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vated masses of rock, rising precipitously above sea or river waters; but the geography of the continent, if not of the world, may be challenged for so magnificent a display of variegated and at the same time elevated coast scenery, exhibiting such varied shapes of architectural-like ruins, and bathing their massive and columnar fronts in so wide spread and pellucid an expanse of waters.
There is much in the minuter features of such a scene, to elicit admiration; but to our party, the principal impression arose from the strong appeal external nature here makes to the senses, in favor of the power and existence of the invisible hand, which called the scene into being. To see these vast inanimate masses of rock, piled up in paralleled grandeur for miles along the coast; subjected, by the action of water, to endless mutations of forms, and yet maintaining their imposing outline undestroyed, cannot but furnish a strong proof of the wisdom of that Power, which has so exactly adapted the influence of resistance, to the force of continued action. Go where you will, amid the rude and disrupted scenes of the continent, and the mind is drawn from geologic effects to their remote as well as perhaps proximate causes; but it requires a visit to Lake Superior, to contemplate the existence of those causes in a form which even the skeptic must acknowledge.
For the distance of about twelve miles, this panoramic display of precipices and caverns, arches, turrets, and pillars, and broad-sweeping façades, characterizes the shore; and it only requires the sun at a certain angle, during a perfect calm, to see the whole lofty superstructure reflected, in a reversed form, in the limpid mirror of the lake's surface. We gazed, as others have heretofore, and will hereafter gaze, upon the Cascade, the The Doric Rock, or Le Chapel,' 'Le Portail,' the Great Cavern, the Turret Rock, and other points, each of which requires a drawing and a description, in detail, to be fully comprehended. Those who have lively imaginations, can see in the mottled and various colors upon the face of these rocks, shapes of all sorts and hues, from Dr. Syntax in search of the picturesque, to the formal and demure cut of the Roundhead, or the headlong zeal of the Crusader. And very many were the 'likes' and 'resemblances' which the party found. Danger, indeed, came before satiety.
As we began to approach their western termination, the wind gradually freshened, and although blowing off the shore, the reaction of the waves against its prominent abutments, and within the dark-mouthed caverns, produced a sound terrific indeed to female ears. And for several miles, the absorbing object was to make a harbor. We succeeded in getting into the mouth of the little river Pusabikong, although not without shipping several waves, as the boat grounded on the sand-bar, which drives the waters of the stream against the rock, at the very point of their exit into the lake. This is the miner's river of the north-west fur traders.
At this spot, we were detained twenty-four hours, and had the gratification of seeing the lake under the influence of a tempest. During its continuance, we were obliged to shift our tents to a more interior position. The waves were wrought up into winrows of foam, and the spray and water were thrown up an incredible distance. All night the deep resounding roar of the tempest rang in our ears. In the
morning, the children amused us, by relating how their slumbers had been disturbed by the procession of friars and cavaliers, and other fancied objects, which they had seen, the day before, depicted on the surface of the Pictured Rocks. When the waves subsided, we found great numbers of small white fish cast up on the sands, and noticed fresh ranges of pebbles and boulders, which had been driven up from profounder positions.
This river is a mere torrent, coming down over shelves of sandstone rock. There are still traces of a visit of a party of miners, who were here before the revolutionary war, and cut their names on an isolated rock in the channel. We found, on the west bank, a kind of large whortleberry, called wabosimin, or rabbits'-berry, by the Odjibwas. The common variety of this plant was very abundant in the pine woods, south of their encampment. The sportsmen of our party here brought us the partridge, pigeon, and saw-bill duck, called ozzig, by the Indians. I cannot say that these were regarded with as deep an interest for their distinctive mark in ornithology, as in the gastronomic art; and they were transferred to our culinary department with the zest that travel every where gives to appetite. I apprized you, at the outset, that we did not visit the region to enlarge the boundaries of science, and I have now furnished you a practical illustration of the fact.
While encamped here, a well-filled canoe of Odjibwa Indians entered the river, and came and encamped in our vicinity. We were located on an elevation, bearing a few large pines, and carpeted with the chirniphia, uva ursi, and other plants common to arid sands. Our Indian neighbors pitched in a small valley near by, and soon sent up a cheerful camp-fire, which displayed their location, and revealed their numbers. I sent down, through the intervention of Mrs. S., provisions and presents, and soon had the pleasure of knowing that I had made the whole group happy. The mother of the family shortly af ter came up, attended by her healthy-looking, bright-eyed, happy children. She addressed Mrs. S. by the term nin dozheemiss; i. e. ‘my cousin,' and presented her a dish of the wild fruit of the season. While these civilities were interchanged, the men smoked their pipes, with dignified composure, at their camp, having previously been up to offer a shake of the hand, and a bozhoo, and been dismissed with a present of tobacco, 'the sacred weed,' which is the Indian panacea, certainly for every thing partaking of the character of care. I could not help remarking the ease and confidence inspired in these people, by thus meeting them in their own country, and with the confidence secured by prior acquaintance.
'QUIPS AND QUILLETS' PARAPHRASED.'
AND doctor, do you really think
That asses' milk I ought to drink?
Twould quite remove my cold,' you say,
Those tiny hands, that ne'er were still before,
But ever sported with his mother's hair, Or the plain cross that on her breast she Her heart no more will beat, [wore!
To feel the touch of that soft palm, That ever seemed a new supprise, Sending glad thoughts up to her eyes,
To bless him with their holy calm; Sweet thoughts, that left her eyes as sweet. How quiet are the hands
That wove those pleasant bands!
Is this his slumber!
Time scarce can number The years ere he will wake again; Oh may we see his eye-lids open then! Oh stern word, nevermore!
As the airy gossamere,
Floating in the sunlight clear, Where'er it touches, clingeth tightly, Round glossy leaf, or stump unsightly, So from his spirit wandered out Tendrils, spreading all about; Knitting all things in its thrall, With a perfect love of all:
Oh stern word, nevermore!
He did but float a little way
Adown the stream of time, [play, With dreamy eyes, watching the ripples' And listening their fairy chime;
His slender sail
He did but float a little way,
To dwell with us no more!
THE BIRDS OF SPRING.
BY GEOFFREY CRAYON, gent.
My quiet residence in the country, aloof from fashion, politics, and the money market, leaves me rather at a loss for important occupation, and drives me to the study of nature, and other low pursuits. Having few neighbors, also, on whom to keep a watch, and exercise my habits of observation, I am fain to amuse myself with prying into the domestic concerns and peculiarities of the animals around me; and, during the present season, have derived considerable entertainment from certain sociable little birds, almost the only visiters we have, during this early part of the year.
Those who have passed the winter in the country, are sensible of the delightful influences that accompany the earliest indications of spring; and of these, none are more delightful than the first notes of the birds. There is one modest little sad-colored bird, much resembling a wren, which came about the house just on the skirts of winter, when not a blade of grass was to be seen, and when a few prematurely warm days had given a flattering foretaste of soft weather. He sang early in the dawning, long before sun-rise, and late in the evening, just before the closing in of night, his matin and his vesper hymns. It is true, he sang occasionally throughout the day; but at these still hours, his song was more remarked. He sat on a leafless tree, just before the window, and warbled forth his notes, free and simple, but singularly sweet, with something of a plaintive tone, that heightened their effect.
The first morning that he was heard, was a joyous one among the young folks of my household. The long, death-like sleep of winter was at an end; nature was once more awakening; they now promised themselves the immediate appearance of buds and blossoms. I was reminded of the tempest-tossed crew of Columbus, when, after their long dubious voyage, the field birds came singing round the ship, though still far at sea, rejoicing them with the belief of the immediate proximity of land. A sharp return of winter almost silenced my little songster, and dashed the hilarity of the household; yet still he poured forth, now and then, a few plaintive notes, between the frosty pipings of the breeze, like gleams of sunshine between wintry clouds.
I have consulted my book of ornithology in vain, to find out the name of this kindly little bird, who certainly deserves honor and favor far beyond his modest pretensions. He comes like the lowly violet, the most unpretending, but welcomest of flowers, breathing the sweet promise of the early year.
Another of our feathered visiters, who follow close upon the steps of winter, is the Pe-wit, or Pe-wee, or Phoebe-bird; for he is called by each of these names, from a fancied resemblance to the sound of his monotonous note. He is a sociable little being, and seeks the habitation of man. A pair of them have built beneath my porch, and have reared several broods there, for two years past, their nest being never disturbed. They arrive early in the spring, just when the crocus
and the snow-drop begin to peep forth. Their first chirp spreads gladness through the house. The Phoebe-birds have come !' is heard on all sides; they are welcomed back like members of the family; and speculations are made upon where they have been, and what countries they have seen, during their long absence. Their arrival is the more cheering, as it is pronounced, by the old weather-wise people of the country, the sure sign that the severe frosts are at an end, and that the gardener may resume his labors with confidence.
About this time, too, arrives the blue-bird, so poetically yet truly described by Wilson. His appearance gladdens the whole landscape. You hear his soft warble in every field. He sociably approaches your habitation, and takes up his residence in your vicinity. But why should I attempt to describe him, when I have Wilson's own graphic verses, to place him before the reader?
WHEN Winter's cold tempests and snows are no more,
Green meadows and brown furrowed fields reappearing,
And cloud-cleaving geese to the lakes are a-steering;
When red glow the maples, so fresh and so pleasing,
And hails with his warblings the charms of the season.
The loud-piping frogs make the marshes to ring;
Then warm glows the sunshine, and warm glows the weather;
And spice-wood and sassafras budding together;
O then to your gardens, ye housewives, repair,
Your walks border up, sow and plant at your leisure;
That all your hard toils will seem truly a pleasure!
He flits through the orchard, he visits each tree,
The red flowering peach, and the apple's sweet blossoms;
And seizes the caitiffs that lurk in their bosoms;
He drags the vile grub from the corn it devours,
The worms from the webs where they riot and welter;
And all that he asks is, in summer a shelter.
The plought is pleased when he gleans in his train,
And leans on his spade to survey and to hear him.
That each little loiterer seems to adore him.
The happiest bird of our spring, however, and one that rivals the European lark, in my estimation, is the Boblincon, or Boblink, as he is commonly called. He arrives at that choice portion of our year, which, in this latitude, answers to the description of the month of May, so often given by the poets. With us, it begins about the middle of May, and lasts until nearly the middle of June. Earlier than this, winter is apt to return on its traces, and to blight the opening beauties of the year; and later than this, begin the parching, and panting, and dissolving heats of summer. But in this genial interval, nature