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BLOSSOM of the almond-trees,
April's gift to April's bees,
Birthday ornament of spring,
Flora's fairest daughterling;
Coming when no flowerets dare
Trust the cruel outer air,
When the royal king-cup bold
Dares not don his coat of gold,
And the sturdy blackthorn spray
Keeps his silver for the May;
Coming when no flowerets would,
Save thy lowly sisterhood,
Early violets, blue and white,
Dying for their love of light.

Almond blossom, sent to teach us

That the spring days soon will reach us, Lest, with longing over-tried,

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We plant, upon the sunny lea,
A shadow for the noontide hour,
A shelter from the summer shower,
When we plant the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree? Sweets for a hundred flowery springs To load the May-wind's restless wings, When, from the orchard row, he pours Its fragrance through our open doors ; A world of blossoms for the bee, Flowers for the sick girl's silent room, For the glad infant sprigs of bloom, We plant with the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree ! Fruits that shall swell in sunny June, And redden in the August noon, And drop, when gentle airs come by, That fan the blue September sky,

While children come, with cries of glee, And seek them where the fragrant grass Betrays their bed to those who pass, At the foot of the apple-tree.

And when, above this apple-tree,
The winter stars are quivering bright,
And winds go howling through the night,
Girls, whose young eyes o'erflow with mirth
Shall peel its fruit by cottage hearth,

And guests in prouder homes shall see,
Heaped with the grape of Cintra's vine
And golden orange of the Line,
The fruit of the apple-tree.

The fruitage of this apple-tree
Winds and our flag of stripe and star
Shall bear to coasts that lie afar,
Where men shall wonder at the view,
And ask in what fair groves they grew;
And sojourners beyond the sea
Shall think of childhood's careless day
And long, long hours of summer play,
In the shade of the apple-tree.

Each year shall give this apple-tree
A broader flush of roseate bloom,
A deeper maze of verdurous glooin,
And loosen, when the frost-clouds lower,
The crisp brown leaves in thicker shower.
The years shall come and pass, but we
Shall hear no longer, where we lie,
The summer's songs, the autumn's sigh,
In the boughs of the apple-tree.

And time shall waste this apple-tree.
O, when its aged branches throw
Thin shadows on the ground below,
Shall fraud and force and iron will
Oppress the weak and helpless still?

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"That precious seed into the furrow cast
Earliest in spring-time crowns the harvest last."
PHOEBE CARY.

A SONG for the plant of my own native West,
Where nature and freedom reside,

By plenty still crowned, and by peace ever blest,
To the corn! the green corn of her pride!
In climes of the East has the olive been sung,

And the grape been the theme of their lays; But for thee shall a harp of the backwoods be strung,

Thou bright, ever beautiful maize !

Afar in the forest the rude cabins rise,

And send up their pillars of smoke,

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And golden his tassel-plumed head.

As a host of armed knights set a monarch at naught,

That defy the day-god to his gaze,

And, revived every morn from the battle that's fought,

Fresh stand the green ranks of the maize !

But brown comes the autumn, and sear grows the corn,

And the woods like a rainbow are dressed, And but for the cock and the noontide horn Old Time would be tempted to rest.

And the tops of their columns are lost in the The humming bee fans off a shower of gold

skies,

O'er the heads of the cloud-kissing oak;
Near the skirt of the grove, where the sturdy
arm swings

The axe till the old giant sways,
And echo repeats every blow as it rings,

Shoots the green and the glorious maize !
There buds of the buckeye in spring are the first,
And the willow's gold hair then appears,
And snowy the cups of the dogwood that burst
By the red bud, with pink-tinted tears.
And striped the bolls which the poppy holds up
For the dew, and the sun's yellow rays,
And brown is the pawpaw's shade-blossoming

cup,

In the wood, near the sun-loving maize !

When through the dark soil the bright steel of¦ the plough

Turns the mould from its unbroken bed

From the mullein's long rod as it sways,
And dry grow the leaves which protecting infold
The ears of the well-ripened maize !

At length Indian Summer, the lovely, doth come,
With its blue frosty nights, and days still,
When distantly clear sounds the waterfall's hum,
And the sun smokes ablaze on the hill !
A dim veil hangs over the landscape and flood,
And the hills are all mellowed in haze,
While Fall, creeping on like a monk 'neath his
hood,

Plucks the thick-rustling wealth of the maize.

And the heavy wains creak to the barns large
and gray,

Where the treasure securely we hold,
Housed safe from the tempest, dry-sheltered away,
Our blessing more precious than gold!
And long for this manna that springs from the sod
Shall we gratefully give him the praise,

The ploughman is cheered by the finch on the The source of all bounty, our Father and God,

bough,

And the blackbird doth follow his tread.

Who sent us from heaven the maize !
WILLIAM W. FOSDICK.

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of gold;

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DAY-STARS! that ope your frownless eyes to twinkle

From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,

Yet with dearer delight from his home in the And dew-drops on her lonely altars sprinkle

North,

On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth, Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,

And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving Day, when from East and from West,

From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,

When the gray-haired New-Englander sees round
his board

The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother
once more,

And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled
before,

As a libation.

Ye matin worshippers! who bending lowly

Before the uprisen sun, God's lidless eye, Throw from your chalices a sweet and holy Incense on high.

Ye bright mosaics! that with storied beauty
The floor of Nature's temple tessellate,
What numerous emblems of instructive duty
Your forms create !

'Neath cloistered boughs, each floral bell that swingeth

And tolls its perfume on the passing air, Makes Sabbatli in the fields, and ever ringeth A call to prayer.

What moistens the lip and what brightens the Not to the domes where crumbling arch and col

eye?

What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkinpie?

C, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling; When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!

When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin, Glaring out through the dark with a candle within !

When we laughed round the corn-heap, with

hearts all in tune,

umn

Attest the feebleness of mortal hand,
But to that fane, most catholic and solemn,
Which God hath planned;

To that cathedral, boundless as our wonder,
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon
supply;
Its choir the winds and waves, its organ thunder,
Its dome the sky.

There, as in solitude and shade I wander
Through the green aisles, or stretched upon
the sod,

Our chair a broad pumpkin, our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her Awed by the silence, reverently ponder

team!

The ways of God,

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The pea is but a wanton witch,
In too much haste to wed,
And clasps her rings on every hand;
The wolfsbane I should dread;
Nor will I dreary rosemarye,

That always mourns the dead;
But I will woo the dainty rose,

With her cheeks of tender red.

The lily is all in white, like a saint,
And so is no mate for me;

And the daisy's cheek is tipped with a blush
She is of such low degree;

Jasmine is sweet, and has many loves,

And the broom's betrothed to the bee; But I will plight with the dainty rose, For fairest of all is she.

THOMAS HOOD.

BETROTHED ANEW.

THE sunlight fills the trembling air,
And balmy days their guerdons bring;
The Earth again is young and fair,

And amorous with musky Spring.

The golden nurslings of the May

In splendor strew the spangled green, And hues of tender beauty play,

Entangled where the willows lean.

Mark how the rippled currents flow ;
What lustres on the meadows lie!
And hark! the songsters come and go,
And trill between the earth and sky.

Who told us that the years had fled,

Or borne afar our blissful youth? Such joys are all about us spread ;

We know the whisper was not truth. The birds that break from grass and grove Sing every carol that they sung When first our veins were rich with love, And May her mantle round us flung.

O fresh-lit dawn! immortal life!

O Earth's betrothal, sweet and true, With whose delights our souls are rife, And aye their vernal vows renew!

Then, darling, walk with me this morn; Let your brown tresses drink its sheen; These violets, within them worn,

Of floral fays shall make you queen.

What though there comes a time of pain When autumn winds forebode decay? The days of love are born again;

That fabled time is far away!

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