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new characters and beauties. Then they are strewn around them, the poetry of the earth. They become invested by a multitude of associations with innumerable spells of power over the human heart; they are to us memorials of the joys, sorrows, hopes, and triumphs of our forefathers; they are, to all nations, the emblems of youth in its loveliness and purity.
Of all the poetry ever drawn from flowers, none is so beautiful, none is so sublime, none is so imbued with that very spirit in which they were made, as that of Christ. “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet, I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith ?'
The sentiment built upon this, entire dependence on the goodness of the Creator, is one of the lights of our existence, and could only have been uttered by Christ. But we have here also the expression of the very spirit of beauty, in which flowers were created ; a spirit so boundless and overflowing, that it delights to enliven and adorn, with these luxuriant creatures of sunshine, the solitary places of the earth ; to scatter them by myriads over the very desert where no man is ; on the wilderness where there is no man ;' sending rain, to satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth.' In our confined notions, we are often led to wonder why
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air ; why beauty, and flowers, and fruit, should be scattered so exuberantly where there are none to enjoy them. But the thoughts of the Almighty are not as our thoughts. He sees them ; he, doubtless, delights to behold the beauty of his handwork, and rejoices in that tide of glory which he has caused to flow wide through the universe. We know not, either, what spiritual eyes besides may behold them ; for pleasant is the belief, that
Myriads of spiritual creatures walk the earth, And how often does the gladness of uninhabited lands refresh the heart of the solitary traveler! When the distant and seatired voyager suddenly descries the blue mountain-tops, and the lofty crest of the palm-tree, and makes some green and pleasant island, where the verdant and blossoming forestboughs wave in the spicy gale, where the living waters leap from the rocks, and millions of new and resplendent flowers brighten the fresh sward, what then is the joy of his heart !
To Omnipotence, creation costs not an effort, but to the desolate and the weary, how immense is the happiness thus prepared in the wilderness! Who does not recollect the exultation of Vaillant over a magnificent lily in the torrid wastes of Africa, which, growing on the banks of a river, filled the air far around with its delicious fragrance, and, as he observes, had been respected by all the animals of the district, and seemed defended even by its beauty ?
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
“ Have naught but the bearded grain ?
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves :
He bound them in his sheaves.
"s My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”
The Reaper said, and smiled ;
Where he was once a child.
• They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear."
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love ;
She knew she should find them all again,
In the fields of light above.
0, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day ; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
THE CHILD OF EARTH. Fainter her slow steps fall from day to day,
Death's hand is heavy on her darkening brow, Yet doth she fondly cling to earth, and say,
“I am content to die, but oh! not now! Not while the blossoms of the joyous spring
Make the warm air such luxury to breathe; · Not while the birds such lays of gladness sing;
Not while bright flowers around my footsteps wreathe. Spare me, Great God! lift up my drooping brow; I am content to die, but oh! not now !"
The spring hath ripened into summer time;
The season's viewless boundary is past;
Oh, must this glimpse of beauty be the last? 6 Let me not perish while o'er land and lea,
With silent steps, the Lord of light moves on;
Greets my dull ear with music in its tone.
Summer is gone; and autumn's soberer hues
Tint the ripe fruits, and gild the waving corn; The huntsman swift the flying game pursues,
Shouts the halloo, and winds his eager horn: “ Spare me awhile, to wander forth and gaze
On the broad meadows, and the quiet stream,
Slant through the fading trees with ruddy gleam ;
The bleak wind whistles; snow-showers, far and near,
Drip without echo to the whitening ground;
Winter stalks on, with frozen mantle bound :
My little brothers round the warm hearth crowd,
And the roof rings with voices light and loud :
The spring is come again, the joyful spring;
Again the banks with clustering flowers are spread ;
The child of earth is numbered with the dead !
Beaming all redly through the lattice-pane;
Nor fond familiar voice arouse again;
RESIGNATION. On a beautiful evening, about the middle of July, I pursued my walk along a narrow path, that stretched through an extensive wood, to enjoy, alone and undisturbed, that soothing melancholy, which is to me sweeter than the turbulence of social merriment. The sun had just set; the twilight star was twinkling, like the eyes of a beautiful woman, whose lashes are quivering with the effects of departing sorrow, that bedewed them with tears; and the thrush was pouring forth his vesper hymn on the topmost twig of the tall larch tree, as if he thought that his song would sound the sweeter, the nearer he could make his perch to heaven.
It was to me a scene of peculiar interest. On the one side, stood the home of my father and mother, brothers and sisters, the affectionate beings who appeared to me parts of my own existence, without whom, without one of whom I could not be happy; and on the other side, lay the church-yard, where my forefathers slept in the narrow house,' and where my kindred and myself were in all likelihood destined to sleep; one of us, perhaps, in a few days, for my mother was at that time sick ;the being who gave me birth, who nourished me on her bosom in infancy, who consoled my sorrows in manhood ;— the thought of her death was dreadful. But my mind was soon called from its agonizing anticipations, by the tremulous tones of a plaintive voice; when, on looking around me, I saw a man kneeling beneath a branching fir, and praying loudly and fervently. It was not, however, the prayer of the Pharisee, in the corner of the street, where every eye might behold him: the person before me, was unconscious that any eye beheld him, but that of his Creator, whom he was so earnestly supplicating.)
I never saw a more affecting picture of devotion. I have seen the innocent child lay its head upon its mother's knee, and lisp out its evening prayer; and the father of a family kneel in the midst of his domestic circle, and ask the blessing of God to be upon them and him. I have seen the beautiful maiden, whose lips, to the youthful imagination, seemed only tuned to the song of pleasure, whisper the responses in the public assembly of worship; and the dim-eyed matron stroke back her hoary tresses, and endeavor to mingle her quivering voice with the sublime symphony of the pealing organ: all these have I seen, and felt the beauty of each ; but this solitary worshiper affected me more deeply, than I had ever before experienced.
His knees were bent upon the deep green earth, where his Bible lay on the one side of him, and his hat on the other; his hands were lifted up, his raven hair waved in the breeze, and his eyes were raised to heaven; yet I saw, or fancied I saw, that he was frequently obliged to close them, and press out the tears that flowed to them from the fountain of sorrow. I passed him unperceived, with respect for his devotional feelings, and sympathy with his accumulated afflictions. I knew him well. He was a laborer of the neighboring hamlet, intelligent and respectable in his sphere of life. Often had I met with him in the same path, walking with his wife and children ; two little boys that plucked the wild flowers as they proceeded, and an infant girl that yet nestled in its mother's bosom.