From About The Trunks Of The Trees It Has
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:
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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