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the Darkness and the Cold are growing weaker. On some nights they forget to work.
3. MARCH! The conflict is more turbulent,' but the victory is gained. The world awakes.' There' come voices from longhidden birds. The smell of the soil is in the air. The sullen ice retreating from open field, and all sunny places, has slunk to the north of every fence and rock. The knōlls and banks that face the east or south sigh for release, and begin to lift up a thousand tiny palms.*
4. APRIL! The singing month. Many voices of many birds call for resurrection over the graves of flowers, and they come forth. Go, see what they have lost. What have ice, and snow, and storm, done unto them? How did they fall into the earth, stripped and bare? How do they come forth opening and glōrified? Is it, then, so fearful a thing to lie in the grave? In its wild career, shaking and scourged of storms through its orbit, the earth has scattered away no treasures. The Hand that governs in April governed in January. You have not lost what God has only hidden. You lose nothing in struggle, in trial, in bitter distress. If called to shed thy joys as trees their leaves; if the affections be driven back into the heart, as the life of
flowers to their roots, yet be patient. Thou shalt lift up thy leaf-covered boughs again." Thou shalt shoot forth from thy roots new flowers. Be patient. Wait. When it is February, April is not far off. Secretly the plants love each other.
5. MAY! O Flower-Month, per'fect the harvests of flowers! Be not niggardly. Search out the cold and resentful nooks' that refused the sun, casting back its rays from disdainful ice, and plant flowers even there. There is goodness in the worst. There is warmth in the coldness. The silènt, hopeful, unbreathing sun, that will not fret or despond, but carries a plăcid brow through the unwrinkled heavens, at length conquers the very rocks, and lichens grow and inconspicuously blossom. What shall not Time do, that carries in its bosom Love?
1 Turbulent, (tër bu lent).
* Lichen, (ll′ ken), one of an order
Awakes, (ǎ wāks), Note 1, p. 32. of flowerless plants, without distinc
6. JUNE! Rest! This is the year's bower. Sit down within it. Wipe from thy brow the toil. The elements are thy servants. The dews bring thee jewels. The winds bring per'fume. The earth shows thee all her treasure. The forests sing to thee. The air is all sweetness, as if all the angels of God had gone through it, bearing spices homeward. The storms are but as flocks of mighty birds that spread their wings and sing in the high heaven! Speak to God, now, and say, "O Father, where art thou?" And out of every flower, and tree, and silver pool, and twined thicket, a voice will come, "God is in me." The earth cries to the heavens, "God is here." And the heavens cry to the earth, "God is here." The sea claims Him. The land hath Him. His footsteps are upon the deep! He sitteth upon the Circle of the Earth! O sunny joys of the sunny month, yet soft and temperate, how soon will the eager months that come burning from the equator, scorch you!
7. JULY! Rouse up! The temperate heats that filled the air are raging forward to glow and overfill the earth with hotnèss. Must it be thus in everything, that June shall rush toward August? Or, is it not that there are deep and unreached places for whose sake the probing' sun pierces down its glowing hands? There is a deeper work than June can perform. The earth shall drink of the heat before she knows her nature or her strength. Then shall she bring forth to the uttermost the treasures of her bosom. For, there are things hidden far down, and the deep things of life are not known till the fire reveals them.
8. AUGUST! Reign, thou Fire-Month! What canst thou do? Neither shalt thou destroy the earth, whom frosts and ice could not destroy. The vines droop, the trees stagger, the broad palmed leaves give thee their moisture, and hang down. But every night the dew pities them. Yet, there are flowers that look thee in the eye, fierce Sun, all day long, and wink not. This is the rejoicing month for joyful insects. If our unselfish eye would behold it, it is the most populous and the happiëst month. The herds plash in the sedge; fish seek the deeper pools; forest fowl lead out their young; the air is resonant of insect orchestras,' each one carrying his part in Nature's grand
'Prōb' ing, scrutinizing; search
ing to the bottom.
* Resonant, (rêz o nånt).
3 Orchestra, (år′ kes tra), a band of musicians; a place prepared for the performers in a concert.
harmony. August, thou art the ripeness of the year! Thou art the glowing center of the circle!
9. SEPTEMBER! There are thoughts in thy heart of death. Thou art doing a secrèt work, and heaping up treasures for another year. The unborn infant-buds which thou art tending are more than all the living leaves. Thy robes are luxuriant, but worn with softened pride. More dear, less beautiful than June, thou art the heart's month. Not till the heats of summer are gone, while all its growths remain, do we know the fullness of life. Thy hands are stretched out, and clasp the glowing palm of August, and the fruit-smelling hand of October. Thou dividèst them asunder, and art thyself molded of them both.
10. OCTOBER! Orchard of the year! Bend thy boughs to the earth, redolent' of glowing fruit! Ripened seeds shake in their pods. Apples drop in the stillest hours. Leaves begin to let go when no wind is out, and swing in long waverings to the earth, which they touch without sound, and lie looking up, till winds rake them, and heap them in fence corners. When the gales come through the trees, the yellow leaves trail, like sparks at night behind the flying engine. The woods are thinner, so that we can see the heavens plainer, as we lie dreaming on the yet warm moss by the singing spring. The days are calm. The nights are tranquil. The year's work is done. She walks in gorgeous apparel, looking upon her long labor, and her serene eye saith, "It is good."
11. NOVEMBER! Patient watcher, thou art asking to lay down thy tasks. Life, to thee, now, is only a task accomplished. In the night-time thou liëst down, and the messengers of winter deck thee with hōar-frosts for thy burial. The morning looks upon thy jewels, and they perish while it gazes. Wilt thou not come, O December?
12. DECEMBER! Silently the month advances. There is nothing to destroy, but much to bury. Bury, then, thou snow, that slumberously fallèst through the still air, the hedge-rows of leaves! Muffle thy cold wool about the feet of shivering trees! Bury all that the year hath known, and let thy brilliant stars, that never shine as they do in thy frostiëst nights, behold the work! But know, O month of destruction, that in thy constel
1 Rěď o lent, having or diffusing a rich fragrance, odor, or scent.
lation' is set that Star, whose rising is the sign, for evermore, that there is life in death! Thou art the month of resurrection. In thee, the Christ came. Every star, that looks down upon thy labor and toil of burial, knows that all things shall come forth again. Storms shall sob themselves to sleep. Silence shall find a voice. Death shall live, Life shall rejoice, Winter shall break forth and blossom into Spring, Spring shall put on her glorious apparel and be called Summer. It is life! it is life! through the whole year!
H. W. BEECHER.
REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER, son of Dr. Lyman Beecher, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, June 24th, 1813. He was graduated at Amherst College, in 1834. He studied theology at Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, which was under the direction of his father; and was first settled as a Presbyterian minister at Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana, where he remained two years. From thence, he removed to Indianapolis, the capital of the State, where he labored with great acceptation till he accepted the unanimous call of a new Congregational Society, in Brooklyn, New York. He was installed pastor of the church, October, 1847. His eloquent sermons, which are never commonplace, attract very large and attentive audiences. He is equally favored as a lecturer on topics of the day, usually lecturing about eighty times a year, in various parts of the country. Mr Beecher generally avoids doctrinal topics. He preaches the truth of to-day applied to the temptations, the errors, and the wants of to-day. His sympathy with nature, acute observation of men and things, remarkable analysis of character, apt illustration, mental elasticity, soul-strength, and affluence and power of diction, are equally apparent in his writings and his extemporaneous speeches.
2. HYMN TO THE SEASONS.
HESE, as they change, Almighty Father! these
2. Then comes Thy glory in the Summer months, With light and heat refulgent." Then thy sun Shoots full perfection through the swelling year;
'Con`stellation, an assemblage, cluster, or group of fixed stars, situated near each other in the heavens, and bearing the name of an animal,
or some other object which it is imagined to resemble.
2 Re ful' gent, casting a bright light; brilliant; splendid.
And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks,
5. Nature, attend! join, every living soul, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join; and, ardent, raise
One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshnèss breathes :
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine
1 Be něf' i cence, the practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity.
'Ad`o rā' tion, the act of paying honors to a divine being; the worship paid to God; marked respect
2 Rǎv ish, enrapture; transport paid to a superior or one in high eswith delight.
Brute, (brot), see Rule 4, p. 32.
'Scarcely, (skårs′ li).