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124

THE WIFE'S SONG:

THEY told me that when time had sped on rapid wing away,

Such fervent tenderness as mine must sink by slow decay:

That springing thus 'mid earth-born cares, love's precious buds would fade, Such passion-flowers were all too frail to bear the world's cold shade ;

It may be so with some-my love is like that northern flower

Which blooms in beauty though unnursed by sun or earth or shower ;
The breath of heaven is all it needs to call it into life,
Regardless of the summer sky as to the tempest's strife.

They told me that when days passed on and found my task the same,
On the Penates' lowly shrine to trim the sacred flame,
And to that humble service bend the spirit that of yore

Before the muse's glorious fane was wont its gifts to pour;

They told me I would spurn the toil and grieve that I had turned
From the high dreams of fame with which my youthful fancy burned.
They little know how that sweet toil has given my soul new po er,
To realise the dreams it formed in youth's enchanted hour.

They told me, too, when time had made my bosom's idol seem
Familiar to my daily sight as to my nightly dream,

That charm by charm would be dispelled, and my sick heart would pine
For those high attributes which once it fondly fancied thine.

It may be so with some-but I could tell another tale;

I would but point to thee and show how fancy's skill may fail,
And teach them that full many a year of wedded love may be
Still marked by all the fervent faith of youth's idolatry.

T

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ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS.

(The Dromedary House.)

THERE is a rapidly increasing taste for the study of Zoology, which has been greatly promoted by the institution of Zoological Societies and Menageries in various parts, especially in this country by the Gardens in the Regent's Park. These gardens, indeed, contain the greatest number of animals and birds that was ever collected, being equally fitted to convey scientific information, relieve the tedium of professional attention, and satisfy the cravings of a rational curiosity, while they serve to instruct the ignorant, and to awaken the minds of the young. These gardens, indeed, possess an attraction which it is not easy to describe or to exaggerate, not only from the delight they are calculated to confer in the study of animated nature, but also in the many beautiful plants with which they are stocked. The highest cultivation is every where evident; and elegance and good taste reign around. Accordingly, the art of gardening, with all its improvements, has been here completely brought into requisition; so that on a fine day, when the sun pours forth the fulness of his radiance, tinging every object around with golden beauty, there are few imaginable promenades more agreeable. The large attendance of the educated portions of the community is another most important invitation and source of intellectual, as well as social pleasure and enjoyment.

The purpose in visiting such a place as the Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park, must directly be either the lasting benefit of real instruction, or the delight of rational amusement, or both. If the first of these, a notice also is to be recommended, however cursory, of the several objects of beauty and interest around; seeing that the human mind is so constituted that unrelieved labour is seldom profitable. But if pleasure and a transient entertainment only be the motive of the visitor's attendance, as is no doubt very often the case, let him also be persuaded that the counsel to allow a spice of improvement to be included will be found to have permanent pleasure and amusement for a result.

Time spent solely in pleasure is generally experienced, upon after thought, to have imposed a deception on the mind, and will appear at best to have been little gain, if not a decided loss and injury. On the other hand, pleasure in these gardens, if the time and thing be rightly employed, will not merely exist during the actual period of inspection, but ever after will be a source of double enjoyment,—enjoyment of the information derived, and a pleasing retrospect of hours gone by. But, exclusive of this future good,

the enjoyment will be very greatly enhanced during the actual inspection, by that very mode of observation through which information is best to be derived, in consequence not only of scanning each object and individual of the congregated families, but of the mode in which they are combined and arranged.

There must be a great satisfaction ministered to the natural and rational curiosity of an observer, when he obtains the sight of creatures strange to our clime and notions, brought from those distant lands of which from childhood he has heard so much, carrying out his imagination with redoubled vividness to the far-off regions, and making him, to some extent, familiar with their denizens. In his mind's eye he may track the pathless desert and sandy waste; he may climb amid the romantic solitudes, the towering peaks, and wilder crags of the Himalayan range, and wander through the green vales of that lofty chain whose lowest depths are higher than the summits of the European mountains; or he may peer among the dark lagoons of the African rivers, enshrouded by forests whose rank green foliage excludes the rays of even a tropical sun; or he may trace the foot-prints of the wild Indian through the broad savannahs, and thick-set jungles, and everlasting forests of the New World; or penetrate the remarkable yet half-home scenery of the Australian continent.

Better still, he will have the opportunity of observing the greatness, and goodness, and wisdom' of that God wonderfully displayed, who has made nothing for nought, and who has with such certainty and truth adapted everything for its desired object. The observation of the form, the colours, the clothing, and all the other appendages and attributes of these animals, will lead his mind to the conviction that "His power is infinite, and His ways past finding out." This train of thought, indeed, will not only be sufficient to fill the soul with the truest present enjoyment, but lead the faculties to their utmost stretch. What a beautiful harmony, for example, will be found to pervade all nature; and the designs of Providence will appear more and more reasonable the more closely they are studied!

There is one other general view which may properly be taken in this preliminary view. The nature of our climate has rendered the difficulty of preservation in a living and healthy state in some cases almost insurmountable, and several valuable animals have been lost in consequence. Nevertheless, this obstacle, this ground of despair in some cases, is now not so often experienced as in former years. Skill and practice in the management of the creatures have enabled the directors and keepers, both in respect of the dwellings, and in the feeding and treatment of many of their occupants, to discover those peculiarities by which the comfort of the speci

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