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Sturm has the following excellent remarks on spring :
Nothing is more worthy of admiration than the revolution effected throughout all Nature by the influence of the spring. As autumn declines, every valley, every meadow, and every grove, presents us with an image of death; and in winter, Nature is entirely divested of beauty,—every animal is sorrowful—the inhabitants of the groves hide themselves and are silent the earth becomes desert, and all Nature seems to suffer a state of torpor and insensibility. However, at this very time she is working in secret, though we are ignorant of the happy principle which is preparing her renovation. Life returns to animate afresh the benumbed body, and everything prepares for a similar restoration. In trees alone, what a multitude of changes take place! At first, the sap, which during the winter had entirely abandoned the trunk and branches, slowly rises in the small vessels by means which we cannot discover ; it soon penetrates the buds, which disclose a thousand wonders :-the leaves with their beautiful green; the branches which are to shoot between the unfolded leaves, with new buds attached to them, and full of invisible leaves ; the multitude of flowers, with the sweet exhalations which scent the air ;-in these blossoms fruit, and in those fruits the seeds of an infinite number of other trees.
“ The brightness of the sun rejoices the soul, and the activity of Nature in the plants which surround us is highly pleasing. Every field delights with its beauties and pleases with its grateful fragrance, and every bird pours forth its varied melody. How cheerful are the notes of the linnet as it flutters from branch to branch, as if to attract our regard ! The lark joyfully soars aloft, and hails the day and the coming spring with her melodious strains. The cattle express the vigour and joy which animate them; and the fish in the rivers, which during winter were torpid and lay at the bottom of the water, now rise to the surface, and express their vivacity by a thousand playful sallies.”
“ The gorse is yellow on the heath,
The banks with speedwell flowers are gay,
The silver wreath of May.
The welcome guest of settled spring,
The swallow, too, is come at last;
And hail'd her as she pass'd.
Come, summer visitant, attach
To my old roof your nest of clay;
Numberless and forgotten are many of those who have sung the charms of spring, although volumes might yet be filled with extracts in its praise. It has ever been a favourite theme with the poets, and prose writers, too, have done it homage: many a heart has been elevated in the dreariness of winter while perusing those beautiful descriptions which live in many a page, and set forth the delights of this season. It is, indeed, a time in which earth is arrayed in all her loveliness, and seems beckoning in her silent beauty to man to leave the walled cities and set his feet among the flowers ! The birds elevate their voices, and call us into the fields; and the waters sing a glad song throughout the livelong day, and would tempt us to view their cowslip-covered banks. Oh! how delightful is it now to sit in a valley where a thousand flowers are waving,—to lie stretched, as it were, upon a cloud of gold, on a bed of glittering buttercups,-to gaze upon those stars of the earth, the silyer-rimmed daisies, shed profusely over every field and hill-side, as if the earth had scarce room enough to exhibit her flowery treasures ! And here are a few verses on flowers by Shelley, each worth a costly pearl :
“ A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew;
And the spring arose on the garden fair,
The snowdrop, and then the violet,
And the naiad-like lily of the vale,
And the hyacinth, purple, and white, and blue,
And the rose like a nymph to the bath addrest,
And the wand-like lily, which lifted up,
And the jessamine faint, and the sweet tuberose,
And the sinuous paths of lawn and moss
Were all paved with daisies and delicate bells
MAY has ever been considered the most beautiful month in the year; our sweetest poets have rivalled each other in singing her praises ; our ancestors hailed her presence with music, and songs, and merry-makings,—and however we may have abandoned their customs, still she enters lovely as of old, decorated with flowers, and ushered in by the warbling of birds. Now is the time, if thou art a lover of the country, to walk forth into the green fields, for this is the season of pleasure.