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Divine, bright solitude of soundless motion,
    Whose foam, like year on year, flows up the shore!
    Imagination loves thee evermore,
Bowing itself in this reflected ocean,
    God's slightest shadow truly to adore!

Again the sea-gull passes through the sky
    Dips in the surge, and beats her sparkling wings!
    Rises aloft in widening oval rings!
Down-slanting near dark rocks, she now doth fly,
    And a white wavering line, soft gleaming, flings.

Once more green meads, with cattle grazing round!
    A mimic orbit have we traversed, fleet!
    Are we awake? This earththese moving feet
Seem perfect; yet no odour, taste, touch, sound!
    The real and the visionary meet!

'T is a new planet-surface we behold!
    Our ownyet not our owndiminisheddumb;
    A world of dream-like coloured shadows come
And gomore exquisite than e'er was told
    By pen or pencil; yet they have no home.

Their birth is from the darkness into light;
    But into darkness when their forms return,
    For them no spheric installations burn
No glories treasured in the ecstatic night;
    Poor pilgrims are they of earth's shows extern!

Not so, the substances that lend them life;
    Not so, the human images that give
    These fleeting miniatures the means to live;
For we are born with inward essence rife,
    Both substances and shadows to survive.


PEOPLE are now putting on the best faces
they can to welcome the Spring. Welcome
the Spring, indeed! when we have had no
winter;—welcome a light pudding, when we
have had no meat! I trust I am a Briton and
know how to grumble. "In those vernal
seasons of the year when the air is calm and
pleasant," says Milton, "it were an injury and
sullenness against Nature, not to go out and
see her riches, and partake in her rejoicings
with heaven and earth." If Nature is mean
enough to rejoice after having defrauded me
of my winter, I scratch her name out of my
visiting book; I won't "go out and see her."

I want my Winter.—As Fanshawe says:

"Spring, the year's youth, fair mother of new flowers,
New leaves, new loves, drawn by the winged Hours,
Thou art returned; but nought returns with thee,
Save my lost joys' regretful memory."

Now, Spring, it would serve you right that
a lost joy's regretful memory should stick to
you also; and I mean to make you cry
half April through by letting you understand
what pretty things I might have said
about you, if the conduct of Nature on a late
occasion had not put me out of temper. I
want you to feel what you have lost, and for
that reason only touch you with a little praise
which I might have meant in earnest, but
distinctly now inform you that I utter only out
of spite, to let you see how delicately I could
flatter, if I chose, your vanity and beauty.
Now hear what I could have done.

Dear little Spring, the black and withered
twigs, that have worn all the same livery of
mourning, throughout the dreary months of
winter (because there was no skating to be
had), are tricking themselves out in their
holiday garbs, because you are coming down
to see them. One is dressed in virgin white,
one wears a saffron-coloured robe, another
puts on blue, and some twig somewhere plays
the dandy in a scarlet uniform. The sunny
slopes are reeking with the early mists, and
the fields are laying down their carpets for
the lambs to dance upon. The sap is stirring
in the trees and swelling in the bud, and the
early breeze comes fresh and fragrant, as if it
blew through the boudoir of Nature, while
she was getting up in the morning and making
a free use of her perfumery. The owl is hooting
from the turret, and by so doing shows
his wisdom; for to hoot at Spring when she
appears out of her turn, is only proper. Her
true cue is "hard frost," and she should
have waited for it. The owl is hooting
from the turret, the rook screaming from his
swinging nest on the tall tree top, and the
cuckoo shouting from the lonely glen. The
blackbird whistles from the bushand he
may whistle, if it's Winter that he wants to
see ever again on this side of the year 2000.
I 'm driven to be despondent. The blackbird
whistles from the bush, and the throstle from
the grove, and the deep coo of the ringdove
is heard in the woods. The feathered
emigrants who had taken refuge on our shores
from the illiberal edicts of an arctic winter
though an arctic winter is much better than
noneliberty of the plume being restored, go
back to the North again. Those who emigrated
from our winter, before they knew that
we were not to have any, are now returning
one flight after another, to join in the
ornithological concert that takes place under the
management of Spring. The martins and the
wrens and the redstarts have come into the
concert with small pipes, the nightingale has
come with a flute, the linnet and the goldfinch
with a lute, the lark, that sky-rocket in
feathers, gets its music up so thoroughly, that
as it twinkles a mere speck in the clear air of
the sunrise, almost out of sight and very far
from being out of hearing, we know very well
what the thing is, it is one of the morning
stars singing for joy.

Then there are the woodlark and the pipit
the lark of the wildernesswhose health
requires that they should bathe their beaks
in music every morning. From the tall hedge
or cottage-shading tree, the magpie, dressed
like a gentleman in black and white, chatters
as idly as is usual with gentlemen who are
not men. In the heart of the thick wood the
jay is screaming, or giving an entertainment
similar to that of the late Mr. Mathews, to
an audience as full of noises as the House of
Commons. The jackdaw jabbers from a