Fragrant Quote of August 24th, 2012-The works of Washington Irving... By Washington Irving

Nature's Art Gallery Image Credit

THOSE who pass their time immured in the smoke of the city, amid the rattling of carts, the brawling of the multitude, and the variety of discordant sounds that prey insensibly upon the nerves, and beget a weariness of the spirits, can alone understand and feel that expansion of the heart, that physical renovation which a citizen experiences when he steals forth from his dusty prison, to breathe the free air of heaven, and enjoy the clear face of nature. Who that has rambled by the side of one of our majestic rivers, at the hour of sunset, when the wildly romantic scenery around is softened and tinted by the voluptuous mist of evening ; when the bold and swelling outlines of the distant mountain seem melting into the glowing horizon, and a rich mantle of refulgence is thrown over the whole expanse of the heavens, but must have felt how abundant is nature in sources of pure enjoyment ; how luxuriant in all that can enliven the senses or delight the imagination. The jocund zephyr, full freighted with native fragrance, sues sweetly to the senses; the chirping of the thousand varieties of insects with which our woodlands abound forms a concert of simple melody ; even the barking of the farm dog, the lowing of the cattle, the tinkling of their bells, and the strokes of the woodman's axe from the opposite shore, seem to partake of the softness of the scene, and fall tunefully upon the ear ; while the voice of the villager, chanting some rustic ballad, swells from a distance, in the semblance of the very music of harmonious love.

At such times I am conscious of the influence of nature upon the heart ; a hallowed calm is diffused over my senses; I cast my eyes around, and every object is serene, simple, and beautiful; no warring passion, no discordant string, there vibrates to the touch of ambition, self-interest, hatred, or revenge; I am at peace with the whole world, and hail all mankind as friends and brothers. Blissful moments! ye recall the careless days of my boyhood, when mere existence was happiness, when hope was certainly, this world a paradise, and every woman a ministering angel. Surely man was designed for a tenant of the universe, instead of being pent up in these dismal cages, these dens of strife, disease, and discord. 'We were created to range the fields, to sport among the groves, to build castles in the air, and have every one of them realized!