Our Village: Sketches of Rural Character and Scenery, Volume 1

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Sketches of a long-vanished rural England.

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Page 207 - But worthier still of note Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale, Joined in one solemn and capacious grove ; Huge trunks ! and each particular trunk a growth Of intertwisted fibres serpentine Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved...
Page 107 - When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men ; for thus sings he, Cuckoo ; Cuckoo, cuckoo...
Page 202 - The common, overgrown with fern, and rough With prickly gorse, that, shapeless and deform'd, And dang'rous to the touch, has yet its bloom, And decks itself with ornaments of gold...
Page 126 - But they were beaten sulky, and would not move — to my great disappointment ; I wanted to prolong the pleasure of success. What a glorious sensation it is to be for five hours together winning — winning...
Page 20 - The atmosphere was deliciously calm, soft, even mild, in spite of the thermometer ; no perceptible air, but a stillness that might almost be felt ; the sky rather grey than blue, throwing out in bold relief the snow-covered roofs of our village, and the rimy trees that rise above them, and the sun shining dimly as through a veil, giving a pale, fair light — like the moon, only brighter.
Page 110 - Into a pretty anger, that a bird, Whom art had never taught cliffs, moods, or notes, Should vie with him for mastery, whose study Had busied many hours to perfect practice ; To end the controversy, in a rapture Upon his instrument he plays so swiftly So many voluntaries, and so quick That there was curiosity and cunning, Concord in discord, lines of differing method Meeting in one full centre of delight.
Page 23 - ... and post-chaises, and girls in red cloaks, and, afar off, looking almost like a toy, the coach. It meets us fast and soon. How much happier the walkers look than the riders — especially the frost-bitten gentleman, and the shivering lady with the invisible face, sole passengers of that commodious machine ! Hooded, veiled, and bonneted as she is, one sees from her attitude how miserable she would look uncovered.
Page 25 - He is come for water to this little spring by the hillside, — water which even his long bill and slender head can hardly reach, so nearly do the fantastic forms of those garlandlike icy margins meet over the tiny stream beneath. It is rarely that one sees the shy beauty so close or so long; and it is pleasant to see him in the grace and beauty of his natural liberty, the only way to look at a bird. We...
Page 4 - Nothing is so tiresome as to be whirled half over Europe at the chariot-wheels of a hero, to go to sleep at Vienna, and awaken at Madrid ; it produces a real fatigue, a weariness of spirit. On the other hand, nothing is so delightful as to sit down in a country village in one of Miss Austen's delicious novels, quite sure before we leave it to become intimate with every spot and every person it contains ; or to ramble with Mr.
Page 137 - ... defiance of wet and cold, grumble at the warmth and dryness of his apartment. He used to foretell that it would kill him, and assuredly it did so. Never could the typhus fever have found out that wild hill side, or have lurked under that broken roof. The free touch of the air would have chased the demon. Alas, poor Tom ! warmth and snugness, and comfort, whole windows, and an entire ceiling, were the death of him. Alas, poor Tom ! AN OLD BACHELOR.

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