August In Old England.

AND now when August comes on thee,

And 'mid the golden sea of corn

The merry reapers thou may’st see,

Wilt thou still think the earth forlorn?

August may be regarded as the crown of

summer. It is a well-fed, regal, and manly

month. It has the strength and maturity,

the steady glow and the sobriety, of the year

in it. It is full of wealth and dignity, and as

yet scarcely a touch of decline is discernible

in it.

The lightsome hours of spring have vanished

from the earth, many tribes of flowers

are over and gone. It seems long since we

saw the first snow-drop, since we hailed the

first crocus, since the first daffodils came out

"with all their nodding gold. Many flowers

of the garden have had their little day.

The pied wind-flower and the tulip tall,

And narcissi, the fairest among them all,

And the Naiad-like lily of the vale,

Whom youth makes so fair and passion BOTH pale,

And the hyacinth purple, and white, and blue,

Which Sung from its bells a sweet peal anew.

These, and the guilder-rose, the laburnum,

and the lilac, and a score of others are now

gone for the year. The sun has conquered

them all, they are gone to the pleasant things

of the past, and autumn brings with it another

race. Among these, too, the bee will

revel and the butterflies quiver, and the wasps,

scenting the luscious greengages and apricots,

will come swarming, and dispute with

us the possession of our best fruits.

In the fields and woods the trees grow

ever darker and more umbrageous. In addition

to the wild flowers, the lanes and brook-sides

are gay with willow-herd, meadowsweet,

the artificial-looking chicory, hawkweeds,

and later sprays of honeysuckle. Nuts

are maturing, and many bunches of elderberry

and ripening blackberries abound in

the hedges and copses.

The harvests are yellow and ready for the

sickle, and many a broad expanse is even now

cleared. Fruit begins to show itself on the orchard trees, and to bend their sturdy branches.

Plums cluster them with their downy purple,

or hang loosely like large drops of gold. Yellow,

light-green, and rose-tinted apples stud

the bough, lighting up the dull foliage with

a beauty which, in its own peculiar effect on

the mind, is seen more touching than the delicate blossom of spring.

Go where you will this golden August time,

you meet people abroad for pleasure and holiday-

making. The first grapes are ripening

for them in Germany, France, and Italy.

Figs and melons, peaches and plums, are

heaped in abundance for them on many a

market stall; and picturesque children hold

up tastefully piled little baskets, to tempt

them as they roll by in their carriages, or

rest for a few minutes at the railway stations.

At home and among the fields, the children

of the soil, knowing nothing and dreaming

nothing of the charms of travel and change,

of foreign scenes, foreign peoples, foreign

tongues, and foreign delicacies, are quietly

cutting down and storing up the corn that shall

be the daily bread for which we pray, and for

which we look with constant care in winter.

Their simple hearts, unfed by hopes of more

change, than from bed to field, and from field

to bed, from one year's end to another, remain

unrefreshed by the sight of snowy Alp,

gleaming lake, and far and near glancing

sails, of vineyards and olive-yards, of strolls

through world-famous churches and galleries

of ancient art. The sphere and compass of

their rejoicing are much smaller; the satisfaction

of thinking that some small share of

what they cut and carry home shall come to

them, and to their healthy children with their

healthy appetites, and they say, "The quartern

loaf cannot be dear, with all this ocean

of wheat, nor potatoes either; and see what

a grand crop there is everywhere, and not a

touch of disease upon it!"

If the toiling peasant have his own garden

and see his own crop,

A thankful man is he,

For he thinks, all through the winter

How rich his board will be!

And how his merry little ones

Around the fire will stand,

Each with a large potato

In a round and rosy hand.

Small as are their pleasures, humble as are

their hopes, they still look forward to the Harvest

Home, and after it the gleaning, as the

crowning point of their year. To them it is

the hereditary jollity, which, shorn as it is of

its ancient features, and in many places  

utterly extinct, excepting for the boughs which

plume the last load from the field, still comes

to them with a halo of imaginary delights

that are, for the most part, as unreal as the


There is still the Harvest Home, as there

are still the antiquated farmers, who, like

our friend Homespun, have no faith in new

fangled ways, and in their cornfields, no

sooner has the last triumphant load inaugurated

the Harvest Home, than the gleaners

turn in and are made graciously welcome to

all that remains. Being in a thoroughly grain

district one autumn, we turned in among the

gleaners for a few hours, yielding up our

gleanings from time to time to the oldest and

the youngest in the field. The oldest was an

ancient man of eighty, whose whole life had

been a gleaning in not a very productive

field, and where evidently no Boaz had

ever bade his reapers scatter handfuls for his

benefit. He was old, and decrepit, and

poor; but his sight was good, and he knew

where to look for the best picking, where the

shocks had been piled, where the wagon had

stood to be loaded, or where wind or rain

had knocked down the standing corn. His

experienced eye sought out over the field for

these points of vantage, and over them he

staid till he had gathered the last ear, and

finding us willing helpers, we received this

useful piece of information, by which he and

the little gleaner of six were benefited.

Yes, there are nooks still in England, where

the old English farmer still lives and spreads

the Harvest Home table and begrudges not

the armfuls of the gleaner. There he stands,

brawny and sun-burnt, watching the loading

of his wagon, with a merry twinkle in his

eye, and cheerful, heartsome words on his

tongue, which will welcome his men and

maidens that evening to his simple but plentiful

board, and bid them rejoice with him

aver the achieved ingathering of his harvest.

Young Crusader.