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"Come, gentle spring! ethereal mildness come,
THIS is April, changeful sister of the teeming spring. Of spring, whose magic touch arouses the drooping sensibilities of our nature, and fills the heart with indescribable sensations of waking pleasure. Although, physically, man knows not the renewing power of the seasons, his mind acknowledges the genial and invigorating influence, and the buoyancy of the spirits sometimes imparts a temporary sympathy to the exhausted frame. The invalid, after a tedious and suffering winter, walks abroad, and inhales the restoring balms, with which miriads of bursting germs load the soft and vernal gale. The plodding and laborious citizen, freed from his weekly but willing prison, pays.
to nature his delighted worship, and sees, and praises, and enjoys, as though it were the first time, the charms in which she invests herself. Even the miserable mechanic, in the close darkened alley, feels a touch of the season, while he views the crocus blowing in his window-box; nor will he disturb the grass that chances to vegetate in the interstices of the crazy sash frame, because it is a shew of nature, and that something thrives in his wretched abode, though he himself never
How delightful it is, now, to turn our backs upon the city; relinquishing reading-rooms, clubs, and coffee-houses, and betake us to some quiet out-letsome private scene, as near to nature, and as far from the city, as half an hour's walk will lead us. Thank heaven! and our happy poverty, we possess this advantage above the overgrown elder metropolis, and have not to seek nature through half a day's journey, and, after all, find her but a semi-cockney sort of lady.
In this mood of enjoyment, I took a walk, last Sunday, along the banks of the Tolka, the streamlet that flows through Finglass-bridge and Glasnevin. I had with me a pair of happy little urchins of my own, one in either hand, and believe me that their innocent and vagrant enjoyment did, by no means, detract from the pleasures of my more steady and philosophic contemplations. Wherever a sheltered bank, open to "the sweet south," offered to their view the native violet, harebell, or yellow primrose, bursting into vegetable life, my little ones made sad havoc,
plucking here and there, and proving that those flowers, at least, were
"Not born to blush unseen,
And waste their sweetness on the desert air."
But, with a capriciousness of enjoyment, not more peculiar to them than to "children of a larger growth," the flower, to obtain which they clambered up one ditch, and fell down another, was cast away as soon as a new production of the spring attracted their notice. You might have traced their path by the sweet spoils scattered over it.
While my heart glowed with a parent's delight, it also felt the touch of future apprehension, and I put up my prayer to the God of nature and of virtue, to protect my little darlings through life, and, when arriving at that perilous age, when choice is destiny, to enlighten their understandings, that they may not cast away the salubrious plant, and make choice of the vile and worthless weed that may sting them to the heart.
As we advanced, the insensible sweetness proceeding from the infant vegetation-the mingled hues of brown and green-the expanded and beautiful foliage of the sinuous woodbine, spreading through the yet bare and scarcely budding hawthorn hedge-the household note of the early clutch of chickens at the cabin door-the mated songsters of the more retired and distant plantations, and the busy cawings of the rooks, building their nests in the few remaining old trees of Ashtown valley; these, combining the present pleasureable sensations, with recollections of earlier years,
when mind and body are in the spring of nature and enjoyment, gave to my mind a fullness, a throbbing sense of feeling, which none but the genuine admirer of simplicity and of nature can ever experience.
But, that which delighted me equally, if not more, though perhaps I should be slow to confess it, was the view of anglers on the streamlet's margin; some casting their flies upon the water with the caution and delicacy of masters in the art, while others, mere tyros, whipped the brook into that eurl which the breeze denied. From my boyhood to the present hour, I have been passionately fond of angling, and this most innocent and contemplative of all sylvan sports it is that has suggested this communication.
Having been in London last October, the evening before I quitted that city, on my return home, I was occupied to a very late hour packing up my things, owing to that habit of procrastination so common to us Irishmen—a habit or vice, arising I know not whether from a downright disinclination to labour, or too great a confidence in our own powers of exertion, to make up, when once we begin, for the previous delay. I had many fragile little articles, together with a plaster of Paris Venus and Apollo, whom I thought it best to keep asunder. I had disposed of my clothes, strapped down my trunk, and found that, without undoing all again, and it was then close on the twelfth hour, I had no resource but to let my Venus and Apollo take their chance of tumbling in the carriage, and arriving in Dublin, if not with cracked reputations,