22 *AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.'
In the morning a little laughing, loving shower came
tumbling down into the earth's embrace, where it was
caught gladly and kept for ever—a little baby shower,
on which the sunbeams smiled, knowing it had neithe*
power nor wish to kill them.
But now the greedy earth has grasped it, and others,
knowing its fate, fear to follow, and only the pretty
sparkling jewels that tremble on the grass tell of its
In the very centre of the great lawn that stretches
beyond the pleasure-grounds stands a mighty oak. Its
huge branches throw their arms far and wide, making a
shelter beneath them for all who may choose to come
and seek there for shade. Around its base pretty rustic
chairs are standing in somewhat dissipated order, while
on its topmost bough a crow is swaying and swinging
as the soft wind rushes by, making an inky blot upon
the brilliant green, as it were a patch upon the cheek
of a court belle.
Over all the land from his lofty perch this crow can
see—can mark the smiling fields, the yellowing corn,
the many-antlered deer in the Park, the laughing
brooklets, the gurgling streams, that now in the great
heat go lazily, and stumble sleepily over every pebble
in their way.
He can see his neighbours' houses, perhaps his own
snug nest, and all the beauty, and richness, and warmth
of an English landscape.
But presently—being a bird of unformed tastes, or
unappreciative, or perhaps fickle—he tires of looking,
and, flapping heavily his black wings, rises slowly and
Towards the east he goes, the sound of his harsh
but homely croak growing fainter as he flies. Over the
trees in their gorgeous clothing, across the murmuring
brooks, through the uplands, over the heads of the deer
that gaze at him with their mournful, gentle eyes, he
trayels, never ceasing in his flight until he comes to a