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Talk with the reader-What Language is-Conversation be
tween a mother and her son - What the Ivy told CharlesLanguage of the Violet — The Lily-The Camomile-The Flax—The Willow—The Snow-Drop-The Aspen.
“Blessings on his head who invented writing !” exclaims the poor' exile, that lonely tenant of a friendless home, when he sometimes views a little messenger penned, folded and sealed in his own little cottage, away over the deep, and glistening with the tears of a wife or a mother.
How often has the fond son, self-banished from the paternal roof to seek his fortune, uttered it, when a letter from that dear home, found him on a bed of languishing, and flushed his cheek, brightened his eye, and restored strength to his frame; while his physician, unconscious of the cause, marveled at the strange results of pills and powders. Who wonders at it, and yet what is this, compared with that nobler language,
“That elder scripture writ by God's own hand?" Have you never wandered away by yourself, into the woods and fields, and felt a something like companionship with the blue sky, the murmuring streams, the rustling leaves, the bee's low hum, and the voices of the ephemeral race that sports in the sunbeam ? Did it not seem to you that the din of the city would sound unpleasanily to you at such a time, and feel ready to exclaim,
“The whole broad earth is beautiful,
To minds attuned aright?" Then, at the evening hour, when gathered around the blazing hearth, you have gazed upon the countenances of your brothers, sisters and parents, did not a gushing of gladness al. most drown your heart ? As the light and shade alternately flitted over their faces, like shadows on a lake, how often did you detect yourself trying to read the thoughts which thus clouded or illuminated them. That was the language of the countenance.
Go with me, if you will, and as we wander forth, we will listen to the language of nature; talk with the flowers, the stars, the seasons and the winds, for strange as it may seem, they all can talk. This is the language of Inanimate Nature,
66'Tis unconfined, To Christian land or Jewry; fairly writ
In language universal to mankind.” Then, if you are not wearied, we will hearken to the birds that tell their little tales of love and fear and care; to the insects that hum their pleasures and their pains; see too, the beast that looks his gratitude and rage; and thence respect our fellow-tenants of the earth, which, as they have a language of their own, have feelings; who shall say, not thoughts?
Then but I'll not stop to tell you now.
The flowers—those stars of the lower firmament ! Who does not love to contemplate their annual phases from bud to blossom, and from bloom to fall? With what varied light they shine.
Perhaps you think they never talk; I presume your doubts will be removed, as were those of a young friend of mine. I will relate ah! here is the little convert with his mother; let him tell his own story.
“Why so thoughtful Charles ?” said a fond parent to a lad who had seen scarce ten summers—“I hope that you
had pleasant walk.” “Yes mother delightful, but I was thinking
about a piece I read the other day.” What was the subject, my son ?” “Leaves having tongues, flowers talking, and the voices of the stars, but I did'nt believe it; I thought 'twas only poetry.” “Do you remember any of it Charles !" "Yes, mother, for after it had told all about the wall-flower, and the daisy, and the hawthorn and laurel, and ever so many more, this line came in,
“Yes-flowers have tones—God gave to each,
A larguage of its own." Oh, and now I recollect another,
"God spreads the earth, an open book,
In characters of life,
Seems with His glory rife;
In every gleaming star,
Shining to faith afar.” "Well, do you not think it poetry now ?”). “Yes, mother, not that, but I think it is true too." “Why, my son ?” “Because as I wandered down by that little murmuring brook, away in the woods, I saw a great oak lying on the ground with some sort of vine wound about it, as though it loved the old tree very much, and I saw that its little claspers were crushed in several places.” “That was ivy, Charles." “Well, I lay down on a green knoll close by it, and that clinging vine somehow told me a thought, as I looked at it; how it was weak and had been creeping all its life, up and up, round and round, and loved the tree very much, and how it thought the oak was strong, very strong, because many great roots held it firmer than a house; but now the tempest had blown it down and crushed the poor ivy in the fall.
“Then it seemed to say, cling not to earthly things, for even oaks will not last forever.”
I might go on to tell you of what else the mother and her boy conversed, but I must omit it to ask if the flowers ever told you any thing.
Do you say no? I fear that you answer hastily; think a moment.
Did you never spy a velvet violet peeping out from beneath the snow, and as it unfolded its soft leaves to the winds so chill, have you not wondered why it woke from its winter's sleep so early, and feared that it could not live ? And then when you have seen its tiny cup brimming with a June dew. drop, has it not seemed to rebuke your idle wonder at its appearance and apprehension for its fate; and to tell you how that Great Being, Who formed and cradled it in snows, and preserved it amid the cold storms, would much more preserve you?
Did you ever gaze upon that ancient rival of Solomon in his glory—the lily in snowy array ;
“That Lily of the vale whose virgin flower,
Trembles at every brecze, beneath its leafy bower,” without feeling that it had told you a beautiful, but humbling truth? As if it had said, 'deck your person as you will, you are not arrayed like me!' When you felt how hopeless it was to vie even with the little flower in external beauty, have you not been conscious that you possessed what the lily cannot claim ? A mind that you might adorn, without fear of competition.
There is the Camomile; only yielding a sweeter fragrance as you tread upon it; one can almost think it an intelligent being, adorned with a christian grace. What a beautiful example of good for ill! How eloquent, yet fragrant is the rebuke which it sends up to us from its low bed!
T'he field of flax, heaving a mimic sea, with its blue blossoms.
The painter's canvas is infolded in its lawny stem; yes, ånd the very tints and lines with which he makes his bright créations almost live and breathe, receive their softness its lint-seed urns.
Though all unwoven yet, paper is there, to whose fair sheets we owe the record of ten thousand thoughts, thoughts otherwise forgotten.
Flax had a language once; an humble tale of industry and toil; a homely one of peace and happiness and plenty, homely because at home.
The time has been, when poets loved to picture scenes of sweet content, where the "little wheel's” low humming round and round, made music; and when in mournful numbers they would sing of a home deserted, a hearth cold and lonely, and a little band that once clustered there, scattered and gone forever, they would with Rogers sing,
"Her wheel at resi--the matron charms no more." “Her wheel at rest!” What a feeling of desolateness did this brief, this simple announcement once bring, but not so
Those days are past, reader, for believe me, such workday music never offends the cars of modern fashionables except by accident.
What an unscemly accompaniment would it be to the thrumming of the piano, or the long drawn sweetness of the “last new song," and yet the lace that flaunts so gaily in the assembly room, and the fair texture which bears the music of that very melody was drawn out to the tune of that same un. seemly hum.
I said the flax had a language once; it speaks it yet, but with an air so lowly, so every-day-like, that I fear it is seldom heard or heeded.