The Poet Feels The Sap Of The New Year
Before The Marsh-Willow.
He blossoms in advance of the catkins.
is greater than Nature. The poet is greater than man: he is nature
on two legs, - ambulatory.
At first there is no appearance of conflict. The winter garrison
seems to have withdrawn. The invading hosts of the South are
entering without opposition. The hard ground softens; the sun lies
warm upon the southern bank, and water oozes from its base. If you
examine the buds of the lilac and the flowering shrubs, you cannot
say that they are swelling; but the varnish with which they were
coated in the fall to keep out the frost seems to be cracking. If
the sugar-maple is hacked, it will bleed, - the pure white blood of
At the close of a sunny day the western sky has a softened aspect:
its color, we say, has warmth in it On such a day you may meet a
caterpillar on the footpath, and turn out for him. The house-fly thaws
out; a company of cheerful wasps take possession of a chamber-window.
It is oppressive indoors at night, and the window is raised. A flock of
millers, born out of time, flutter in. It is most unusual weather for
the season: it is so every year. The delusion is complete, when, on a
mild evening, the tree-toads open their brittle-brattle chorus on the
edge of the pond. The citizen asks his neighbor, "Did you hear the
frogs last night?" That seems to open the new world.
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