One Thinks Of His
Childhood And Its Innocence, And Of His First Loves.
It fills one with
sentiment and a tender longing, this voice of the tree-toad.
Man is a
strange being. Deaf to the prayers of friends, to the sermons and
warnings of the church, to the calls of duty, to the pleadings of his
better nature, he is touched by the tree-toad. The signs of the spring
multiply. The passer in the street in the evening sees the maid-servant
leaning on the area-gate in sweet converse with some one leaning on the
other side; or in the park, which is still too damp for anything but
true affection, he sees her seated by the side of one who is able to
protect her from the policeman, and hears her sigh, "How sweet it is to
be with those we love to be with!"
All this is very well; but next morning the newspaper nips these
early buds of sentiment. The telegraph announces, "Twenty feet of
snow at Ogden, on the Pacific Road; winds blowing a gale at Omaha,
and snow still falling; mercury frozen at Duluth; storm-signals at
Where now are your tree-toads, your young love, your early season?
Before noon it rains, by three o'clock it hails; before night the
bleak storm-cloud of the northwest envelops the sky; a gale is
raging, whirling about a tempest of snow. By morning the snow is
drifted in banks, and two feet deep on a level.
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