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The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little weeds sighed Abide, abide,

Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall.

High o'er the hills of Habersham,

Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, Pass not, so cold, these manifold

Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall.

And oft in the hills of Habersham,

And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook stone,
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone
Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet, and amethyst,
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone

In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,

And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call,
Downward to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,

And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain

Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.



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.”



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 are “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 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

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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.



Upon a showery night and still,

Without a sound of warning,
A trooper band surprised the hill,

And held it in the morning.
We were not waked by bugle-notes,

No cheer our dreams invaded,
And yet at dawn their yellow coats

On the green slope paraded.

We careless folk the deed forgot ;

Till one day, idly walking,
We marked upon the selfsame spot

A crowd of veterans talking.
They shook their trembling heads and gray

With pride and noiseless laughter ;
When, well-a-day ! they blew away,
And ne'er were heard of after !


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