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covered by every animal at the growth of his food, and the mildness of the weather; give an air of gaiety to the face of things; so that this season may justly be compared to youth, as that season of life may properly be called its spring.

The vicissitude of seasons seems, indeed, to be an exact emblem of the transitory state of this mortal life. As opening spring leads on the year, and gives hopes of fertility and abundance; so, in youth, we generally discover the first symptoms of that rising genius, which, being manured by time, renders the man respectable for his endowments, and useful to society.

Youth is the proper season for instruction, and herein it resembles the spring of the year, when the book of nature is opened to our eyes, and its treasures displayed to the observation of the curious. It must be acknowledged, however, that, as Dr. Young expresses,

“Some untaught can hear the tuneful rill, In spite of sacred leisure, blockheads still." The face of nature, which Milton has justly called the “Book of knowledge fair,” has no charms for some men: it is to them a mere blank, which they pass by unregarded, preferring the dissipations of idle amusement to the elevated joys of contemplation. Such persons, however, would do well to consider that all their favourite pleasures are inferior to those which a view of nature would afford them, in what they set the highest value upon; I mean in novelty and variety. Nature is

inexhaustible in her productions, and the curious observer will always find something new, to gratify his curiosity; or something useful, to reward his researches. It can admit of no doubt, that many vegetables are possessed of properties hitherto undiscovered, which might be made of great use, and which reiterated experiments, and close attention, could not fail of bringing to light. Add to this, that he who indulges speculations of this nature, must always find new reasons to adore his Creator, as all the works of his hand evidently bear the marks of divine wisdom; and as wonderful skill and contrivance are displayed in the formation of the commonest plant as well as in the fabric of the universe.

Thus is our love of novelty, a leading principle in the human heart, which must have been implauted in us by the Author of our frame for the most benevolent purposes, gratified in a particular manner by those rural contemplations for which spring furnishes the first materials, no less than by the different appearances which things assume at the approach of the vernal season.

When a Christian beholds the scene shift from a turbulence of clouds, and all the inclemencies of the elements, to enlivening suns, serene skies, bills clothed with verdure, embowering shades, refreshing streams, and the harmony of the grove, he will be naturally led to make moral reflections on the goodness of the Supreme Being; and to conclude, from the analogy of nature, that when this

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transitory life is over, it will be succeeded by a state of higher bliss, as the winter's gloom is dispelled by the rising spring.

Nothing can be better adapted to make us hope for a renewal of our existence, than our thus beholding nature itself renewed; for who can doubt but he who clothes the fields with new verdure every year, and makes the trees blossom anew, after they have been long exposed to the winter's chilling blast, is able to raise our bodies from the dust, and reanimate them with immortal vigour?

ON THE APPROACH OF SPRING.

LYTE.

O) SPRING-TIME now will soon be here,
The sweetest time of all the year,
When fields are green, and skies are blue,
And world grows beautiful anew.
The storms and clouds shall

from bigh,
And the sun walk lordly up the sky,
And look down love and joy again
On herd, and beast, and living men.
Then the laughing flowers on plant and tree,
Shall bud and blossom pleasantly;
And spirits through the buxom air
Drop health and gladness every where.

pass

The birds shall build their nests, and wake
Their roundelays in bush and brake:
And the young west-wind on wanton feet,
Go wooing along from sweet to sweet.
Then lives lithe hope; lives love and mirth;
Then God in beauty walks the earth;
The heart is in tune, and the life-blood plays,
And the soul breaks out in songs of praise.
O spring-time now will soon be here,
The sweetest time of all the year,
When green leaves burst, and flowerets spring,
And young hearts too are blossoming.

'Twas then I ventured first to twine
My Annie's trembling arm in mine;
And trod—with her I cared not where-
Through vocal fields and perfumed air.
O days of sunshine, song, and flowers!
() young love's early haunts and hours!
O tones and looks! O smiles and tears !
How shine ye still through lapse of years.
There was one bank we loved to climb,
All matted o'er with fragrant thyme,
And screened by gorse from every breeze
But the sweet south, up which the bees-
Came musical: and there we stood,
And gazed down on the mighty flood
Of ocean 'neath us sleeping mild
Between his shores as a cradled child.

Or watched where on the apple trees
Young spring sat swinging in the breeze;
Unfolding leaves, and tending flowers,
For summer's future fruits and bowers.

All, all was fair! at times like this
No sigh or sound comes in amiss;
But things around appear to win
A colour from the mood within.

The earth laughed into flower. The sky
Cleared off the clouds from his brow on high.
And God, the God of grace, unfurled
His flag of peace over a fallen world.
These youthful days are past and gone;
The autumn of my years rolls on ;
And I am changed in mind and frame;
Yet spring, sweet spring, comes still the same.
I grow young with the young year then;
I live my past lot over again:
And in these hours of song and bloom
See types of those beyond the tomb.
O spring-time now will soon be here,
The sweetest time of all the year,
When God looks in on nature's night,

“Be light," and there is light.

And says,

Author of nature's annual birth,
Reviver of this ruined earth,
When all besides thy bounty share,
O be not man forgotten there!

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