"Not a tree,

A plant, a leaf, a blossom but contains

A folio volume. We may read, and read,
And read again, and still find something new,
Something to please, and something to instruct,
E'en in the noisome weed,"-HURDIS.

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;
By pride unvisited,

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
freckle, streak, or stain,
He inspires

Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes

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
Enough for great and small,

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,
Then wherefore had they birth ?-
To minister delight to man,

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:
Peaceful and lowly, in their native soil,

They neither know to spin, nor care to toil,
Yet, with confessed magnificence, deride

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,
When the stormy days so soon should come
That would blight for ever their beauty and bloom?
And the sweet flowers answered," Each day renews
On our leaves the sunshine that dries the dews;
Why should we not smile? Till now we have thriven,
And the sunshine and dew are both from Heaven!'"-

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,
And give the cold heart once again
A dream of happier infancy;
And even on the grave can be
A spell to weed affection's pain-
Children of Eden, who could see,

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

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