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it might teach a lesson to the desponding, there, they would not to our taste have lost and show the useless and inactive how in their sweetness. valuable are the stirrings of that energy that The violet, while it pleases by its modest, can work ont its purpose in secret, and under retiring beauty, possesses the additional oppression, and be ready in the fulness of charm of the most exquisite of all perlumnes, time to make that purpose manifest and com- which, inhaled with the pure and invigoraplete. The snowdrop teaches also another ting breezes of spring, always brings back in lesson. It marks out the progress of time. remembrance a lively conception of that deWe cannot behold it without feeling that an- lightral season. Thus, in the language of other spring has come, and immediately our poetry, “ the violet-scented gale” is synonythoughts recur to the events which have oc mous with those accumulated and sweetiycurred since last its fairy bells were ex blended gratifications which we derive from panded. We think of those who were near odours, flowers, and balmy breezes; and and dear to us then. It is possible they may above all, from the contemplation of renonever be near again; it is equally possible vated nature, once more bursting forth into they may be dear no longer. Memory is beauty and perfection. busy with the past; until anticipation takes The jessamine, also, with its dark green up the chain of thought, and we conjure up, leaves, and little silver stars, saluting us with and at last shape out in characters of hope, its delicious scent through the open casea long succession of chances and changes to ment, and impregnating the whole atmosfill up the revolving seasons which must phere of the garden with its sweetness, has come and go before that little flower shall been sung and celebrated by so many poets, burst forth in its loveliness again. Happy that our associations are with their numbers, is it for those who have so counted the cost rather than with any intrinsic quality in the of the coming year, that they shall not find flower itself. Indeed, whatever may have at the end they have expended either hope first established the rank of flowers in the or desire in fruitless speculations.

poetical world, they have become to us like It is of little consequence what flower notes of music, passed on from lyre to lyre; comes next under consideration. A few and whenever a chord is thrilled with the specimens will serve the purpose of proving, harmony of song, these lovely images prethat these lovely productions of nature are, sent themselves, neither impaired in their in their general associations, highly poetical. beauty, nor exhausted of their sweetness, The primrose is one upon which we dwell for having been the medium of poetic feelwith pleasure proportioned to our taste for ing ever since the world began. rural scenery, and the estimate we have pre It is impossible to expend a moment's viously formed of the advantages of a peace- thought upon the lily, without recurring to ful and secluded life. In connexion with that memorable passage in the sacred volthis flower, imagination pictures a thatched ume: “Consider the lilies of the field, how cottage standing on the slope of the hill, and they grow. They toil not, neither do they a little woody dell, whose green banks are spin; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon spangled all over with yellow stars, while a in all his glory was not arrayed like one of troop of rosy children are gambolling on the these." From the little common flower callsame bank, gathering the flowers, as we ed heart's ease, we turn to that well known used to gather them ourselves, before the passage of Shakspeare, were the fairy king : toils and struggles of mortal conflict had so beautifully describes the “ little western worn us down to what we are now; and flower." And the forget-me-not has a thouthus presenting to the mind the combined sand associations tender and touching, but ideas of natural enjoyment, innocence, and unfortunately, like many other sweet things, rural peace-the more vivid, because we rude hands have almost robbed it of its can remember the time when something like charm. Who can behold the pale Narcisthis was mingled with the cup of which we sus, standing by the silent brook, its stately drank—the more touching, because we form reflected in the glassy mirror, without doubt whether, if such pure drops were still losing themselves in that most fanciful of all

combined qualities of strength and swiftness, I come, without fear that the fountains should endurance and facility of motion. Hal one be sealed, or the waters should become less of these qualities been wanting-lad he pure. been feeble or inactive, had his power on his patience been soon expended, had he moved with awkwardness or difficulty, our admiration would have been considerably less, and we should probably now look with as little

THE POETRY OF FLOWERS. pleasure on the horse as on the rhinoceros. Again, every one thinks the stag a beautiful There are few natural objects more poeti animal, perhaps the most beautiful in nature; ical in their general associations than flowers;

but the stag wants the majestic power of the nor has there ever been a poet, simple or | horse to give him an aspect of nobility, and,' sublime, who has not adorned his verse with terefore, our admiration of him is of a qual- ! these specimens of nature's cunning workined and secondary nature. In the same manship. From the majestic sunflower, mamer, it would not be dificult to trace the towering above her sisters of the garden, correspondence of our ideas through the and faithfully turning to welcome the god whole extent of animal creation, except only of day, to the little hunble and well-known where the chain of association is broken by weel that is said to close its crimson eye beaccidental or local circumstances; and hap- fore impending showers, there is scarcely py is it for the human race, that they are so one flower which may not from its loveliness, constituted as to be disposed unanimously to its pertime, its natural situation, or its classavoid what is repulsive, and are able to par- ical association, be considered highly poetitake, in social concord, of the exquisite en-cal. joyment of admiring what is beautiful. As the welcome messenger of spring, the

Had the mind of man been composed of snowdrop claims our first regard; and countheterogeneous or discordant elements, he i less are the lays in which the praises of this must have wanted the grand principle of little modest flower are sung. The contrast happiness-sympathy with his fellow-crea- it presents of green and white, (ever the iures. He might unquestionably have pos- ! most pleasing of contrasts to the human eye.) sessed his own enjoyments, but he must may be one reason why mankind agree in have been a selfish and isolated being. His their admiration of its simple beauties; but intellectual powers might possibly have been a far more powerful reason is the delightful cultivated, but without the stimulus of social association by which it is connected with the ! affection, their growth must have been with idea of returning spring; the conviction that out grace, and their fruit without value. To the vegetable world through the tedious wincompute the distance of the planets, to mea- ter months has not been dead, but sleeping; sure the surface of the earth, and penetrate and that long nights, fearful storms, and into its secret mines, are occupations which chilling blasts, have a limitation and a bound might be carried on by man in his solitary assigned them, and must in their appointed and unconnected character; but in order time give place to the fructifying and genial that he might enjoy the benefit of a high influence of spring. Perhaps we have mur- i tone or moral feeling, and thus be fitted for mured (for what is there in the ordinations a state of existence where knowledge is only of Providence at which man will not dare to less supreme than love, it was necessary murmur ?) at the dreariness of winter. Perthat the general current of his feelings haps we have felt the rough blast too piershould be softened and refined, by innumer- cing to accord with our artificial habi.s. able springs of tenderness and affection, Perhaps we bave thought long of the meltflowing through the finer sensibilities of his ing of the snow that impeded our noon-day nature, and filling that ocean of enjoyment, walk. But it vanishes at last; and there, of which the human family have drank to- beneath its white coverlet, lies the delicate gether in unity since the world began, and snowdrop, 60 pure and pale, so true an emmay continue to drink for generations yet to blem of hope, and trust, and confidence, that

it might teach a lesson to the desponding, there, they would not to our taste have lost and show the useless and inactive how in their sweetness. valuable are the stirrings of that energy that The violet, while it pleases by its modest, can work out its purpose in secret, and under retiring beauty, possesses the additional oppression, and be ready in the fulness of charm of the most exquisite of all perfumes, time to make that purpose manifest and com- which, inhaled with the pure and invigoraplete. The snowdrop teaches also another ting breezes of spring, always brings back in lesson. It marks out the progress of time. remembrance a lively conception of that deWe cannot behold it without feeling that an- lightiul season. Thus, in the language of other spring has come, and immediately our poetry, " the violet-scented gale” is synonythoughts recur to the events which have oc mous with those accumulated and sweetiycurred since last its fairy bells were ex blended gratifications which we derive from panded. We think of those who were near odours, flowers, and balmy breezes; and and dear to us then. It is possible they may above all, from the contemplation of renonever be near again; it is equally possible vated nature, once more bursting forth into they may be dear no longer. Memory is beauty and perfection. busy with the past; until anticipation takes The jessamine, also, with its dark green up the chain of thought, and we conjure up, leaves, and little silver stars, saluting us with and at last shape out in characters of hope, its delicious scent through the open casea long succession of chances and changes to ment, and impregnating the whole atmosfill ap the revolving seasons which must phere of the garden with its sweetness, has come and go before that little flower shall been sung and celebrated by so many poeis, burst forth in its loveliness again. Happy that our associations are with their numbers, is it for those who have so counted the cost rather than with any intrinsic quality in the of the coming year, that they shall not find flower itself. Indeed, whatever may have at the end they have expended either hope first established the rank of flowers in the or desire in fruitless speculations.

poetical world, they have become to us like It is of little consequence what flower notes of music, passed on from lyre to lyre; comes next under consideration. A few and whenever a chord is thrilled with the specimens will serve the purpose of proving, harmony of song, these lovely images prethat these lovely productions of nature are, sent themselves, neither impaired in their in their general associations, highly poetical. beauty, nor exhausted of their sweetness, The primrose is one upon which we dwell for having been the medium of poetic feelwith pleasure proportioned to our taste for ing ever since the world began. rural scenery, and the estimate we have pre It is impossible to expend a moment's viously formed of the advantages of a peace- thought upon the lily, without recurring to ful and secluded life. In connexion with that memorable passage in the sacred volthis flower, imagination pictures a thatched ume: “ Consider the lilies of the field, how cottage standing on the slope of the hill, and they grow. They toil not, neither do they a little woody dell, whose green banks are spin; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon spangled all over with yellow stars, while a in all his glory was not arrayed like one of troop of rosy children are gambolling on the these.” From the little common flower callsame bank, gathering the flowers, as we ed heart's ease, we turn to that well known il used to gather them ourselves, before the passage of Shakspeare, were the fairy king toils and struggles of mortal conflict had so beautifully describes the “little western worn us down to what we are now; and flower.” And the forget-me-not has a thouthus presenting to the mind the combined sand associations tender and touching, but ideas of natural enjoyment, innocence, and unfortunately, like many other sweet things, rural peace the more vivid, because we rude hands have almost robbed it of its can remember the time when something like charm. Who can behold the pale Narcis. this was mingled with the cup of which we sus, standing by the silent brook, its stately drank—the more touching, because we form reflected in the glassy mirror, without doubt whether, if such pure drops were still losing themselves in that most fanciful of all

poetical conceptions, in which the graceful around us through the summer months, youth is described as gazing upon his own without the aid or interference of man, beauty, until he becomes lost in admiration, which seems to defy his art to introduce a and finally enamoured of himself: while rival to his own unparalleled beauty-the hopeless echo siglis herself away into a common wild rose; so luxuriant, that it sound, for the love, which having centred in bursts spontaneously into blushing life, such an object, was never to be bought by sometimes crowning the hoary rock with a her caresses, nor won by her despair. blooming garland, and sometimes struggling

Through gardens, fields, forests, and even with the matted weeds of the wilderness, over rugged mountains, we might wander yet ever finding its way to the open day, on in this fanciful quest after remote ideas that it may bask and smile, and look up with of pleasurable sensation connected with pres- thankfulness to the bright sun, without whose eni beauty and enjoyment; nor would our rays its cheek would know no beauty so tensearch be fruitless so long as the bosom of der, that the wild bee which had nestled in the earth afforded a receptacle for the ger- its scented bosom when that sun went down, minating seed, so long as the gentle gales returns in the morning and beholds the of summer continued to waft them from the colour faded from its cheek, while by its side parent stem, or so long as the welcome sun an infant rose is rising with the blush of a looked forth upon the ever-blooming garden cherub, unfolding its petals to live its little of nature.

day, and then, having expended its sweetOne instance more, and we have done. ness, to die like its fair sisters, without murThe “ lady rose," as poets have designated mur or regret. Blooming in the sterile this queeno beauty, claims the latest, waste, this lovely flower is seen unfolding though not the least consideration in speak- its fair leaves where there is no beauty to ing of the poetry of flowers. In the poetic reflect its own, and thus calling back the world, the first honors have been awarded heart of the weary traveller to thoughts of to the rose, for what reason it is not easy to peace and joy-reminding him that the define; unless from its exquisite combination wilderness of human life, though rugged of perfume, form, and colour, which have and barren to the discontented beholder, has entitled this sovereign of flowers in one also its sweet flowers, not the less welcome for country to be mated with the nightingale, being unlooked for, nor the less lovely for in another, to be chosen with the distinction being cherished by a hand unseen. of red and white, as the badge of two hon There is one circumstance connected with ourable and royal houses. It would be diffi- the rose, which renders it a more true and cult to trace the supremacy of the rose to its striking emblem of earthly pleasure than origin; but mankind have so generally any other flower-it bears a thorn. While agreed in paying homage to her charnis, its odorous breath is floating on the summer that our associations in the present day are gale, and its blushing cheek, half hid chiefly with the poetic strains in which they amongst the sheltering leaves, seems are celebrated. The beauty of the rose is woo and yet shrink from the beholder's gaze, exhibited under so many different forms, that touch but with adventurous hand the garit would be impossible to say which had the den queen, and you are pierced with her greatest claim upon the regard of the poet; protecting thorns: would you pluck the rose but certainly those kinds which have been and weave it into a garland for the brow recently introduced, or those which are rear- you love best, that brow will be wounded: ed by unnatural means, with care and diffi or place the sweet blossom in your bosom, culty, are to us the least poetical, because the thorn will be there. This real or ideal our associations with them are comparatively mingling of pain and sorrow, with the exfew, and those few relate chiefly to garden quisite beauty of the rose, affords a neverculture.

ending theme to those who are best acAfter all the pains that have been taken quainted with the inevitable blending of to procure, transplant, and propagate the clouds and sunshine, hope and fear, wea rose, there is one kind perpetually blooming and wo, in this our earthly inheritance.

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