« EelmineJätka »
It sways to the East ! And the icy rain
And the cattle stand with the wind astern,
Are such pendants of wonder as cave and mine
Ah, it swings due South to the zephyr's thrill!
While the bugle of Gabriele wakes the sod
Resurrection to-day ! For the roses spoke!
And the spider feels for her silken strings,
While the cloud is ablaze with the bended bow,
Are four little sparrows that pipe so small
Now the arrow is swung with a sweep so bold Where the day has been flinging his garments gold Till they stain the sky with a glow untold.
Ah, the cardinal point of the wind is the West !
There's a binnacle light like an angry star,
And it tumbles its freight on the dancing grain
And it gladdens the earth as it drifts along,
And I looked for the arrow-it hung there yet,
And behold, aloft in the ruddy shine
Under the sun and under the moon,
Could Dian N have lost it out of her hair,-
BENJAMIN F. TAYLOR,
Biography.- For a biographical sketch of Benjamin F. Taylor, see page 204.
Notes. — “Long roll” means the continued patter of the raindrops, reminding one of the prolonged roll of the drums, beaten as the signal of an attack by the enemy, and for the troops to arrange themselves in line.
Gabrt el, meaning “The mighty one of God," is the name given to one of the seven angels of the highest order.
Dian is used by the poet for Dĩ ăn'å, which was the name of a goddess worshiped by the ancient Romans. She was usually represented as armed with bow and arrows.
Phæ'bus, the god of beauty and youth, was supposed by the ancients to carry a silver bow and a quiver of arrows, and, when angry, to shoot his darts among men, thereby causing sickness or death. He was the sun-god of the Greeks.
Elocution. The slight pause occurring regularly near the middle of each line of poetry is called the çæ gūra
Point out the cæsura in each of the first two stanzas of the above poem.
191.- TROPICAL VEGETATION IN
grăd'ũ åt ed, arranged by suc
cesside degrees; various. im prăc'ti ea ble, impossible ;
incapable of being used. ae çěs' so rieş, additions. prom'i nença, notice. lux ū'ri ant (lůğz), profuse
păr'a st’ie, drawing sustenance
from a living thing. stā'ple, chief products of a coun
try or district. Yn' ter läç'ing, intermixing. dis'so nant, harsh. re spěet'Yve, oron ; particular.
It is hardly possible for one who has not visited the tropics to imagine the wonders of tropical vegetation. The most faithful picture, the most finished photograph, give but a faint idea of what it really is; and the ablest description is but a word-painting in which the variety of hues, the graduated shades of color, the immensity of size, and the grandeur of the reality are more or less wanting.
There is nothing in any of the northern countries with which to compare the richness of tropical growth; and lovely as are the tints in a broad American landscape, they are as nothing in point of splendor to those of the tropical scene. Accessories of sun, sky, and temperature, which there serve to bring the principal features into greater prominence, are represented here only in an inferior degree.
Particular reasons, connected with a great rainfall, and with the size and number of the rivers, render the South American continent luxuriant above most other places in the quantity and richness of its vegetation. From the shore of the Gulf of Mexico to the frontier of Chili, there is a luxuriance of growth which is truly wonderful. Had not man carved out a place for himself, the huge forests, which now cover league after league of ground, would have stretched down to the water's edge, and filled the whole land with their branches.
What a scene is presented to one who penetrates the borders of a forest whereon the hand of man has not been laid ! Such forests may be found in the Old World, but it is in the New that they exist in the greatest perfection. The foreground is taken up by vast families of many kinds of shrubs, which the influence of the climate tends to make gigantic; the cactus and prickly-pear unite with the merciless Spanish-needle to form a hedge through which no tiger can force its way; ferns higher than a man's head join with the many kinds of grasses to produce an impracticable footway, in which lurk the cobra and the rattlesnake, ferocious centipedes, the whole family of scorpions, and the rest of the creatures which were doomed to wound man's heel.
Like watch-towers in the sea of vegetation, the wild plaintain and banana, the castor-oil plant, the india rubber tree, the wild grape and the cottonshrub, stand out above the level at which the jungle growth stops short; and creeping up around them, the sweet potato and the cassava twine their creepers. A clump of mangrove bushes marks the spot where water can not soak through the saturated ground, and the maize standing still in the solid earth beyond, shows the partial character of the swamp. The lesser palms, the trumpet-tree, the fig, and the cocoa shrub are represented at intervals here and there.
A path, cut out as through stone-work in this densest of thickets, leads to the border of the forest itself, where the strong glare of the noonday sun can not enter, save in a subdued form through openings made by the fall of some forest giant, or through the apertures occasioned by the freaks of nature in the disposition of the trees.
The same shrubs, and grasses, and ferns, and creepers which covered the foreground and made it all but impassable, are here to be seen occupying the fruitful ground, so that all spaces between the trees are closely filled up, while, in and out among their stems, vines of enormous strength bind them together and to the adjacent trees, which are covered with parasitic climbers.
Almost all the trees that grow in the forest are here save those peculiar to the temperate zone. The iron-wood, the cedar, the locust-tree, the mastic, the satin-wood, mahogany, and rose-wood, with the vari