Fragrance Quote for September 20th, 2012-Blue Ridge Autumn-Southern Messenger

View from the summit of Old Rag mountain The chain of the Blue Ridge mountains running through the State of Virginia, has ever commanded lie beholder's admiration. Its wild irregularity, its rocky sides, its shaggy crests, the sepulchral silence of its secret places, are sufficient to strike the mind of the gazer with referential awe. Beside the main line of the mountain, there are, occasionally, isolated "spurs," a few miles distance, rising almost to an equal elevation, and which, being easier of ascent, become fine observatories of the stretching landscape. Upon one of these mountains which I have christened my Pisgah I am accustomed to ramble of a cool afternoon, when my books have become wearisome. 1 well remember the time when I first accomplished its ascent. It was late Autumn. The birds, with a few exceptions, had taken wing to a sunnier sky. The frost had tinged the beech, maple and birch, with a pale sickly hue; but the oak, still green, towered among them in its strength, like Age at the tomb of Youth. There was a wild, withered fragrance floating the wood; it was not the incense of Spring, but lie sweetness of decay. It came from the frost-touched sweet-briar on the mountain-side—from the blasted fern and herbage of the valley, and the flowers by the water-courses. I commenced the ascent, following slowly the rough and winding path, clinging to some friendly bush here and there for aid, stopping occasionally to gather flowers which some overhanging rock had sheltered ; till, in the course of an hour, 1 stood upon the peak. My sensations at this moment may be imagined—not described. Around me the giant forest-king heaved abroad his arms in the sky, unscared by the axe of the woodman. Rocks, many of them twenty feet in height, stood up in silent majesty, monuments of some long past revolution in nature. From one of these I obtained an unobstructed view of the ridge. Towering one above the other as they stretched far away to the southwest, the mountains rose till their blue summits were lost in the embrace of heaven. Had this scenery been in Scotland, thought I, the genius of Scott would have hallowed it by making it the scene of legend;-the eye of Poesy would have kindled, and harp been strung anew to sing of its beauty. But there it lay, rarely visited—less rarely observed—the sunshine and winds sleeping upon it in solitude and secrecy. Below me, the valley presented a picture of rural beauty, the smoke curled slowly from the chimney of a lady's distant mansion, and, though the herbage was somewhat withered by the winter's sure precursor," the flocks, still scattered along the plain, seemed to delight in their quiet pastures. As my eyes wandered alternately over this scene, the distant mountains, and along the sides and base of the one which I stood, the verses of an American poet descriptive of a similar scene came unbidden to my mind from many a homily. It disengages the soul from every artificial excitement, and pours into it tho balm of its own simple eloquence. How like a dream—a shadow—does life seem at such times! Like the fantastic images which flit in fragments through the brain, in our nightly slumbers, the events of life come and go, unmarked, in their old routine. When I have left this quiet spot, I shall look back upon it as 1 now do on the past—as a vision, and to be forgotten. And may not all life be thus reasoned up I He, with whom yesterday we bade adieu to care, whom to-day finds in another clime, what is he but a dream? She, whom we once loved, but who now lies in cold obstruction—quietly in her grave—what is she but the veriest vision? "There is a beautiful spirit breathing now Its mellow richness on the Clustered trees, And, from a beaker full of richest dyes, Pouring new glory on the autumn woods, And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds. Day, on the mountain, like a summer-bird, Lifts up her purple, wing; and, in the vales, The gentle wind Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life Within the solemn woods of ash, deep crimsoned, And silver beech and maple, yellow-leaved— Where autumn, like a faint old man, sits down By the way-side, a-weary." And again:— "Oh, what a glory doth this world put on For him who with a fervent heart goes forth, Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks On duties well-performed, and days well-spent! For him, the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves, Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings; He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that death Has lifted up for all, that he shall go To his long resting-place without a tear!" Longfellow. How sti11 arc these temples, mused I—built by the ancient hand of nature! To me, nothing is more impressive than silence. There is more morality to be gathered from it than from many a homily. It disengages the soul from every artificial excitement, and pours into it tho balm of its own simple eloquence. How like a dream—a shadow—does life seem at sunh times! Like the fantastic images which flit in fragments through the brain, in our nightly slumbers, the events of life come and go, unmarked, in their old routine. When I have left this quiet spot, I shall look back upon it as 1 now do on the past—as a vision, and to be forgotten. And may not all life be thus reasoned up I He, with whom yesterday we bade adieu to care, whom to-day finds in another clime, what is he but a dream? She, whom we once loved, but who now lies in cold obstruction—quietly in her grave—what is she but the veriest vision? These, and kindred thoughts, passed through my mind till the sun hastened toward the Occident. The clouds became tinged with gold and vermilion, as they gathered around the departing day-god, and a softly blended light streamed through their broken edges, coloring up the misty peaks of the mountains with a hue of rich purple. At last he sank slowly behind them; and as he flung forth his last mellow glances, he seemed like some beloved friend sinking calmly into death, whose parting looks are more beautiful and impressive, as we know we shall soon see them no more. 1 then commenced the descent of the mountain, but not without regret. When I reached its base, the yellow moon was shining ; a few stars gleamed from their watch-towers, and under their gentle radiance I sought my lodgings. Such, Galiton, was the first visit to my Pisgah. Come, I beseech you, and visit the land of Pocahontas. It is, you know, hallowed by associations interesting to every American. The soil has been pressed by the feet of Washington. On this very mountain, it is said, Marshall, in his youth, meditated. It is ever good to lay the ear upon the lip of nature and listen to her holy teachings. The stirring air will add a fresh hue to your cheek, and the ground, made holy by the ashes of departed worth, will impart new fire to your patriotism. Thine decidedly, ADG Virginia,1840