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Or who, in changeful months, and flooding rains, Down the drench'd sand th” o'erflowing marshes drains,
130 When oozy rivers far and wide expand, And issuing vapours smoke along the land?
Yet when the sturdy swain and patient steer Have tamed the land by many a toil severe; Cranes, noxious geese, and succory's bitter root 135 Waste, or injurious woods o'ershade the fruit.
Not to dull Indolence and transient Toil Great Joye resign’d the conquest of the soil: He bade sharp Care make keen the heart, por
deign'd That Sloth should linger where his godhead reign'd. Ere Jove bore rule, no labour tamed ihe ground, 141 None dared to raise the fence, or mark the bound : Nature for all her fruits profusely bore, And the free earth, unask'd, but proffer'd more. Jove to the serpent-fang new venom gave, 145 Commanded wolves to prowl, and swell’d the wave ; From leaves their honey shook, the fire withheld, And wand'ring streams, that flow'd with wine, re
pellid. Jove will'd that Man, by long experience taught, Should various arts invent by gradual thought, 150 Strike from the flint's cold womb the latent flame, And from the answering furrow nurture claim. Then first the hollow'd alder press'd the stream, Then sailors watch'd each star's directing beam, Number'd the host of heav'n, and nam'd' the train,
155 Pleiads, and Hyads, and the northern Wain; .
153 The alder-tree delights in moist places, and on the banks of rivers. One of these, hollowed by age, floating down a stream, may have given the first hint towards navigation.— Martyn.
156 The Pleiades are seven stars in the neck of the Bull They are fabled to have been the seven daughters of Atlas, king of Mauritania, whence they are called by Virgil Atlantides.
Then snares, and lime, the beast and bird betray'd,
First pitying Ceres taught the famish'd swain 165 With iron shares to turn the stubborn plain, What time the arbute fail'd, and fail'd the food Shower'd from the oak along Dodona's wood. New cares the corn pursued: here mildew fed There thistles rear'd aloft their horrent head : 170 The Hyades are seven stars in the head of the Bull. Calisto, the daughter of Lycaon, violated by Jupiter, was turned into a bear by Juno. Jupiter afterward translated her into the constellation called by us the Great Bear.-Martyn.
167 The arbute or strawberry-tree is common in our gardens. The fruit resembles a strawberry, but is larger, and has not the seed on the outside of the pulp, like that fruit. It grows plenti. fully in Italy, where the meaner sort of people eat the fruit; a very sorry diet.-Martyn.
169 Sir Joseph Banks, in a late pamphlet, attributes the disease of blight, or mildew, to a parasitic plant of the fungus kind, growing on the stalks of wheat, which propagates rapidly: this he illustrates by engravings made from the drawings of Mr. Bauer, botanical painter to his majesty. The striped appearance of the surface of a 'straw, which may be seen by a common magnifyingglass, is caused by alternate longitudinal partitions of the bark ; the one imperforate, and the other furnished with one or two rows of pores or mouths, shut in dry, and open in wet weather: by these pores, which exist also on the leaves and glumes, it is presumed that the seeds of the fungus gain admission, and at the bottom of the hollows to which they lead they germinate and push their minute roots, no doubt, into the cellular texture beyond the bark, where they draw their nourishment by intercepting the sap that was intended by nature for the nutriment of the grain. Though every species of corn is subject to the blight, he remarks that spring-corn is less damaged by it than winter-corn, and rye less than wheat. Each individual is so small that every pore on à straw will produce from twenty to forty fungi, and every one of these will no doubt produce one hundred seeds. A few diseased plants scattered over a field must very speedily
The harvest perishes; with prickles crown'd,
infect a whole neighbourhood, for the seeds of fungi are not much heavier than the air. The fungus of the barberry-bush, and that of wheat, are possibly one of the same species : the seed, therefore, transferred to the corn, may be one cause of the disease.-Stawell.
170 Our common thistle not only sends forth creeping roots, which spread every way, and send up suckers on all sides, but is propagated also by a vast number of seeds, which, by means of their winged down, are carried to a considerable distance. Dr. Woodward has calculated that one thistle-seed will produce at the first crop twenty-four thousand, and consequently five hundred and seventy-six millions of seeds at the second crop.–Stawell.
172 The land caltrop is an herb with a prickly fruit, which grows commonly in Italy and other warm countries.
173 These are not the common oats degenerated by growing wild, but a different species : the chaff of them is hairy, and the seed is small, like that of grass. It was the general opinion of the ancients that wheat and barley degenerated into these weeds; but they are specifically different, and rise from their own seeds. -Martyn.
It is remarked that the wild-oat remains a century in the soil without losing its vegetative quality. As it ripens before any crop of grain, it sheds its seed on the ground, protected from the birds by the roughness of its coat.-See Marshall, quoted by Stawell.
C'est une opinion générale dans l'Italie que l'ivraie ou le gioglio, selon la manière de parler du peuple, si elle est mêlée dans le pain avec la farine, dérange la tête de celui qui en mange. On dit aussi d'un homme mélancolique, "a mangiato di pane con loglio.”—De Lille.
In Ireland this weed, which the peasants call reeleigh, is very prevalent in the corn, and its tlour has been observed to be of an intoxicating quality.-Stawell.
176 It is necessary for the farmer to use a wise discrimination. It is said that the destructive fly of America prevails from the absence of rooks, whereas crows (with which these innocent birds are often confounded) are most unprincipled plunderers. In Ireland they are remarked for rooting up the potato-sets when
Or thou on crops not thine shalt gaze and grieve,
Now learn what arms industrious peasants wield, To sow the furrow'd glebe, and clothe the field: 180 The share, the crooked plough's strong beam, the
wain That slowly rolls on Ceres to her fane: Flails, sleds, light osiers, and the harrow's load, The hurdle, and the mystic van of God. These, mindful, long provide ere use require, 185 If rural fame thy breast with glory fire. Form'd for the crooked plough, by force subdued, Bend the tough elm yet green amid the wood: Beyond eight feet in length the beam extend, With double back the pointed share defend, 190
just planted, and watching for them in all the stages of their growth : they contrive to draw the longest wheaten straws out of the closest made stacks. The impudent familiarity of the sparrow should not be suffered to disgust us; who by the destruction of insect eggs almost repays the debt to vegetation con. tracted by his voraciousness.-Stawell.
182 In the feasts of Ceres at Rome her statue was carried about in a cart or wagon.-Martyn.
183 The tribulum, or tribula, was an instrument used by the ancients to thrash their corn. It was a plank set with stones or pieces of iron, with a weight laid on it, and so was drawn over the corn by oxen.—Martyn.
Immediately preceding the revolution they trampled out the grain with oxen, in France, and preferred that mode to the flail. Burning the straw to obtain the grain was an ancient practice in Ireland. - See Young's Tour in France, quoted by Stawell.
184 The fan, or van, the instrument that separates the wheat from the chaff, is a proper emblem of separating the virtuous from the wicked. In the drawings of the ancient paintings by Bellori there are two that seem to relate to initiations, and in each of them is the vannus. In one, the person that is initiating stands in a devout posture, and with a veil on, the old mark of devotion; while two that were formerly initiated hold the van over his head. In the other, there is a person holding the van, with a young infant in it. « Whose fan is in his hand, and he shall thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke üi. 17.-Holdsworth and Spence, quoted by Warton.
Double the earth-boards that the glebe divide,
195 And seasons into use, and binds their pores.
Nor thou the rules our fathers taught despise, Sires by long practice and tradition wise.
With ponderous roller smooth the level floor, And bind with chalky cement o'er and o’er,
200 Lest weeds spring up, and as it wears away The tiny mouse creep through its chinks to-day. There rise his granaries, there the blind mole
works, There the lone toad within its hollow lurks, And all the nameless monsters of the soil 205 That swarm and fatten on thy gather'd spoil: The weevil wasting with insatiate rage, And the wise ant that dreads the wants of age.
With many a bud if flow'ring almonds bloom, And arch their gay festoons that breathe perfume, So shall thy harvest like profusion yield, 211 And cloudless suns mature the fertile field; But if the branch, in pomp of leaf array'd, Diffuse a vain exuberance of shade, So fails the promise of th' expected year,
215 And chaff and straw defraud the golden ear.
Some medicate the beans, with previous toil Steep them in nitre, and dark lees of oil;
208 It is an error that the ant lays up corn, or any food what. rer, for winter use.-T. A. Knight.
209 The blossoms of all trees are formed in the preceding year, and are a much better proof that a good season has passed than that one is to come.-T. A. Knight.
217 On a vu plusieurs fois, en conséquence de la préparation des semences, un seul grain pousser sept ou huit tiges, dont chacun portoit un épi de plus de cinquante grains. Le nombre de tiges sur un même pied s’est quelquefois trouvé prodigieux on en a compté jusqu'à trente, soixante, et près de cent. Un