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virgin modesty more sweetly delicate ? Did ever the hand of man, with all its cunning, create. aught that could rival that orient tinting? Perhaps the rose’s hue has not a preference in your sight; then look at the violet
"so darkly, deeply, beautifully blue;" summer sky never looked more blue, even in the happiest day of our boyhood. If you love Spring flowers, go forth with us into the fields and by the hedge-rows; examine the petals of the common daisy, or the nunlike primrose; they will afford you sweet specimens of the delicacy of colour ; or, if you will, with us wander by the brook-side," pluck the flower of that common buck-bean and examine it: the tinting about the white petals seems fearful of staining such purity ; it blends with the white. so sweetly, that we cannot define its limits, though we can well perceive that it is there. It reminds us of
a lily, which the sun, Or a rosebud, leans upon.”
Grace plays about Spring Flowers as naturally as the sunbeams at mid-day. The “line of beauty” is to be traced, from the stately lily to the lowly pimpernel in the blossom of the garden, in the flower of the wilds.
“There is,” says Mr. J. F. Clarke, the author of a little work—“Stray Flowers,” that deserves to be better known—"a feeling of affection, even in the rudest bosoms, to beautiful objects; and Nature sprinkleth, with unsparing hand, sweet flowers upon our pathway, to gladden us as we pass : if we look at them rightly, our way, though thorny at times, will as often be pleasant. And is it not so with the moral path that we pursue ? though the dark, lurid weeds of care and of affliction may sometimes poison our way, yet, how often do the flowers of hope and faith spring up around us, and we feel that our repinings were impious!”
We could cite other beautiful thoughts on the philosophy of flowers; we could show, too, how the Poets have all loved them, and been inspired by them, and made each his favourite flower famous in undying
And have we not deeper, finer, more inspired poetry in those allusions to flowers which our Saviour frequently makes use of in His discourses ? For instance, “Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin ; and yet I say unto you, That Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is one day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O
of little faith ?” Again, in Isaiah xxviii. 9 : “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower." And in Isaiah xl. 6, those beautiful similes, “ All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Many such passages occur to our mind, but for the present we are called out into the green fields, for the flowers are come again, and the glad Earth smiles in beauty, and the laughing Spring invites us into the budding woods, and by the bursting hedge-rows. Our books are now only for rainy days; for nature has opened her brightest page, and we exclaim with a bard who has sounded every wire on the golden harp:
“ Your voiceless lips, O flowers ! are living preachers,
Each cup a pulpit, every leaf a book ;
From loneliest nook.'' Hail! then, to the young bright Spring! and may every English home, and every cottage nook, be made lovely through the influence of its Flowers !
" Is there no hope ?” the sick man said.
When thus the man with gasping breath :-
An angel came. “Ah, friend !” he cried, “ No more in flattering hope confide. Can thy good deeds in former times Outweigh the balance of thy crimes ? What widow or what orphan prays To crown thy life with length of days ? A pious action's in thy power, Embrace with joy the happy hour.
Now, while you draw the vital air,
“But why such haste ?" the sick man whines; “Who knows as yet what Heaven designs ? Perhaps I may recover still;
" While there is life, there's hope,” he cried ;
Early rising is one of those good and proper habits which few except invalids dare openly to impugn-it has everything to recommend it, and nothing to retard it in public estimation except that it is opposed to ease and self-indulgence-and yet, how few there are who gystematically persevere in the habit !
It promotes health, punctuality, morals, and despatch both in study and business, and yet it is not observed; a result which, we apprehend, arises from the very simple reason, that we do not pay the attention that we ought to all or any of these matters. At some stage of existence most persons have risen early, or resolved to do it; but custom has become to them a second nature, and they contentedly plod on in their old way; while others still cherish the idea of reform, although, for the last few years, they have tried the experiment for a morning or two, and as regularly broken through it.
One-half of the world does not know how the other half lives, and it has often struck us that loiterers in bed would be surprised were they to see the revelations of morning life. At dawn of morn, an indescribable freshness floats over creation, which is discoverable at no other period of the day; and redolent with the buoyancy of healthy repose, the step is firm and elastic, the eye clear, the mind unclouded, and the whole man generous and noble. In such a state, ordinary scenes would be enjoyed with high relish; but the "incense breathing " of the infant day, like all other kinds of infant beauty, has a sweetness of its own.
We may be mistaken, but we do not think that great crimes have usually been committed in the morning, which is a consideration of some importance. But not to dwell on that, or on the landscape beauty of vernal day, seeing that the one inquiry pertains to the statist and the other to the poet, we affirm that there is a pleasantness in the bustle of morning life which has a peculiar charm. The labourers go sturdily to their work, and do not drag their limbs as at night. At the sea-side the din of departing and arriving steam-boats is exhilarating ; and the waters seem instinct with life, as they sparkle in crystal expanse, or as they are ploughed into green and white furrows by the sharp prows of the vessels which glide merrily on their surface. All operative undertakings have their attractions; while to those who cultivate science, the rocks, flowers, shells, trees, birds and fishes, are all so many different objects in the great museum of nature, which invite the wanderer to study and improvement. Golf, cricket, and archery, have healthy charms for the young and robust; and, indeed, except bird-nesting and bird-shooting, we know none of the usual occupations of the morning which are objectionable. All these, however, are for recreation, and those who have business should mind it in the morning, although we cannot help saying