Footnotes from the Page of Nature; Or, First Forms of Vegetation

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Macmillan, 1861 - Botany - 294 pages
 

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Page 54 - THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Page 68 - But here,— above, around, below, On mountain or in glen, Nor tree, nor shrub, nor plant, nor flower, Nor aught of vegetative power, The weary eye may ken. For all is rocks at random thrown, Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone...
Page 103 - Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee.
Page 111 - When all other service is vain, from plant and tree, the soft mosses and gray lichen take up their watch by the head-stone. The woods, the blossoms, the gift-bearing grasses, have done their parts for a time, but these do service for ever. Trees for the builder's yard, flowers for the bride's chamber, corn for the granary, moss for the grave.
Page 8 - Unfading as motionless, the worm frets them not, and the autumn wastes not. Strong in lowliness, they neither blanch in heat nor pine in frost.
Page 110 - Meek creatures ! the first mercy of the earth, veiling with hushed softness its dintless rocks ; creatures full of pity, covering with strange and tender honour the scarred disgrace of ruin — laying quiet finger on the trembling stones to teach them rest.
Page 76 - And spread th' enduring foliage ; — then we trace The freckled flower upon the flinty base ; These all increase, till in unnoticed years The stony tower as grey with age appears ; With coats of vegetation, thinly spread, Coat above coat, the living on the dead : These then dissolve to dust, and make a way For bolder foliage, nursed by their decay : The...
Page 59 - ... after a minute examination of every detail, we could not discover the least deception. The characters all appeared to us portions of the leaf itself, equally with its veins and nerves ; the position was not the same in all ; in one leaf they would be at the top of the leaf; in another, in the middle ; in a third, at the base, or at the side ; the younger leaves represented the characters only in a partial state of formation.
Page 111 - None are delicate enough, none perfect enough, none rich enough. How is one to tell of the rounded bosses of furred and beaming green, — the starred divisions of rubied bloom, fine-filmed, as if the Rock Spirits could spin porphyry as we do glass, — the traceries of intricate silver, and fringes of amber, lustrous, arborescent, burnished through every fibre into fitful brightness and glossy traverses of silken change, yet all subdued and pensive, and framed for simplest, sweetest offices of grace...
Page 9 - Sharing the stillness of the unimpassioned rock, they share also its endurance ; and while the winds of departing spring scatter the white hawthorn blossom like drifted snow, and summer dims on the parched meadow the drooping of its cowslip-gold, — far above, among the mountains, the silver lichen-spots rest, starlike, on the stone ; and the gathering orange stain upon the edge of yonder western peak reflects the sunsets of a thousand years.

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