vol II date / index
St. Antoninus, or Little Antony, Abp. A.D. 1459. Sts. Gordian, A.D. 362, and Epimachus, A. D. 250. St. Isidore, Patron of Madrid, A.D. 1170. St. Comgall, Irish abbot, A.D. 601. St. Cataldus, Bp. of Tarentum.
Slender-leaved Piony. Pœonia Tennifolia.
Dedicated to St. Comgall.
(For the Every-Day Book.)
In May and June this bird is to be found on Gogmagog-hills and the moors adjacent. It is caught with nets, by people using a whistle made to imitate its note; the bird is so simple and fond of imitation, it suffers itself to be approached, and the net dropped over it. There is a tradition current here, that king James I. was very fond of seeing dotterels taken; and when he came to Newmarket, used to accompany the birdcatchers to the Gogmagog-hills and moors, for that purpose. It is said, a needy clergyman residing in the parish of Sawston, who was very expert in dotterel-catching, attended the king; his majesty was pleased with his skill, and promised him a living: the clergyman waited some years, till, concluding that the king "had remembered to forget his promise," he went to London and appeared at court, where too he was unnoticed and forgotten; at length, approaching the king, and making the same signs as he was wont to do when catching dotterels with the king near Cambridge, his majesty exclaimed, "Why, here is my reverend dotterel-catcher," and instantly gave him the long-delayed living:—
The boggy moor a fruitful field appears,
Since the inclosure of those latter years;
Though oft a victim to the fowler's snare,
The dotterel keeps her wonted vigils there!
Ah! simple bird to imitate false man,
Who does by stratagem thy life trepan!
So by the world is man oft led astray,
Nor strives to shun the siren's 'witching lay;
But knows, alas! like thee, when 'tis too late,
The want of caution, and repents his fate.
In sad reality—too often seen,
Does folly end in sorrow's tragic scene.
Cambridge, May 18, 1825.