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We live in a land of dreams, in sooth,
We dream o'er the flowers in spring! We dream, when the freshening showers descend,
Like dew from an angel's wing.
Who hath not dreamed in the falling snow
The soft and slumbrous snow,
Shed over the world below?
Like the pure and peaceful thoughts which come
To the mild but earnest heart : Gentle, and noiseless, and full of light
As angels' tears may start,
Like all the gifts of God:
Soon borrow the taint of sod.
The loveliest thing is soonest marred
The purest, soonest stained;
By her lightest pang was pained.
'Tis sad to see the truth that comes
Like the Heaven-sent, stainless snow, Reveal the print of the ruthless foot,
With its soil of sin and woe.
But the holy sunshine comes to bless,
To renew the tarnished sod; To diffuse the gift of purity,
And call it back to God.
The stains of earth return to earth
As the body returns to dust;
ELIZABETH MARIANNE STERLING.
Now shifting gales with milder influence blow,
thaw, attended by a south wind and rain, which all at once dissolves the snow. Torrents of water then pour from the hills, every brook is swelled into a large stream, which rushes violently into the rivers; the pavement of ice with which they are covered, now breaks up in every direction with the noise of thunder, and the floating masses dashed against barges and bridges, force down every thing that obstructs their passage; the bed of the river becomes unable to carry off this vast accumulation of water; it swells over the banks, inundates the bordering fields, and sweeps away cattle, mills, hay-stacks, gates, trees, and, in short, almost every thing that it reaches; the manure is carried off from the fields, high banks with the trees upon them are undermined and give way, and in the space of a few hours incalculable losses are sustained.*
Muttering, the winds at eve, with blunted point,
The frost, however, usually returns for a time, when fresh snow falls, often in great quantities, and tbus the weather alternately changes during most part of this month.
Various signs of returning spring occur at different times in February. The wood-lark, one of our earliest and sweetest songsters, often renews his note at the very entrance of the month ; not long after, rooks begin to pair, and geese to lay. The thrush and chaffinch then add to the early music of the groves; wood-owls hoot; near the close of the month partridges begin to couple, and repair the ravages committed on this devoted race during the autumn and winter. Gnats play about, insects swarm under sunny hedges, and some of the earliest of the butterfly tribe make their appearance ;
* The reader cannot fail to remember that the disastrous Holm-Frith flood occurred in the February of 1852.