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THEIR MORAL, LANGUAGE, AND POETRY.
MORAL OF FLOWERS.
"Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a blossom but contains
A folio volume. We may read, and read,
Flowers have been, to the poets of all ages, and in all countries, a never-failing source of inspiration, and to mankind at large, "a joy, a pure delight," from the creation even to the present time; and will be so, while we have eyes to see, and hearts to understand and appreciate the blessings that are scattered around us, for, as KEATS says:
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams and health, and quiet breathing."
And is not a Flower " a thing of beauty?" is it not a thing of surpassing loveliness? Who can gaze on its exquisitely perfect form, its unrivalled brilliancy of hue, without a thrill of admiration, and a sensation of pleasure? — pleasure which passeth not away, but dwelleth on the memory like a pleasant perfume, that remains long after the object from whence it emanated has perished; and why is this? because of its purity, its freedom from aught that is gross and therefore perishable. None, we venture to aver, can gaze on those beautiful "alphabets of creation," those adorners of earth's bosom, unmoved, but such as have hearts utterly corrupted, and rendered impervious to every sweet and gentle impression; and even such will at times feel stirring within them at the sight, thoughts that have long slumbered, and awakened by those "silent monitors," the "still small voice of conscience" is heard, inciting them to shake off the trammels of guilt, and return to the ways of pleasantness and peace, wherein their feet once trod, when
"The flowers in silence seemed to breathe
Such thoughts as language could not tell."-BYRON. We have called the flowers "silent monitors," and not unadvisedly, for many are the lessons they teach, of patient submission, meek endurance, and innocent cheerfulness under the pressure of adverse circum
"They smilingly fulfil
Their Maker's will,
All meekly bending 'neath the tempest's weight;
Though richly raimented,
As is a monarch in his robes of state "-H.G.A.
Many are the moral precepts they inculcate, bidding us admire the wisdom of their Omnipotent Creator, in their infinite variety of forms and colours, and perfect adaptation to the situations they occupy :
But shows some touch, in
Of His unrivall'd pencil.
"Not a flower
Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands,
The forms with which He sprinkles all the earth."-CowPER.
Telling us to be grateful for these abundant manifestations of His attention, not only to our actual wants and necessities, but also to our comforts and enjoyments; opening to us this source of pure and innocent gratification, in order to strengthen us against the allurements of folly, and wean our hearts from the guilty pleasures of sensuality, into which they are but too apt to be drawn :
"God might have bade the earth bring forth
The oak-tree and the cedar-tree,
Without a flower at all.
He might have made enough, enough,
For every want of ours,
For luxury, medicine, and toil,
And yet have made no flowers.
Our outward life requires them not,
To beautify the earth,
To whisper hope-to comfort man
Whene'er his faith is dim,
For whoso careth for the flowers
Will care much more for him!"-MARY HOWITT.
Do they not also admonish us of the instability of earthly grandeur and beauty, by their fragility and shortness of duration? saying in the language of the Psalmist:-"As for man, his days are as grass, as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth ; for the wind passeth over it and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more." They teach us the utter foolishness of that pride, which delighteth in personal adornments and gaudy trappings; for be our dress ever so rich, the simplest flowers of the field, that neither toil nor spin, are arrayed much more sumptuously: :
"Along the sunny bank or watery mead,
Ten thousand stalks their various blossoms spread:
They neither know to spin, nor care to toil,
Our vile attire and impotence of pride."-PRIOR.
It is thus they admonish the prosperous, the proud, the uplifted in spirit; but to the poor, the lowly, and the fallen, they are as sympathising friends, whispering words of comfort and hope, sharing their sorrows, and thus rendering the burden easier to bear, for,—
"When we are sad, to sadness we apply
Each plant, and flower, and leaf, that meets the eye."-ANON
And by making them participators in our grief, we lose that painful sense of loneliness and desolation which ever accompanies the blighting of our earthly pros
pects, and consequent desertion of friends, (falsely so called); our minds are insensibly drawn to the contemplation of His infinite goodness and mercy, who ordaineth all things for the best, and suffereth not a sparrow to fall to the ground, nor a hair of our heads to perish, unnoted:
"I asked the flowers in the soft spring-time,
Wherefore they smiled in their youthful prime,
We reflect on the many blessings He hath vouchsafed us, all undeserving as we are, and taught by the example of the Flowers, whose tiny hands are ever clasped in adoration, whose breath is ever exhaled as an offering of praise to the footstool of their Maker, we become resigned, nay, even cheerful, and prompted by feelings of gratitude, our thoughts involuntarily shape them-selves into words of a like signification to the following:
"O flowers that breathe of beauty's reign,
In many a tint o'er lawn and lea,
Nor own His bounty in your reign !"—
Yes! silent monitors though they be, they are not
voiceless, but gifted with an eloquence divine that ap