poems, poetry, quotes
Inspirational Stories – Quotes – Proverbs
Fair shines the sun, but with a meekened smileRegretful, on the variegated woodsAnd glittering streams, where floats the hazel spray,The yellow leaf, or rowan's ruby branch.Hushed are the groves; each woodland pipe is mute,Save when the redbreast mourns the falling leaf.How plaintively, in interrupted trills,He sings the dirge of the departing year!Of various plume and chirp, the flocking birdsAlight on hedge or bush, where, late concealed,Their nests now hang apparent to the view. If, 'mid the tassels of the leafless ash,A fieldfare flock alight, for early frostsPrepare, and timely save the precious root,Before the penetrating power has reachedThe unseen stores. If, planted in fair rows,They marshalled grew, the plough will best performThe reaping task: amid the tumbling soil,The vegetable mine, exposed to view,The gatherers' basket fills. Some, to secureFrom possibility of frost's access,Dig pits, and there throw in the gathered crop:A mode unwise; for thus, if water gainAdmittance to the store, there it collects,And to itself assimilates the whole.Exclusion of the atmosphere is gained,As well by heaping earth above the roots,As by interring them. Chuse, then, a spotThe driest of the field, and on the surface pileA heap pyramidal, bedded on straw.Let not the bulk be great, lest pressure bruiseThe under-layers; and do not grudge the toilOf subdivision into many heaps.In thickness let the covering cone be moreThan what the strict necessity requires,And loosely laid, save at the surface, smoothAnd flattened down. How ceaseless is the roundOf rural labour! Soon as on the fieldThe withered haulms and suckers crackling blaze,And, with their far-extending volumes, loadThe wings of Autumn's latest lingering breeze,The wheaten seed-time all your care demands:Delay not, then, but watchful seize the tide,That, ere begins the frost's severer sway,Hostile to vegetation's earliest stage,The fibre's may have time, shooting around,To penetrate, and fasten in the soil. In briny pickle strong, some drench the grain,And from the surface scum the worthless part.When thus prepared, with lusty even growthThe embryons sprout; and, while all nature droops,The bladed ridges, robed in tender green,Revive the heart with presages of Spring. While still the ambiguous season, unconfirmed,Retains some summer signs, yet more displaysOf Winter's near approach, man, bird, and beast,Begin to droop, as if the waning yearSome strange malignant influence had dispensed.Chief in the horse, each weakness, hurt, or flaw,Which genial summer food, and genial warmth,Will oft conceal, appears, nor can eludeEven eyes unskilled. Now is the buyer's timeTo seek the crowded fair. A slow surveyFirst take of all the rows: examine well,In his quiescent state, the horse that hitsYour roaming eye: mark if one foot he points,Unfailing sign of lameness: mark his eyes,If slumbrous or alert: till well surveyed,Forbear your hands, for, handling, you arouseThe sluggish into spirit not their own.Of signs of strength, the least deceitful are,A neck of muscle, which, when sideward turned,Seems like a cable coil of some great ship,And under it a breast jutting and broad,Knurled like the trunk of ancient oak or elm;Short pastern joints; full hoofs, and deep withalOf sable hue; a waist compact and round;Round haunch; high shoulder; head not large,With eyes full-orbed. For temper watch his head,And, if he greet your gently-stroking handWith ears laid backward, and projecting snout,Proceed elsewhere, and make another choice. If on a horse untrained to load or draughtYour choice should fall,-- by lenient, soothing means,Tame, not subdue, his spirit to the yoke.At first, a lightly-loaded sack, to millOr market, let him bear, and often strokeHis trembling neck, and cheer him with your voice.Let not the lash, or stern command, alarmHis startled ear; but gently lead him on.--O think how short the time, since, joyous free,He roamed the mead, or, by his mother's side,Attended plough or harrow, scampering gay;And think how soon his years of youth and strengthWill fly, and leave him to that wretched doomWhich ever terminates the horse's life,--Toil more and more severe, as age, decay,Disease, unnerve his limbs, till, sinking faintUpon the road, the brutal stroke resounds. When, on the rustling pathway of the grove,Falling from branch to branch, the frequent leafGently alights, and whispers as it falls,How short, how fleeting, is the life of man!Then is the planting season; then the sapHas ceased to circulate; and while the powerOf vegetation slumbering lies, the changeFrom the warm fostering spot, where first the plantPut forth its leaf, remains unfelt, till Spring,By slow degrees, awake the vital spark,And, with a whispering zephyr, gently breatheO'er swelling bud and slowly-spreading leaf,A sweet oblivion of its infant couch. Some mingle, with the fair leaf-bearing trees,The bristled piny tribes; and, by a wordMisled, believe that thus they nurse the plants.But mark the progress :---- rapid is the growthOf all the race of pines; soon they o'ertop,O'erspread, and, like some nurses, overlay,And choak their tender charge; or, if betimesThey're thinned, still with their taller growth they shade,From light and heat, the lower-spreading kinds;And thus, surrounded by a sable ringOf firs, as in a pit, lurks the poor oak,Beholding but the zenith of the sky.What tree ere throve doomed to perpetual shade?Is warmth superfluous to the youngling plant?Does not the genial sunbeam of the SpringGladden, with kindly influence, bud and spray?---To break the blast, not to exclude the air,And light, and heat, be that your aim, an endThat's best attained by other obvious meansThan mingling pines as nurses to your groves.Draw them in rows along the bounding line;And, in proportion to the planted space,And different degrees of slope and height,Let other piny rows athwart be drawn. Not satisfied with using firs to screenThe leafy tribes, improvers some there are,Enamoured of deformity and gloom,Who strangely deem they beautify the landBy planting woods of pine, or sable belts,Like funeral processions, long drawn out.But not the eye alone these woeful grovesOffend: no cheerful rustle, like the treesWith smiling foliage clothed, give they;A rushing sound moans through their waving boughs,Grateful to him alone whose sorrow is past hope. Nor is it only on the barren moor,Or mountain bleak, these northern hordes intrude;No, they usurp the warm and sheltered glen,Supplant the levelled bank of greenwood trees,And, with their poisonous drop, the primrose wan,The purple violet, the columbine,And all the lowly children of the vale,Both flower and flowering underwood, destroy. Idolaters of piny groves maintain,That no where else, when fair deciduous treesTheir foliage lose, does verdure cheer the eye.Verdure! O word abused! does that dark range,Dingy and sullen, sable as the cloudThat low'rs on Winter's brow, deserve the nameOf verdure? -- lovely hue! that makes yon fieldOf Autumn's close, and threats of muttering storms.To eyes unprejudiced by Fashion's law,More pleasing far the leafless forest scene,Whether beneath the storm it undulateA deep-empurpled sea, or tranquil restIn moveless beauty, while the frosty powerAdorns each spray and twig with fleecy plumes. Let lovers of the forest first consultThe nature of the ground. Moist abodeBest suits the willow tribes, yet will they thriveIn any soil. The alder, too, prefersA station dank; chiefly the river sideIt loves to haunt, down to the very brink,Rooted oft-times beneath the gliding stream,While round each tree a kindred bush upsprings.In moist, not swampy soils, the elm delights:No tree bears transplantation like the elm;With sure success the elm may be removed,Even when the twentieth spring draws forth the buds,No scanty foliage, no decaying twigs,Betoken signs of change: clinging to life,An elm-tree stake puts forth young shoots, and spreadsIts verdant foliage in the gap it fills.The dry hill-side, though sterile be the mould,Delights the beechen tree. In every soil,Or warm or cold, or moist or dry, the birchWill rear its smooth and glossy stem, and spreadIts odoriferous foliage. Loamy mouldsBest suit the ash; yet will it thrive in all,Save in stiff clays, or in the oozy swamp.The monarch of the woods delights in plainsAnd valley sides, nor shuns the mountain's brow;Regardless of the storm, the oak's vast limbsStretch equal all around, and scorn the blast:So, when transformed into the floating towers,That bear Britannia's thunder o'er the deep,Heaved on the mountain billows, they defyThe elemental war, the battle's strife,And proudly quell the storm of flood and fire.But fitter far such themes for him who sungYe Mariners of England! in a strainMore grand, inspired, than e'er from Grecian lyreOr Roman flowed,-- that bard of soul sublime,Who, in prophetic vision, dared to lightThe torch of Hope at Nature's funeral pile! Meeter for me, amid the rustling leaves,To trace the woodland path, and mark the tintsSo varied, yet harmonious, that adornThe trees retentive of their summer robes :--The beech of orange hue; the oak embrowned;The yellow elm; the sycamore so red;The alder's verdure deep, of all the treesThe latest to disrobe; the hazle, hungWith russet clusters :-- Hark! that crashing branch,As to the maid he loves, the clambering youthDown weighs the husky store; while others catch,With hooked rods, the highest slender sprays,And bend them to some upward stretching hand,Or shake the ripened shower, and, dexterous, twitch,From the fair bosom's shield, the blushing prize.One climbs the precipice's crag, and stretches,Dizzying the gazer's eye, in dread attempt,His arm, to reach some richly-clustered branch;And though he's foiled, perhaps a trembling voice,And upturned eye, with eager clasping hands,Make disappointment sweet, and first confessA mutual flame which oft the tongue denied. And now they bear the woodland harvest home,And store it up for blythesome Hallowe'en,A night of mirth and glee to old and young.With the first star that twinkles in the east,From house to house, joyous, the schoolboys bearTheir new-pulled stocks, while, 'mid the curled blades,A few dim candles in derision shineOf Romish rites, now happily forgot.As each goes out, the bearer homeward hies,And 'twixt the lintel and the thatch, lays upThe well singed emblem of his future mate.Then round the fire, full many a cottage ringCheerful convenes, to burn the boding nuts.Some lovingly, in mutual flames, consume,Till, wasting into embers grey, (sign of long lifeTogether spent), they cause sometimes the eventBelieved to be foretold; some, when thrown in,Exploding, bound away, as if they spurnedTheir proffered partner. Marion to the wood,Thus slighted, hied, from rowan-tree two-stemmed,A sprig to pull: with quaking heart she passedThe gloomy firs, the lightning-shivered oak,The ruined mill, all silent 'neath the moon.Oft did she pause, and once she would have turned,As cross her path the startled howlet flew,Sailing along, but, from an aged thorn,The stock-dove faintly coo'd beside his mate;--Forward she sped, and with the dear-won prize,Breathless, returned, nor waited long, till, lo,A sister-spray adorned her true-love's breast.And now, by turns, the laughing circle strives,Plunging, to catch the floating fruit, that stillEludes the attempt; nor is the triple spellOf dishes, ranged to cheat the groping hand,Forgot, nor aught of all the various sportsWhich hoar tradition hands from age to age.