« PreviousContinue »
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
A CHRISTMAS DAY IN GEORGIA.
A winter day it was, shot to the core with sunshine. It was enchanting to walk abroad in its prodigal beauty, to breathe its elixir, to reach out the hands and plunge thein open-fingered through its pulsing waves of warmth and freshness. It was June and November welded and fused into a perfect glory that held the sunshine and snow beneath tender and splendid skies. To have winnowed such a day from the teeming winter was to have found an odorous peach on a bough whipped in the storms of winter. One caught the musk of yellow grain, the flavor of ripening nuts, the fragrance of strawberries, the exquisite odor of violets, the aroma of all seasons in the wonderful day. The fires slept in drowsy grates, while the people, marveling outdoors, watched the soft winds woo the roses and the lilies. .
God's benediction came down with the day, slow dropping from the skies. God's smile was its light, and all through and through its supernal beauty and stillness, unspoken but appealing to every heart and sanctifying every soul, was His invocation and promise, “Peace on earth, good will to men.”
HENRY WOODFIN GRADY.
HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE was born at Cold Spring, New York, Dec. 13, 1845. He graduated at Williams College. During several years he was engaged in the practice of law in New York City, and afterward entered the profession of journalism. He is now distinguished as editor, essayist, and critic. Among his published books
“ Norse Stories," several volumes of graceful essays, and a Life of Shakespeare.
This extract is used by permission of Dodd, Mead and Company, from “ Essays on Nature and Culture." Copyright, 1896, by Dodd, Mead and Company.
It is a deep and sound instinct which leads the man who has lost his health back to Nature. ... There is no medicine so potent as the sweet breath and the sweeter seclusion of the woods; there is no tonic like a free life under the open sky. Insanity goes out of one's blood when the song of the pines is in one's ears and the rustle of leaves under one's feet.
In the silence of the woods health waits like an invisible goddess, swift to divide her stores with every one who has faith. enough to come to the shrine.
And upon health in the fundamental sense depends the power of seeing clearly, or feeling freshly, and of producing continuously. For health means harmony of life with the fundamental laws; the accord between man and Nature which keeps him in touch with the sources of power.
The man who is smitten with disease in mind or character often creates beautiful things; but his production is sporadic and limited. He is out of relation with the vital forces; out of sympathy with the life of men in its deeper and nobler aspects.
It is at this point and for this reason that great art and fundamental morals are bound together in indissoluble bonds. The universe is not an accident, and man's life in it is not a matter of chance. The world and man are under the rule of certain laws which are not arbitrarily imposed by a superior power, but which are wrought into the very fiber of things.
The artist who persistently violates those laws is not breaking a series of conventional rules; he is violating his own nature, severing the vital ties which unite him to his fellows, filling up the channels through which power flows to him, and steadily diminishing his creative and productive energy.
When disease assails the body, it invariably diminishes the working force in some direction ; when it fastens upon the character, it
character, it saps the strength which is essential to long-sustained and heroic tasks. A man cannot do the work of Dante, Michael Angelo, or Shakespeare if he lacks a clear head, a vigorous will, or a steady hand. Moral sanity, health of soul, lie at the foundation of a great career in the higher fields of activity.
To bear the fruits of life year after year, as the trees bear their fruits and the fields their grain, one must have that divine health which nature distills in the woods or in the air of the great seas.
HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE.
Upon a showery night and still,
Without a sound of warning,
And held it in the morning.
No cheer our dreams invaded,
On the green slope paraded.
We careless folk the deed forgot ;
Till one day, idly walking,
A crowd of veterans talking.
With pride and noiseless laughter ;
HELEN GRAY CONE.