To see your cousin in her country home,
If at the time of blackberries you come,
“Welcome, my friends,” she cries with ready glee,
“The fruit is ripened, and the paths are free.
But, madam, you will tear that handsome gown;
The little boy be sure to tumble down;
And, in the thickets where they ripen best,
The matted ivy, too, its bower has drest.
And then the thorns your hands are sure to rend,
Unless with heavy gloves you will defend;
Amid most thorns the sweetest roses blow,
Amid most thorns the sweetest berries grow.”
If, undeterred, you to the fields must
You tear your dresses and you scratch your hands;
But, in the places where the berries grow,
A sweeter fruit the ready sense commands,
Of wild, gay feelings, fancies springing sweet,—
Of bird-like pleasures, fluttering and fleet.
Another year, you cannot go yourself,
To win the berries from the thickets wild,
And housewife skill, instead, has filled the shelf
With blackberry jam, “by best receipts compiled,—
Not made with country sugar, for too strong
The flavors that to maple-juice belong;
But foreign sugar, nicely mixed ’to suit
The taste,’ spoils not the fragrance of the fruit.”
“’Tis pretty good,”
half-tasting, you reply,
“I scarce should know it from fresh blackberry.
But the best pleasure such a fruit can yield
Is to be gathered in the open field;
If only as an article of food,
Cherry or crab-apple is quite as good;
And, for occasions of festivity,
West India sweetmeats you had better buy.”
Thus, such a dish of homely sweets as
In neither way may chance the taste to please.
Yet try a little with the evening-bread;
Bring a good needle for the spool of thread;
Take fact with fiction, silver with the lead,
And, at the mint, you can get gold instead;
In fine, read me, even as you would be read.
THINGS AND THOUGHTS IN EUROPE.
PASSAGE IN THE CAMBRIA.—LORD AND LADY FALKLAND.—CAPTAIN
DIAL.”—PEACE AND WAR.—THE WORKING-MEN OF ENGLAND.—THEIR TRIBUTE TO
SIR ROBERT PEEL.—THE ROYAL INSTITUTE.—STATUES.—CHESTER.—BATHING.
Ambleside, Westmoreland, 23d August, 1846.
I take the first interval of rest and stillness to be filled up by some lines for the Tribune. Only three weeks have passed since leaving New York, but I have already had nine days of wonder in England, and, having learned a good deal, suppose I may have something to tell.