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upper sides of the planet, nothing is to desire that we have heard of the happiest latitudes, and we bask in the shining hours of Florida and Cuba; 3 when every thing that has life gives signs of satisfaction, and the cattle that lie on the ground seem to have great and tranquil thoughts.
These halcyons 4 may be looked for with a little more assurance in that pure October weather, which we distinguish by the name of the Indian summer. The day, immeasurably long, sleeps 6 over the broad hills and warm wide fields. To have lived through all its sunny hours, seems longevity' enough. The solitary places do not seem quite lonely.8 At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish. The knapsack of custom 9 falls off his back with the first step he makes into these precincts. Here is sanctity 10 which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes. Here we find Nature to be the circumstance which dwarfs every other circumstance, and judges like a god all men that come to her.
i bleak upper sides of the 4 halcyons, for halcyon days, the planet, an oblique expression to calm weather before and after the denote the somewhat high northern solstice. (See Webster for the very latitude of New England, with its curious derivation of this word.) rough winters, etc.
5 immeasurably long. What is 2 is to desire=is to be desired : the figure of speech? (See Def. 9.) a French construction.
6 sleeps, etc. What is the figure 3 of Florida and Cuba. A spe- of speech? cific instance is always more effec- 7 longevity, long life, length of tive than a general statement. days. Thus, “Consider the lilies of the 8 solitary. lonely. Discrimfield" is much more impressive than inate between these synonyms. “Consider the flowers of the field.” 9 knapsack of custom. Point So the expression “Florida and out the application of the metaCuba" is more striking than “trop- phor. ical countries" would have been. 10 sanctity. See Glossary.
We have crept out of our close and crowded houses into the night and morning, and we see what majestic beauties daily wrap us in their bosom. How willingly we would escape the barriers which render them comparatively impotent, escape the sophistication 2 and second thought, and suffer nature to entrance us! The tempered light of the woods is like a perpetual morning, and is stimulating and heroic. The anciently reported spells 3 of these places creep on us. The stems of pines, hemlocks, and oaks, almost gleam like iron on the excited eye. The incommunicable 4 trees begin to persuade us to live with them, and quit our life of solemn trifles.
Here no history, or church, or state, is interpolated on the divine sky and the immortal year. How easily we might walk onward into the opening landscape, absorbed by new pictures, and by thoughts fast succeeding each other, until by degrees the recollection of home was crowded out of the mind, all memory obliterated by the tyranny of the present, and we were led in triumph by nature. These enchantments are medicinal, they sober 5 and
These are plain pleasures, kindly and native We come to our own and make friends with
heal us. to us.
1 discredits our heroes: that is, makes their deeds seem less heroic ihan they had appeared.
2 sophistication, false views.
3 spells, magical charms.
4 incommunicable. Explain the meaning of the word as here used.
5 sober, give us serious thoughts. 1 the schools, philosophers and 5 Uriel, another of the archtheorists. What is the figure of angels. speech? (See Def. 8.)
matter, which the ambitious chatter of the schools 1 would persuade us to despise. We nestle 2 in nature, and draw our living, as parasites, from her roots and grains; and we receive glances from the heavenly bodies, which call us to solitude, and foretell the remotest future. The blue zenith is the point in which romance and reality meet. I think, if we should be rapt away into all that we dream of heaven, and should converse with Gabriel 4 and Uriel, the upper sky would be all that would remain of our furniture.6
It seems as if the day was not wholly profane, in which we have given heed to some natural object. The fall? of snowflakes in a still air, preserving to each crystal its perfect form; the blowing of sleet over a wide sheet of water, and over plains; the waving ryefield; the mimic waving of acres of houstonia, whose innumerable florets whiten and ripple before the eye; the reflections of trees and flowers in glassy lakes ; the musical steaming odorous south wind, which converts all trees to wind-harps; the crackling and spurting of hemlock in the flames, or of pine logs, which yield glory to the walls and faces in the sitting-room,
6 furniture, physical conditions 2 We nestle. Explain the meta- here on earth. phor.
7 The fall, etc. Here is another 3 parasites. See Webster. long compound sentence. Tell
4 Gabriel (a Hebrew word mean- how many members, and select ing the mighty one of God), an such details as you deem most archangel who in the Bible ap- descriptive or picturesque. pears on various occasions to com- 8 houstonia. What is tlie communicate prophecies.
mon name of this plant?
these are the music and pictures of the most ancient religion.
My house stands in low land, with limited outlook, and on the skirt of the village. But I go with my friend to the shore of our little river; and with one stroke of the paddle I leave the village politics and personalities, yes, and the world of villages and personalities, behind, and pass into a delicate realm of sunset and moonlight, too bright almost for spotted man to enter without novitiate 3 and probation. We penetrate bodily this incredible beauty: we dip our hands in this painted element; our eyes are bathed in these lights and forms. A holiday, a villeggiatura, a royal revel, the proudest, most heart-rejoicing festival that valor and beauty, power and taste, ever decked and enjoyed, establishes itself on the instant. These sunset clouds, these delicately emerging 5 stars, with their private and ineffable 6 glances, signify it and proffer it. I am taught the poorness of our invention, the ugliness of towns and palaces. I am overinstructed for my return. Henceforth I shall be hard to please. I can not go back to toys.
1 village: that is, the village of 4 villeggiatura (an Italian word, Concord, Mass., the scene of a Revo- from villa, a country-house), a villutionary battle.
lage festival, corresponding to the my friend: probably that phil- French fête champêtre. osophic hermit of Walden Pond, 5 emerging. Give a synonym. Henry Thoreau, a neighbor and 8 ineffable, literally, that may dear friend of Emerson's.
not be spoken, unspeakable. 8 novitiate (Latin novus, new), am over-instructed: that is, the period of probation through in communion with nature, he has which one entering a religious learned too much for ordinary life order must pass.
to hold its charm.
2. - LITERARY FORM IN POETRY.
Music and rhyme are among the earliest pleasures of the child; and, in the history of literature, poetry precedes prose. Every one may see, as he rides on the highway through an uninteresting landscape, how a little water instantly relieves the monotony:' no matter what objects are near it, - a gray rock, a grasspatch, an alder-bush, or a stake, — they become beautiful by being reflected. It is rhyme to the eye, and explains the charm of rhyme to the ear.
We are lovers of rhyme and return, period and musical reflection. The babe is lulled to sleep by the nurse's song. Sailors can work better for their yoheave-o. Soldiers can march better and fight better for the drum and trumpet.
Meter 4 begins with pulse-beat, and the length of lines in songs and poems is determined by the inhalation 5 and exhalation of the lungs. If you hum or whistle the rhythm of the common English meters, you can easily believe these meters to be organic, derived from the human pulse, and to be therefore
1 monotony (Greek monos, alone, 5 inhalation (Latin halare, one, and tonos, tone), sameness. breathe), to draw air into the lungs, 2 reflected. Define.
Give the derivation of “exhala3 reflection, echo of sound and tion." iteration of movement.
6 pulse (Latin pulsus, a beating; 4 Meter (Greek metron, a meas- from pellere, pulsum, to beat), the ure), poetical measure or rhythm, beating of the heart or blood-vesdependent on number and accent sels. The phrase "derived from the of syllables.
human pulse” explains "organic.”