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winters, and our Saxon forefathers she appears refreshing, like a flower on learned to number the weeks also by the beated fallow-like a lily in the shutnights, and to speak of se'nnight and up valley. Oh, how fair she is! Her fortnight—there the winter solstice is dove's eyes shine forth in moist brilwelcomed with joy and festivity, be liancy amidst dark locks that are as cause it arrests, at least, the increasing & flock of goats approaching Mount length of the nights. But how the Gilead. Her teeth are like a herd of mind of man here_triumphs over his sheep that are even sborn, which come servant, nature! To the son of the up from washing; and her cheeks apnorth, tender plants live only in legends' pear as the purple flesh of the pomeand in tradition; a few flowers arise granate. Her lips, threads of scarlet, from the dark, frost-bound ground for a drop as the honey-comb, and she is all moment, and vanish like a dream; fair-there is no spot in the lovely landbut be, creating within himself a world scape of her countenance ! as free and imperishable as the spirit by Surely in po land upon earth could which it is conceived, calls upon trees such a glowing description of human to grow in evergreen splendor under his features be written or read, except in a roof, and hangs them with brilliant flow- country where, even at the first break
On the day before the solstice- of spring, a fullness of beauty and glory on the holy Yule-evening-the children pours into the heart of man. Hardly is of the house, free and bond, are gathered winter's short reigu at an end, and the around the Yule-tree, and bind the true early rains
when field and bond of love under this image of the fallow are covered with flowers, the starry sky without for another year, by time for planting is at hand, the voice kindly presents and heart-felt wishes. of the turtle is heard, in sweet, loving The church also hallows the day, and, notes; the fig pusbes forth its fertilo lending its higher meaning to the me- buds, and gentle perfumes are breathed morable occasion, changes the festival from every vino. How deeply the seaof nature into a sacred feast of religion. sons thus affect the mind of man, may
Festivals, however, mark only here be judged by the striking difference of and there, among the nations of the the impressions in a temperate zone and earth, the changing seasons. Their in the regions of extremos. Neither in true record is kort, after all, in the heart thọ Tschudio marshes near the poles, of man.
Only the loving child of na- nor in the tropical parts of the Indies turo, who lives in her and with her, sees can the seasons be much observed with watchful eyes how she decks her- these, from a want of vegetation, hore self, now with a gay carpet of rich flow- form & fatal exuberance of neverers, and now with a soft coverlid of ceasing, never-resting activity. In the virgin snow; how she sends up her hot zone only two seasons are knownfirstlings in modest garb, and consoles a hot summer, and, instead of a winter, us in autumn with brilliant colors and a rainy season. Both appear with the luscious fruits. For plants are the lot- same suddenness with which day and ters with which she writes the record night interchange without the sweet of her great changes-plants that live twilight we love so dearly. So it is at in the course of these seasons only, and the north: a whole long summer day mark them to the outward eye in ever and a single long winter night follow familiar types. In wreaths and in gar- each other without transition. Even in lands, we read her sweet lessons. And the far-famed bay of Smith's sound, when the tongue of man is most elo- where our brave Dr. Kane spent two fearquent, and his mind's eye looks around ful winters, a single day of six months for striking images, where does he find contrasted at once with one hundred colors like those of the meadows-where and twenty winter days, during wbich a mirror, to show the beauty of her be sun appeared above the horizon. loves, like the fair landscape around Hence the remarkable effect produced him ? Did not the royal poet himself, on the races that dwell in those regions. in prophetic vision, draw from the tros- Where the fruit is ever ready to fall at Bures of nature, when he described his the feet of man, or where he can never holy bride? There she steps forth, in hope to see the scattered seed mature, his inspired song, rising high above her there he will never till the soil, and sisters, as the black tents of Kedar rise change the early curse into a rich blesson the yellow sand of the desort; there ing. Hence we find that in the tropios
man relaxes into indolence-near the pose and well-defined object, undispoles he freezes into inactivity. There turbed by the countless changes of the he cannot tear bimself away from the world around him. Hence the great enjoyment of nature; here he never mental activity of all northern nalearns to know or to love his barsh tions. stepinother.
Far different is it at the south. Here The son of the Orient looks, therefore, the surrounding scenery is ever the upon the seasons but as upon a series same--full of life and beauty, aboundof pleasing pictures that pass before ing now in fruit and now in promise, not his eyes. Where the death of win. resting even during winter. The same ter can be compared only to the green adorns the landscape month after slight slumber of Dives, after the day's month; days and nights follow each easy duties, there autumn, also, is but & other in unchanging length; there is no gentle repose after the luxurious feast pause and no interruption, and thus of summer and spring—but a refreshed time passes unnoticed, and man, in the reawakening, after a short rest. The unbroken enjoyment of the present, calm eye looks upon the gentle changes thinks not of the past, and neither fears with undisturbed mind; the heart does nor hopes for the future. The internot rejoice with the joyful, nor mourn course with such an unchanging nature with the mourning. Now and then a produces, in the son of the south, the poet like Mollah Washi breaks forth same constant pathos, as ready to boand sings: “Oh, glory of spring! Oh, come pblegmatic repose as to break light of the world !” but it is little more forth in sudden and fearful explosions. than a mere shout, the outburst of the Happier by far is, therefore, the dweller moment; and he cannot sing the praises in temperate zones, who can shake the of lovely spring, for there is no spring; icy hand of winter, and warm his own, he cannot exalt the bonny month of thankfully, in the lap of merry spring ; May, for there is no May. In like who, after the embrace of summer, re
800 the children of the ceives from autumn the cooling juices north sigh and suffer under the rigor of his fruits. of their eternal winter. With startling Even in our zone, however, the seasons rapidity, with spasmodic suddenness sun- are not so strictly defined as to meet in shine and snow interchange, the heat of hostile array. On the contrary, the four the day and the clear frosts of night sisters hold each other lovingly by the succeed each other, and do not allow
us hand; lusty winter glides so gently into to enjoy in quiet repose the beauties of spring that it often “ lingering chills nature. What wonder that in such the lap of May;" and summer passes restless haste, such constant confusion, into autumn without our knowing when the dwellers of the soil are starved and the one bids us farewell, and the other stunted, or that their songs, like the his warm though subdued welcome. famous rhymes of Kalewala, but repeat Here again plants are the bright letthe sad sighing of their low pinos, and ters which even be who runs may the mournful whispering of their melan- read, and sweet is the knowledge that choly birches?
these darling children of nature conNor is this difference merely to be vey to us in their simple bandwriting; seen in man's outward life. Far more for they are the ever-changing decomarked is the effect the seasons have rations on the grand stage on which on bis inner world. The shivering the drama “ The Year" is unceasingly northerner is driven back to his quiet enacted, whilst animals are but the acstudy—the bitter cold of long winters tors that appear there at their appointed allows him but little time to sally out time. from his well-sheltered home. During Meadows and fallow lands look still long, lingering evenings he sees nothing as if buried in deep slumber, and the of the outer world, and is busy gather- eye passes freely through the leafless ing and improving the rich seeds that forest, when, already, tiny heralds anspring and summer have sown in his nounce the coming of the spring. heart. He calls up his wandering The air is milder and balmier ; thoughts, which no longer are tempted in Europe the joyful lark is beard to roam over smiling meadows and on high praising her Maker; with us through dark forests; he plies the mighty the plover pipes plaintively in the low engine of his mind with a single pur- grounds. Thaw-bringing winds sigh quaintly through the naked branches, modestly under banks covered with and, heavily laden with moisture as they brushwood and old herbage. It rejoices are, they produce that strange musio our heart by the strange contrast of its which marks them from all other winds. sweet odor with the rough winds that The ice breaks, and white patches of still sweep through field and forest. snow aloue remain here and there to Then, indeed, we ask: tell of past sorrow and suffering. The swelling buds of ancient oaks begin to " Whence is it that the flow'ret of tho field press bard upon the leaves of last year
doth fade, which will not depart-a painful image
And Iyeth buried long in winter's vale,
Yet, soone as spring his mantle hath disof death by the side of the fresh
playdo, green of youthful life. For, under the It Howreth fresh as it should never fayle?" dying leaf of autumn, nature had already prepared the bud for the coming spring. The trees, also, follow the example Safely and softly embedded in its warm set them by the humbler plants, and cover, it had slept through its first in- unfold, one after another, their youthfancy during the winter; and fall and ful beauty. The woods, it is true, do spring thus reach each other a friendly not renew their trees every year, but hand across the silent season between still they represent, as faithfully as the them. Long before the buds of our lesser children of Flora, every change trees bave opened their well-guarded of the seasons. In early spring the lowly doors, and let leaf and blossom look out shrubs deck themselves with flowers ; into the bright world, a whole host of honey-suckles cover their neighbors little impatient plants has pressed for- with green garlands; fragrant creepers ward to leave their cold prison, and to grasp the rocks and stones, as if to bask in the new freedom of life. It is makë them also aware of the new reign especially under the safe cover of dead of love that has just commenced, and leaves, in the shelter of mighty trees, the wild cherry trees change into white, where the last icy breath of winter can no airy clouds. The ash is almost the longer chill and check them, that the first last tree that comes into leaf, and, when flowers may be discovered. Wherever all others around it smile in the freshthe loosened waters have begun to form a ness of their spring foliage, it attracts tiny pool, full of still tinier islands, there us by its nakedness and by its black golden patches of chrysosplenium are knobs of unblown flowers. Thus it found in abundance. How brightly forms, as it were, the last link in the they contrast with the black, boggy soil chain that binds spring and summer to on the margins of little rills, or the dark each other, and waits only at times for edges of fountain-heads in wet, shady the late oak, whose leaves last deep woods, where the ground is less moist, into winter. and the warm rays of the sun have Now is the time for rejoicing, and tompted the long-hidden germs to come no nation on earth, that can sing, forth. The rough-leaved pulmonaria un- is without a rich treasure of songs folds its long blossoms, which dress in praise of spring.
Its heralds are first in soft pink, but no sooner have welcomed with festive dance-here the opened their little chalicos than they swallow that comes from distant lands, assume a still fairer blue color. On the and there the snow-drop that rises from edges of forests, and in the safe shelter the dark grave in unspeakable beauty, of hedges, there rises, soon after, the every heart opens again like the long graceful star of the gazea, the humble silent bosom of nature, every mind is precursor of a long succession of lilies. cheered and brightened. For what can Much more widely spread than these knock with more welcome sound at the three characteristic plants of spring is gates of our selfish heart, than this the wood anemone. Wherever the soil never-failing resurrection of natureis rich, “it woos the fairy solitudes, this mighty change from death to life? ombosomed in the leafy woods,” and Great is the power of spring, and few covers rock and ruin with its bright can escape the wondrous spell; young starry flowers, that droop languidly and old rejoice in his joy, and wherupon the still slumbering turf.
ever his footsteps are seen, and his We must not forget, however, among perfume breathed there cares are forthe earliest heralds of spring, the gotten, and age sits lightly on the boary fragrant violet, though it bides itself head.
When spring has made
moist eye of a friend, when, here and * All the field look glorious, green, and gay,
there, chilling breezes begin already And freely scattered, with & bounteous their cruel sport with the leaves, then hand,
we, also, are led to think of the evening His sweetest, fairest flowers o'er the land,"
of the year, and the evening of life, then comes, in gorgeous beauty, bis In the very midst of the far-spread royal successor, summer. But which wealth of nature, surrounded by the of his thousand children is the first richest colors and the silent exuberance comer—the true berald of the new of the landscape, a soft, still feeling of reign ? Out in the fields it is the milk- melancholy creeps over us, as if such white hawtborn-bush, and in early sum- splendor could not last long upon earth. mer there is radiating from every road, Then we remember that the rose also and lane, and footpath, a stream of in- “ has but a summer's reign,” and that cense and beauty, which neither old nor soon bleak autumn will come and claim young can resist--a balm than which that the sceptre. of Gilead is not more virtuous. In the His time begins when the leaves ası thickest and wildest dell, on a cairn or sume his livery-now a sad-colored dress a rough stony spot by the way-side, in full of mourning, and now a gorgeous the depth of noble forests, everywhere and glaring red, as if they would fair the modest tree unfolds its glossy leaves defy death itself, and flame out once and pure white blossoms, until
more in unsurpassed splendor. Spring " In the music-breathing hedge, the thorn
seems to have returned a second time And pearly white May-blossom are entwined to his kingdom ; for the autumnal foliage With dripping boneysuckles, whose sweet often assumes, as in poplars the very
breath Sinks to the heart, recalling, with a sigh,
same hues it displayed when it first Dim recollected feelings of the days
broke forth from the tender burs. YelOf youth and early love."
low and red, scarlet and gold, are the
special colors of fall, and these glori. Nearer bome it is the queen of Aow- ous ornaments of the temperate zone ers that claims to be the very emblem appear here, among us, in a perfection of summer. Abounding in hedges, and which no art of man has as yet been able glens, and dells, where
to reproduce. Life, however, struggles “ The rose in all her pride,
long, among plants against death, if Paints the hollow dingleside," death can be called what is to plants it scatters white flowers and red,
-and, thanks to God, to man, also
but a brief period of rest. For many " Half enwrapt, and half to view revealed,"
a week, and far into November, now on all sides. The sovereign rose of blossoms begin. to show and replace the stately garden rules there in un- the withering children of summer. Our rivaled majesty, whilst the wild rose own native asters, especially, unfold fills thickets and bushes with per- their starry beauty, one by one, and, in fume, here climbing up to the top low meadows, the pale pink flower of most branches of trees, and there the late daffodil shrinks not even from mingling with the fading blooms of frost and ice. Almost the last of flow, May. Then summer is iu its prime, ers“ it marks the time when autumn with flowers richly blooming, all the has tinged every fertile branch with trees dressed in their most gorgeous blooming_gold and blushing like the garments, avd the wild mountain thyme morn.” There is a peculiar sadness in perfuming all the moorland. And the parting of the year.
We love when the red rose has scattered her
autumn, as the dying man loves life. leaves all around her, there arises from It has a delicacy in its strange brighther grave the wbite lily in spotlessness, an almost magic transparency in robes--the pure emblem of the purer its clearer lights, à poetry in all its joys of summer.
features, which together never fail to Luter in the season, the reddish blue- make a deep and sweet impression. A bells of the gentian begin to ring out farewell is at all times but tender sorthe gay, glorious season. When every row, but such a loving farewell as where red-cheeked apples laugh at us autumn tells us, is the true blending of through the thinned foliage, when the humble grief with undoubting hope. grape assumes the soft transparency “The year is gone"—this is the only that makes it so strangely like the word the half-broken heart still reads in
the last letters of the season, and, as tender children of Flora wage a manlong as the silky threads shine like sil- ful war against the tyrant; aided by ver in the bright sun, and the leaves many a warm breeze and a soft air, they sink gently through the still air, we are creep cozily under shelter, and there bound, as if with magio ties, to the de- unfold, in spite of storm and frost, their parting beauty.
humbler flowers. Even chilling boarLong before the crowns of trees frost lies long on the large rosettes of grow lighter, and sun and wind pass un- green leaves of our biennial thistles ; hindered through their bared limbs, the the golden-rod, the horse-gowan and ragground is already covered with the weed linger in sheltered spots, and some dead, and weird winds play a wild game will tarry there until Christmas has told with the homeless exiles on their way its tale. Finally, even the last of the tiny downward. Thanks to our climate, the army seems to have fallen, to be buried Indian summer comes for a time to forever. But, even then, the Christmasbreak the season of gloom, and makes flower, the hellebore, opens, at boly time, us say with the poet:
its white, blooming eyes. The leafless
hazel-bushes adorn themselves with “I will have my careless season, Spite of melancholy reason,
silky catkins, and, under the rigid Will walk thro' life in such a way
frozen cover of brooks, when the tish That, when time brings on decay, are still slumbering on their winter couch, Now and then I may possess
thousands of microscopio plants are Hours of such perfect gladsomeness."
busily doing their duty. Heavy masses At last even the bright colors have of snow fall in avalanches from branch faded. Cold winds rustle in the branch- to branch, and fir-trees and spruces groan es ; gray clouds hang heavily over the as if in agony ; and yet, within there, landscape; silky gossamers, woven by life is still at work, and the green lonely spiders, float mournfully over glossy leaves pale not in the coldest of the field and thistlo-downs are * borne north winds. On rocks and rugged roots abroad upon the winds of heaven, and there still survive the graceful folk of scattered into air." The last days of dwarfish lichens and mosses, some of fall are there in all their sadness and whom disdain to unfold their passing grave earnest; below us, a soft, swelling beauty before the very depth of winter. carpet of leaves; high up in the crowns Thus a green thread is seen to pass of trees, a painful sighing and soughing, unbroken through all the four seasons ; which bears our eyo to the leafless and, even in mid-winter, the hopeful tops. How strange a monitor of that eye can perceive, in the far distance, tiine when the crown of man also turns spring and summer bastening onward paler and paler, and, at last, is bereft of to clothe once more the skeletons, apits treasuro! Only the oak retains its parently lost to every sweet influence, withered foliage, as if reluctant to part with green leaves and smiling flowers, with its beauty-an image of departed and autumn to give promise of abungreatness, it stands stiff and stern in dant fruits. Thus the last of the seathe winter air. But, resting from the sons teaches us also the last of lessons, labors and enjoyments of long, merry that, like the plants, man, also, summer days, the trees are still busy
-verging gradually from his prime, again, weaving now burrs for the com- Meets sacred peace at last. ing spring. Nature dies not; only the His flowery spring of pleasures o'er, loud, sounding life grows silent upon
And summer's fullbloom pride no more, the great stage of the year.
He gains pacific autumn, mild and bland,
And dauntless braves the stroke of winter's Impatient winter, unable to battle as
band." yet with the sun that still watches over her children and warms them during the
“For yet a while, a little while,
Involved in wintry gloom, day, comes at night and does sad havoo
And lo! another spring skal smile among fluwers and bushes. But the
A spring eternal bloom!"