How Spring Came In New England By Charles Dudley Warner

 -  From about the trunks of the trees it has
long departed: the tree is a living thing, and its growth - Page 4
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From About The Trunks Of The Trees It Has Long Departed:

The tree is a living thing, and its growth repels it. The fence is dead, driven into the earth in a rigid line by man:

The fence, in short, is dogma: icy prejudice lingers near it. The snow has disappeared; but the landscape is a ghastly sight, - bleached, dead. The trees are stakes; the grass is of no color; and the bare soil is not brown with a healthful brown; life has gone out of it. Take up a piece of turf: it is a clod, without warmth, inanimate. Pull it in pieces: there is no hope in it: it is a part of the past; it is the refuse of last year. This is the condition to which winter has reduced the landscape. When the snow, which was a pall, is removed, you see how ghastly it is. The face of the country is sodden. It needs now only the south wind to sweep over it, full of the damp breath of death; and that begins to blow. No prospect would be more dreary.

And yet the south wind fills credulous man with joy. He opens the window. He goes out, and catches cold. He is stirred by the mysterious coming of something. If there is sign of change nowhere else, we detect it in the newspaper. In sheltered corners of that truculent instrument for the diffusion of the prejudices of the few among the many begin to grow the violets of tender sentiment, the early greens of yearning.

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