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WHORTLEBERRYING.

RY ALFRED B. STREET.

ABOUT the middle of August, the village was honored by repeated visits from the little ragged population of "Barlow's Settlement," on the " Barrens," with quantities of whortleberries for sale. "Want any huckleberries to-day?" was heard all over. You couldn't stir abroad without some urchin with a smirched face-a tattered coat, whose skirts swept the dust, showing, evidently, its paternal descent, and pantaloons patched in the most conspicuous places, more picturesque than decentthrusting a basket of the rich fruit into your very face, with an impudent yell of "huckleberries, sir?" or some little girl, the edges of whose scanty frock were irregularly scalloped, making a timid courtesy, saying meekly, "Don't you want some berries today, sir? nice berries, sir, just picked!"

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Beneath the clear placid stream comes coursing from the north, through narrow but beautiful flats, in all the pomp of rural wealth, wrinkled with cornfields, bearded with rye, and whitened with buckwheat, imaging old age rejoicing amongst its blessings. Opposite, rise steep hills in all the stages of cultivation-the black logging-the grain waving amidst stumps-and the smooth grassy meadowwhilst at the south, where the little river makes a bold turn, the sweet landscape is lost in the deep mantle of the aboriginal forest.

Mastering the hill, the whole cavalcade was soon turning into a stony, root-tangled, miry road, leading

from the turnpike into the heart of the "Barrens," the territory of the desired fruit. After sinking and jolting for some little distance, we came to a part of the track which had been laid over with small paral lel logs, close to each other, and forming what is called in country parlance "a corduroy road" We "bumped along" (as Jim Stokes, one of our party, a plain young farmer, expressed it) over this railway of the woods, until our bones seemed so loose we thought we could hear them rattle at every jolt; and at last stopped at a large log cabin which had been fitted up as a tavern.

A fierce eagle, with his head nearly all eye, one striped claw grasping a bundle of arrows, and the other the American flag, served for the sign, and was elevated upon a tall hickory sapling, with the ambi tious legend of "Eagle Hotel; by A. Pritchard," flaunting in a scroll from the ferocious bird's mouth. A smaller log structure, with one large door, and a square opening over it, through which a baymow seemed thrusting its brown head, as if to look abroad, with a warm glow of sunshine upon it, told plainly that our horses at all events would not suffer.

In a short time we scattered ourselves over the ground in the vicinity, in search of our fruit. The appearance of things around was quite characteristic of the region generally The principal growth were a dwarf species of oak, called in the language of the country "scrub-oak"-low shaggy spruces-stunted gnarled pines, and here and there, particularly in low places, tall hemlocks. The earth was perfectly be strewed with loose stones, between which, however, the moss showed itself, thick and green, with immense quantities of that beautiful creeping plant called the "ground pine," winding and twining its rich emerald branching fingers in every direction. Scores of cattle-paths were twisting and interlacing all around us, giving, in fact, to the scene, notwithstanding its barrenness, a picturesque appearance. There were stone-fences also intersecting each other every where, erected for no earthly purpose, as I could perceive, but to make way with some part of the vast quantities of stone scattered about; for as to cultivating the lots, that was entirely out of the question.

There was some little pasturage, however, and the bells of the browsing cows were heard tinkling in a pleasing manner, and giving somewhat of a social character to the desolate landscape.

We were all soon immersed in our search. The bushes were crouching all around us, bearing their rich clusters of misty blue berries, covered with the soft beautiful down that vanished at the touch leav ing the berry dark and glittering as the eye of a squirrel. How like is the down of the fruit to the first gossamer down of the heart-and ah! how soon

touches.

the latter also vanishes at the rude touch of the world. | den, studded all over with a profusion of beautiful The pure virgin innocence with which God robes gems, and although the rattle had ceased, there to a the creature when fresh from His holy hand! why certainty was the enraged monster, swelling doubtcannot it stay! why, oh why, does it so soon depart less in his yellow venom; for it is another trait of and leave the soul disrobed of its charm and loveli- the crawling, poisonous demons never to desert their ness. Harsh world, bad world! it destroys all it | post, (rather a good trait, by the way, not always possessed by those erect rattlesnakes, men,) and we must get rid of the dragon before we could come at the fruit. Well! what was to be done! We could n't think of leaving the field-that would be too badto be driven off by a snake, and before the eyes of our Dulcineas too-it could n't be thought of! So one of us cuts a pole with a crotch at the end-the rest of us arm ourselves with stones and sticks, and then the poleman commences his attack upon the bush. Ha! that was a thrust, well aimed! hear him rattle, hum-m-m-how the bush flutters! he sprang then! That was a good thrust! Jupiter, how he rattles! see, see, see, there are his eyes! ugh! there 's his tongue! now he darts out his head and Heavens! what malignant rage and ferocity. Keep back, girls! don't be too curious to see! Thrust him again! How he makes the bush flutter! how his eyes shoot around! how his tongue darts in and out-and whir-r-r-r-r-r-how his rattles shake. Now he comes out, head up, tongue out, eyes like coals of fire-give him the stones now-a full battery of them! Halloo! what's Sloan about there with his crotched pole. Well planted, by Jupiter! right around his neck. Ha ha! ha! how he twists and turns and writhes about-how he would like to bite! how he would like to strike some of that tawny poison of his into our veins! Yes, yes, your snakeship! but it wont do! "you can't come it," as Loafing Jim says, "no how you can fix it."

He's a tremendous snake though-full four feet!

Ahem! we'll return.

Merry laughter breaks out from the girls, and playful scrambles occur amongst them as to who should secure the most fruit. The berries pour in handfuls in the baskets, which show in some cases signs of plethora. I tell you what it is, reader, there is sport in picking whortleberries. Strawberries pout their rich mouths so low that it gives a sore temptation to the blood to make an assault upon the head, causing you, when you lift it, to look darkly upon various green spots dancing about your eyes. Raspberries again, and blackberries, sting like the dev-I beg pardon, making your hands twitch up like a fit of St. Vitus' dance. But picking whortle-neck! berries all plain sailing. Here are the berries and there are your baskets; no getting on your knees, (although it must be confessed the bushes are somewhat low,) and no pricking your fingers to the verge of swearing.

We all hunt in couples-a lover and his sweetheart-and take different paths. My companion was a tall black-eyed girl, the sight of whom always made my heart beat quicker, in those unsophisticated days. Rare sport we had, and so, doubtless, had the rest. Pick, pick, pick went the fingers-and ruttle, ruttle, ruttle in the baskets ran the berries. Glorious sport! glorious times! We talked, too, as we pickedindeed why should we not-we had the whole English language to ourselves, and no one to disturb us

in it and I tell you what it is—if people can't talku-g-h! only think of his crawling around and catch

they had better sell their tongue to the surgeons and live only through their eyes. What's the use of existing without talk-ay, and small talk too. Small talk is (as somebody I believe says, although I am not certain, but no matter) the small change of society, and who has n't the small change, ten chances to one has n't the large. However, we 'll change the theme.

ing hold of the calf of your leg! Not so pleasant as picking whortleberries, to say the least of it. See his gray mottled skin! though it looks beautiful, flashing in the rays of the sun-and then the ribbed white of his undershape! However, what shall we do with him! Sloan, hold him tight now, and I'll aim at his head. Good sharp stone this-whewwell aimed, although I say it—I think he must have felt it this time. Halloo! another stone-from Wescott. I fancy that made his head ache! And that one has crushed it as flat as a-griddle-cake.

All of a sudden, as I part a large thick cluster of whortleberry bushes, I hear an indescribably quick rattle, amounting to a hum as it were-fearful and thrilling in the extreme. I start back, but as I do so I see in the gloom of the bushes two keen blazing orbs, and a long scarlet tongue quivering and danc-pure, deep blue had been blanched out by the heat; and all around the horizon are wan thunder-caps thrusting up their peaks and summits. It looks decidedly thunderish.

We again, after this terrific battle, (a dozen against one though I must confess,) scatter among the bushes. Awful onslaughts are again made amongst the berries, and our baskets (those at all events in sight) are plumping up with the delicious, ripe, azure balls. I have forgotten to mention, though, that it is a very warm day. The sky is of a pale tint, as if the bright,

ing like a curl of fire. "A rattlesnake-a rattlesnake," I cry involuntarily-my companion gives a little shriek, and in a moment several of our company, of both sexes, are hastening toward us. It is a peculiarity or want of ability in the reptile to dart only its length, and my first recoil had placed me, I knew, beyond its reach. But there stood the leafy

We hear in the distance the hum of male voices, and the light silvery tones of female, broken in upon by frequent laughter and the music of the cow-bells, tingle lingle, tink clink-here-there-far off and

near.

What's that again! another alarm? How that girl does scream out there! What on earth is the matter! We rush around a sand-bank, looking warm and yellow in the sun, and we see the cause of the out

break. There is Caroline G. shrinking back as if | of this, a dark crag of cloud was lifting itself in the she would like to evaporate into thin air, and exe- southwest, with a pale glance of lightning shooting cuting a series of shrieks, with her open mouth, of out of it occasionally, hinting very strongly of an the most thrilling character. Young Mason is a little approaching thunder-storm. in front, with a knotted stick, doubtless just picked up, whilst some ten or twelve rods in advance is a great shaggy black bear, very coolly helping himself to the contents of the two baskets hitherto borne by the couple, giving himself time, however, every now and then to look out of his little black eyes at the rightful owners, with rather a spiteful expression, but protruding at the same time his red tongue, like a clown at the circus, as if enjoying the joke of their picking and he eating. Afterward I learned that they had deposited their baskets on the ground under a loaded bush, for greater facility in securing the fruit, when suddenly they heard a blow and a snort, and looking where the queer sounds came from, they saw his Bruinship's white teeth and black phiz within Now people don't generally think there is any a foot or two of them, directly over the bush. Aban- thing very picturesque about saw-mills, but I do. doning their baskets, they retreated in double quick The weather-beaten boards of the low structure, time, and while Mason sought and found a club for some hanging awry, some with great knot-holes, as defence, Caroline made haste to clear her voice for if they were gifted with orbs of vision, or were the most piercing efforts, and succeeded in perform- placed there for the mill to breathe through, some ing a succession of sustained vocal flights, that a fractured, as if the saw had at times become outsteam whistle could n't much more than match. The rageous at being always shut up and made to work sight as we came up was in truth somewhat alarm- there for other people, and had dashed against them, ing, but Bruin did n't seem disposed to be hostile ex-determined to gain its liberty—whilst some seem as cept against the whortleberries, which he certainly if they had become so tantalized by the continual jar made disappear in the most summary manner; so we, of the machinery, that they had loosened their nails, after hushing with difficulty Caroline's steam whistle, and had set up a clatter and shake themselves in (I beg her pardon,) stood and watched him. After he opposition-these are quite picturesque. Then the had discussed the contents of the baskets, he again broad opening in front, exposing the glittering saw looked at us, and, rearing himself upon his hind legs, bobbing up and down, and pushing its sharp teeth with his fore paws hanging down like a dancing right through the bowels of the great peeled log Shaker, made two or three awkward movements, as fastened with iron claws to the sliding platform beif dancing an extempore hornpipe, either in triumph neath-the gallows-like frame in which the saw or to thank us for his dinner; he next opened his works-the great strap belonging to the machinery great jaws in resemblance to a laugh, again thrust issuing out of one corner and gliding into anotherout his tongue, saying plainly by it, "had n't you the sawyer himself, in a red shirt, now wheeling the better pick some more whortleberries," then delibe- log into its place with his handspike and fastening rately fell upon his fore feet and stalked gravely it-and now lifting the gate by the handle protruding and solemnly away. As for ourselves, we went near him—the axe leaning at one side and the rifle where he did n't. at the other-the loose floor covered with saw-dustthe stained rafters above with boards laid across for a loft-the dark sloping slab-roof-the great black wheel continually at war with the water, which, dashing bravely against it, finds itself carried off its feet into the buckets, and whirled half around, and then coolly dismissed into the stream below-the long flume through which the water rushes to the unequal fray, and-what next!

·

It wanted now about an hour to sundown, and this was the time agreed upon by all of us to reunite at Pritchard's and start for home. The beautiful charm of light and shade cast by the slanting rays already began to rest upon the scene. The small oaks were glowing through and through-the thick spruces were kindled up in their outer edges-the patches of moss looked like carpets of gold spread by the little genii of the woods-the whortleberry bushes were drenched in rich radiance, the fruit seeming like the concentrated radiance in the act of dropping-whilst the straggling, tall, surly grenadiers of hemlocks had put on high-pointed yellow caps, with rays streaking through their branches like muskets. The cow-bells were now tinkling everywhere, striking in an odd jumble of tones-tingle ling, tingle ling ting tingleas their owners collected together to eat their way to their respective milking places-and all told us that the day was drawing to a close. Independently

In about half an hour we were all re-assembled at Pritchard's. I believe I have not described the scenery around this little log tavern. There was a ravine at some little distance from it, densely clothed with forest. Through it a stream found its way. Directly opposite the side porch, the ravine spread widely on each side, shaping a broad basin of water, and then, contracting again, left a narrow throat across which a dam had been thrown. Over this dam the stream poured in a fall of glittering silver, of about ten feet, and then, pursuing its way through the "Barrens," fell into the Sheldrake Brook several miles below. Here, at the fall, Pritchard had erected a saw-mill.

Then the pond, too, is not to be overlooked. There are generally some twenty or thirty logs floating in one corner, close to each other, and breaking out into great commotion every time the gate is hoisted the otter is now and then seen gliding in the farther nooks-and a quick eye may catch, particularly about the dam, where he generally burrows, a glimpse of the musk-rat as he dives down. Now and then too the wild duck will push his beautiful shape with his bright feet through it—the snipe will alight and "teter," as the children say, along the

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banks-the woodcock will show his brownish red | earth. The fierce elements of fire and air and water bosom amongst the reeds as he comes to stick his long bill into the black ooze for sucking, as dockboys stick straws into molasses hogsheads-and once in a great while, the sawyer, if he's wide awake, will see, in the Spring or Fall, the wild goose leaving his migrating wedge overhead, and diving and fluttering about in it, as a momentary bathing place, and to rest for a time his throat, hoarse with uttering his laughably wise and solemn "honk, honk." Nor must the ragged and smirched-faced boys be forgotten, eternally on the logs, or the banks, or in the leaky scow, with their twine and pin-hooks catching "spawney-cooks," and "bull-heads" as worthless as themselves, and as if that were their only business in life. And then the streak of saw-dust running along in the midst of the brook below, and forming yellow nooks to imprison bubbles and sticks and leaves and what not, every now and then making a jet outward and joining the main body-and lastly the saw-mill yard, with its boards, white, dark and golden, piled up in great masses, with narrow lanes running through-and gray glistening logs, with their bark coats off, waiting their turn to be "boarded."

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were now at the climax of their strife-the dark blended shadow of the banners under which they fought almost blotting out the view. Occasionally glimpses of writhing branches could be seen, but only for a moment-all again was dim and obscure, with the tremendous sights and sounds of the storm dazzling the eye and stunning the ear. The lightning would flash with intolerable brilliancy, and immediately would follow the thunder with a rattling leap as if springing from its lair, and then with a deafening, awful weight, as if it had fallen and been splintered into pieces in the sky. Then would re-open the steady deep boom of the rain, and the stern rushing of the chainless wind. At length the air became clearer-the lightning glared at less frequent intervals the thunder became more rolling and distant, and the tramp of the rain upon the roof less violent. The watery streaks in the atmosphere waxed finer-outlines of objects began to be defined-till suddenly, as a growl of thunder died away in the east, a rich thread of light ran along the landscape, that looked out smiling through its tears; and thronging out into the damp fresh, sweet air, where the delicate gauzelike rain was glittering and trembling, we saw on one hand the great sun looking from a space of glowing sky upon the scene, and dashing upon the parting clouds the most superb and gorgeous hueswhilst on the other smiled the lovely rainbow, the Ariel of the tempest, spanning the black cloud and soaring over the illuminated earth, like Hope spreading her brilliant halo over the Christian's brow, and brightening with her beautiful presence his impending death.

The cloud had now risen higher, with its ragged pointed edges, and murky bosom-sharper lightning flashed athwart it, sometimes in trickling streaks, and sometimes in broad glances, whilst low growls of thunder were every now and then heard. The sun was already swallowed up-and a strange, unnatural, ghastly glare was upon every object. The atmosphere was motionless-not a stir in the thickets around, not a movement in the forest at the ravine. Through the solemn silence the crash of the falling water came upon the ear, and its gleam was caught against the black background of the cloud. It really seemed as if Nature held her breath in anticipating terror. Higher and higher rose the cloud-fiercer and fiercer flashed the lightning, sterner and sterner came the peals of the solemn thunder. Still Nature held her breath, still fear deep and brooding reigned. The wild tint still was spread over all things-the pines and hemlocks near at hand seeming blancheding water-fall were opened to our view for an instant, with affright beneath it. Suddenly a darkness smote and then dropped as it were again into the blackness. the air-a mighty rush was heard-the trees seemed But after a while the sky cleared its forehead of all falling upon their faces in convulsions, and with a its frowns-the broad moon wheeled up-and in her shock as if the atmosphere had been turned into a rich glory we again moved slowly along the rough precipitated mountain, amidst a blinding flash and road, until we came to the smooth turnpike, where tearing, splitting roar, onward swept the blast. An- we dashed along homeward, with the cool, scented other flash-another roar-then tumbled the great air in our faces, and the sweet smile of the sun's sheeted rain. Like blows of the hammer on the gentle and lovely sister resting all about us, making anvil beat it on the water-like the smitings of a the magnificent Night appear like Day with a veil of mounted host trampled it upon the roof-like the softening silver over his dazzling brow. spray flying from the cataract smoked it upon the

We all concluded to wait for the moon to rise before we started for home, and in the meanwhile another cloud arose and made demonstration. This storm, however, was neither so long nor so violent as the first, and we found attraction in viewing the lightning striking into ghastly convulsions the landscape-so that the falling rain-the bowed treesthe drenched earth-the streaked mill, and the gleam

STANZAS.

Be firm, and be cheerful. The creature who lightens
The natural burdens of life when he may,
Who smiles at small evils, enhances and brightens
The pleasures which Heaven has spread in his way.

Then why yield your spirits to care and to sorrow?
Rejoice in the present, and smile while you may;
Nor, by thinking of woes which may spring up to-morrow,
Lose the blessings which Heaven has granted to-day.

BY FRANCES S. OSGOOD.

WITH heart that thrilled to every earnest line,
I had been reading o'er that antique story,
Wherein the youth half human, half divine,
Of all love-lore the Eidolon and glory,
Child of the Sun, with music's pleading spell,
In Pluto's palace swept, for love, his golden shell!
And in the wild, sweet legend, dimly traced,

My own heart's history unfolded seemed :—
Ah! lost one! by thy lover-minstrel graced

With homage pure as ever woman dreamed,
Too fondly worshiped, since such fate befell,
Was it not sweet to die—because beloved too well?

The scene is round me!-Throned amid the gloom,
As a flower smiles on Ætua's fatal breast,
Young Proserpine beside her lord doth bloom;

And near-of Orpheus' soul, oh! idol blest!—
While low for thee he tunes his lyre of light,

I see thy meek, fair form dawn through that lurid night!

I see his face, with more than mortal beauty

Kindling, as armed with that sweet lyre alone, Pledged to a holy and heroic duty,

He stands serene before the awful throne, And looks on Hades' horrors with clear eyes, Since thou, his own adored Eurydice, art nigh!

Now soft and low a prelude sweet uprings,
As if a prisoned angel-pleading there
For life and love-were fettered 'neath the strings,
And poured his passionate soul upon the air!
Anon, it clangs with wild, exultant swell,
Till the full pæan peals triumphantly through Hell!

I see the glorious boy-his dark locks wreathing
Wildly the wan and spiritual brow,

Play my proud minstrel! strike the chords again!
Lo! Victory crowns at last thy heavenly skill !
For Pluto turns relenting to the strain-

His sweet, curved lip the soul of music breathing;

His blue Greek eyes, that speak Love's loyal vow;
I see him bend on thee that eloquent glance,

He waves his hand-he speaks his awful will!
My glorious Greek! lead on; but ah! still lend

The while those wondrous notes the realm of terror Thy soul to thy sweet lyre, lest yet thou lose thy friend!

trance!

And thou-thy pale hands meekly locked before thee-
Thy sad eyes drinking life from his dear gaze-
Thy lips apart-thy hair a halo o'er thee,

Trailing around thy throat its golden maze-
Thus with all words in passionate silence dying-

Within thy soul I hear Love's eager voice replying

"Play on, mine Orpheus! Lo! while these are gazing, Charmed into statues by thy God-taught strain,

I-I alone, to thy dear face upraising

My tearful glance, the life of life regain!
For every tone that steals into my heart
Doth to its worn, weak pulse a mighty power impart.

WHEN the day-king is descending
On the blue hill's breast to lie,
And some spirit-artist blending

On the flushed and bending sky
All the rainbow's hues, I listen

To the breeze, while in my eye
Tears of bitter anguish glisten,

As I think of days gone by.
Change, relentless change is lighting
On the brow of young and fair,
And with iron hand is writing

Tales of grief and sorrow there.

Play on, mine Orpheus! while thy music floats
Through the dread realm, divine with truth and grace,
See, dear one! how the chain of linked notes
Has fettered every spirit in its place!

Even Death, beside me, still and helpless lies;
And strives in vain to chill my frame with his cold eyes.

Still, mine own Orpheus, sweep the golden lyre!
Ah! dost thou mark how gentle Proserpine,
With clasped hands, and eyes whose azure fire

Gleams through quick tears, thrilled by thy lay, doth
Her graceful head upon her stern lord's breast, [lean
Like an o'erwearied child, whom music lulls to rest?

Think not of me! Think rather of the time,
When moved by thy resistless melody,

To the strange magic of a song sublime,
Thy argo grandly glided to the sea!
And in the majesty Minerva gave,

The graceful galley swept, with joy, the sounding wave!

Or see, in Fancy's dream, thy Thracian trees,
Their proud heads bent submissive to the sound,
Swayed by a tuneful and enchanted breeze,

March to slow music o'er th' astonished ground-
Grove after grove descending from the hills,
While round thee weave their dance the glad, harmonious
rills.

Think not of me! Ha! by thy mighty sire,

My lord, my king! recall the dread behest!
Turn not-ah! turn not back those eyes of fire!

Oh! lost, forever lost! undone! unblest!

I faint, I die!—the serpent's fang once more

Is here!-nny, grieve not thus! Life but not Love is o'er!

THE VOICE OF THE NIGHT WIND.

BY E. CURTISS HINE, U. s. N.

On life's journey friends have faltered,
And beside its pathway lie,
But that breeze, with voice unaltered,
Sings as in the days gone by.

Sings old songs to soothe the anguish
Of a heart whose hopes are flown;
Cheering one condemned to languish
In this weary world alone;
Tells old tales of loved ones o'er me,
Dearest ones, remembered well,
That have passed away before me,
In a brighter land to dwell.

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