is the eause of the very delightful scent of hay, flowers in this month, and diffuses its fragrance through the country.
About the beginning of this month, the pimpernel Canagallis arvensis), thyme (thymus serpyllum), the bitter sweet nightshade (solanum dulcamara), white bryony, the dog-rose (rosa canina), and the poppy (papaver somniferum), have their flowers full blown.
The grasshopper now makes his appearance. They were often kept in cages by the antient Greeks for the sake of their song, and seem to have been the favourites of every Grecian bard from Homer and Hesiod to Anacreon and Theocritus. Supposed to be perfectly harmless, and to live only upon the dew, they were addressed by the most endearing epithets, and were regarded as all but divine. One bard intreats the shepherds to spare the innoxious Tettix, that nightingale of the nymphs, and to make those mischievous birds the thrush and blackbird their prey. 'Sweet prophet of the summer!' says Anacreon, addressing this insect, the Muses love thee, Phoebus himself loves thee, and has given thee a shrill song : old age does not wear thee: thou art wise, earth-born, musical, impassive, without blood; thou art almost like a god. So attached were the Athenians to these insects, that they were accustomed to fasten golden images of them in their hair, implying at the same time a boast that they themselves, as well as the Cicade, were Terræ filii. They were regarded indeed, by all, as the happiest as well as the most innocent of animals—not, we will suppose, for the reason given by the saucy Rhodian Xenarchus, where he says,
Happy the Cicadas' lives,
Since they all have voiceless wives. The sound of this insect, and of the harp, were called by one and the same name. A Cicada sitting upon a harp was a usual emblem of the science of music, which was thus accounted for; when two rival musicians, Eunomus and Ariston, were contending upon that instrument, a Cicada flying to the former, and sitting upon his harp, supplied the place of a broken string, and so secured to him the victory', ';
· The grasshopper is still my friend,
The minute-sound of many a sunny hour
To climb the steep, and down the blossoms drag,
'Kirby and Spence's Entomology, vol. ii, p. 402.
'Mid cbalices with dews in every urn:
Ten thousand insects in the air abound,
Wiffen's Aanjan Hours. Among the insects which appear in this month, one of the most interesting is, in its perfect state, the angler's may-fly (ephemera vulgata), which appears about the 4th, and continues nearly a fortnight. It emerges from the water, where it passes its aurelia state, about six in the evening, and dies about eleven at night. There are also the golden-green beetle (scarabæus auratus) i various kinds of flies; the euckoo-spit insect (cicada spumaria), and the stagbeetle (lucanus cervus), The several species of the gad-fly roestrus bovis-equi—and ovis), the ox, horse and sheep gad-fly, make their appearance in this month.
The rose in June,' which pow holds so conspicuous a place in the flower-garden, must not be passed over without notice',
Among the flowers with which the graves of our ancestors were decorated (a custom not at present confined to the distant parts of the kingdom, and to Wales, but still common in France, Swisserland and · other countries) the rose was sometimes blended with the lily, to form a general emblem of frail mortality.
This sweet flower (says EVELYN) borne on a branch set with thorns, and accompanied with the lily, are natural hieroglyphịcs of our fugitive, umbratile, anxious, and transitory life, which making so fair a show for a time, is not yet without its thorns and crosses. The white rose was planted at the grave of a virgin; her chaplet was tied with white riband, in token of her spotless innocence; though sometimes black ribands were intermingled, to bespeak the
For poetical tributes, see the seven former volumes of Time’s Te
grief of the survivors. The red rose was occasionally used in remembrance of such as had been remarkable for their benevolence; but roses in general were appropriated to the graves of lovers. EveLYN tells us that the custom was not altogether extinct in his time, near his dwelling in the county of Surrey, ' where the maidens yearly planted and decked the graves of their defunct sweethearts with rose-bushes.' Camden likewise remarks in his Britannia: 'Here is also a certain custom observed time out of mind, of planting rose-trees upon the graves, especially by the young men and maids who have lost their loves; so that this churchyard is now full of them. .
The fern owl may be seen about the middle of the month, in the evening, among the branches of oaks, in pursuit of its favourite repast, the fern-chaffer (scarabeus solstitialis).
The several kinds of corn come into ear and flower during this month, as well as most of the numerous species of grasses. See T. T. for 1818, p. 205, for an account of the various kinds of wheat; and p. 150 for a description of the grasses.
Gooseberries, currants, and strawberries, now begin to ripen.
The hay-harvest commences about the end of the month, in the southern and midland parts of the kingdom. Of all the seasons, or rural occupations, in the year, hay-time is the most delightful. It is more tranquil than the greater bustle of harvest: the gaiety of the flowers before the grass is cut, the fresh verdure of the sward afterwards, the delicious scent of the new hay, arising chiefly from the sweet-scented vernal grass already mentioned,—the mixture of females with the men in this light work,—and the cheerfulness which prevails under a cloudless sky, all combine to give it an inexpressible charm.
Now swarms the village o'er the jovial mead :