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Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in glass.”
2. Since Sunday, [Feb. 1st, 1852,] we have had presented to our view, the beautiful phenomenon of FROSTED TREES, the most astonishing and brilliant that I ever remember to have noticed. The previous storm and mist had thickly covered every exposed object,—the loftiest trees, the minutest blade, hill and dale, with the icy garment. This transparency was most perfect, defining every form and ramification into exact, models of the entire body, branch, or limb.
3. Dwellings and barns were incrusted by the chilling vapor. It hung upon the manes of the cattle, and decorated, wherever seen, the humble grass, which appeared bending, like threads of crystal. The small bushes were indescribably beautiful, and seemed as if chiseled out of the whitest marble. As far as the eye could extend, over brooks, fields, and woods, the same striking and singular sight was universal.
4. I could not remain contented in the house, and toward sunset, hastened away, where the view might be free and uninterrupted. Here, the scene, if possible, was more impressive and interesting. There was scarcely a breath of air, and the general silence was only interrupted by the occasional flight of some winter bird, which, alighting on a limb, would shake down a thousand feathery showers, until he seemed frightened at the unusual sound. The forest trees made a truly majestic appearance, with their naked, giant
arms and mossy branches intersecting each other, and fast bound by the frozen barriers.
5. I shall not attempt to describe the brilliancy of the undergrowth and dwarf trees, upon whose limbs hung a delicate frosting, like unwrought silver, nor the crimson glow of the holly-berries through their transparent and icy covering,all, all was a dazzling and splendid winter array,
"That buries wide the works of man."
It brought to my mind some of the Eastern fairy tales, and their gardens ornamented with shrubs and plants of sparkling crystals.
6. The exposed sides of the rocks and fences were completely iced over, not the smallest particle escaping the penetrating and congealed ether. It was truly astonishing to examine its thickness. On some twigs, not larger than a wheat straw, the ice measured half an inch through. One would scarcely imagine what an immense weight of the frozen mass a tree will sustain, before it breaks under the unusual load. Many branches were bent so low that I could reach them with my hands; and, shaking off their frosted barks, they would instantly spring far above my reach. Every few minutes, I was startled by the rattling noise of these falling icicles from some neighboring tree or grove.
7. Just when the sun went down, there was not a single cloud to be seen in the horizon, and his cold, bright, setting rays brought out, on every hand, frozen gems, diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, in every possible prismatic beauty, wherever his departing beams fell. Presently the moon bathed the whitened earth, and every congealed drop, in her soft light, burnishing, with dazzling icy brilliancy, trees, dwellings, and streams. I am an ardent lover of Nature and her scenery, and have often, delighted, gazed upon the
Queen of Night; but never did I behold such a brilliant moonlight night as this.
8. Who could help bringing to mind the sublimities of Job and of David,-"The hoary frost of heaven, who hath engendered it? The waters are hid, as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen."—" By the breath of the Mighty God, ice is produced, and the waters which were spread on all sides, are held in chains." The Psalmist says, "He giveth the snow, like wool, He scattereth the hoar-frost like. ashes. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."-Well may poets look to the falling snow-flake for their images of purity and innocence, ere it receives the stain of earth. I know of no fitter emblem.
9. Such a winter's night! and the skies! the skies! So resplendent in brightness are the hosts of heaven at this moment, that they should be contemplated by every lover and student of the works of God. Their numbers who can count, their twinkling beauty who can describe, as onward they roll in the deep blue of midnight? In their contemplation are inspired "thoughts that wander through eternity," with an elevation of feeling, as if we were separated from the toils and tumults of earth, and exalted into a higher state of being than that in which we toiled through the day! These heavens tell us of a WISDOM and POWER we can not search or estimate. There we seem to stand more immediately in the vailed presence. of the Infinite Majesty, who "laid the foundations of the earth, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."
QUESTIONS.—1. Describe the appearance of frosted trees. 2. What is said of the appearance of shrubs, bushes, &c.? 3. What, of the weight sustained by a single tree? 4. What was the appearance at sunset? 5. What passages of Scripture did the scene bring to mind? 6. Of what is the snow. flake an emblem? 7. What is said of the skies?
SPLEN' DOR, brightness; glory.
Ev' ER GREEN, always green.
LONG' ED, earnestly desired.
THE MOUNTAINS OF LIFE.
JAMES G. CLARK.
1. THERE's a land far away, 'mid the stars, we are told, Where they know not the sorrows of time,
Where the pure waters wander through valleys of gold,
'Tis the land of our God, 'tis the home of the soul,
2. Our gaze can not soar to that beautiful land,
And our souls by the gale from its gardens are fanned,
And we sometimes have longed for its holy repose,
3. Oh! the stars never tread the blue heavens at night, But we think where the ransomed have trod;
And the day never smiles from his palace of light,
We are traveling homeward, through changes and gloom, To a kingdom where pleasures unceasingly bloom,
And our guide is the glory that shines through the tomb, From the evergreen Mountains of Life.
QUESTIONS.-1. What is said of that land far away? 2. How do we know there is such a land? 3. Of what do the stars remind us?
IM AG IN A RY, not real.
IN VIS' I BLE, unseen.
1. LET to-morrow take care of to-morrow;
"Tis one that the wise have preferred; And how often have hearts been in terror Of evils that never occurred.
2. Have faith, and thy faith shall sustain thee;
With invisible bonds to enchain thee,
But bear what God gives thee to bear.