Garden In May

The roses are in bloom. She knows it, that aged woman dwelling in the stone-colored house on the hill; she knows that the roses, whose beauty and fragrance she has so loved her lifelong, are in blossom, though she sees them not. The sportive, but kindly June breezes have been at play in the garden; they have kissed the just opening buds and brought their exhaled breath to the blind woman at the open window, and showered it a sweet offering to her grateful sense of their perfume. The merry wild birds have been roaming and romping amid the woodlands and meadows; they have rested their tiny wings by hill-base and road-side; they have woven the fragrance of the hedge-roses with their gay melodies, and now, perched on the great cherry-tree beside the southern porch, — the little rogues I suspect have a motive prepense in their partiality to that tree,—pour it in rippling gushes into her song-loving ear. As the warm sun, glancing through the apple boughs salutes her parted lips, she knows that he has been drinking the nightbath in which the red roses have slept. She
 knows it, for the sweet-brier beneath the window at which she sits, trembling with its own sweetness, tells her the roses are in bloom. And now she cannot be mistaken for she hears the little, pattering feet and hurried breathing of the household birdling Jennie; and little plump hands drop into her lap, and sweet lips lisp " her' white 'oses for ga'-ma."
The happy grandmother, — for though blind, her heart is full of love, and no loving heart is ever wholly unblessed, — gathers her favorite flowers in her thin hand, raises the darling in her arms, presses her fondly to her aged Iwom, kisses her again and again, calls her her precious little fairy of the garden, her rose-bud, and many other caressing names which doating parents are wont to bestow on cherished little ones.
White roses! Oh what memories they awaken; what experiences they revive! She has loved the roses always. She gathered them from garden and wayside when a child; and when the red roses were in bloom on her cheeks, the soft hands of young, loving friends wreathed white ones in the waves of her dark hair on her bridal morning. They were very sweet to her then, and she remembers the beauty and fragrance which they lent on that happy day. And they have blossomed many, many seasons, — her heart keeps the record, — since she saw the fresh, half opened buds plucked by the hands of sympathizing friends, and strewn by them over the bosom, brow and bier of her first household idol, her beautiful Alice! Fair as the roses, she was just expanding into early beauty when she was plucked from love's parterre and transplanted to blossom where, unlike those emblems of transient loveliness, she should open into immortal, unfading bloom.
And she yet loves them; that aged, sightless woman yet loves these fair earth-blooms, these sweet children of Nature; oh, so dearly loves them for their fragrance, and for the pure beauty which she well knows they possess. And she loves them even more for the treasured associations with which they are blended; for the faith which they strengthen, and for the hopes which they revive. They are to her weleome visitants from Time's receding shore; and they bring to  her perfumed messages from the dear dwellers of' the happy land. She passes her withered, trembling fingers over their soft, fresh petals, raises them to her lips and nostrils, and the warm dew of tender remembrances falls into their fragrant chalice.
O, there's no heart however sad or weary,
But hath some joy its present light and stay;
There is no path however dark or dreary,
But hath some roses in its thorny way.
That infant at its mother's breast, — the unfledged nestling of the same stone-colored house, — reaches its little dimpled hand, and the pink tinted fingers grasp the bright, fragrant flower with which its mother is regaling her sense of beauty and of odor. A human blossom and a summer flower! So pure, so beautiful are they each, they suggest the idea that the rose is tho twin thought to the baby's soul.

And they know too that roses are blooming, that band of merry-hearted school children; and they know too how and where to obtain them. So climbing the green, outer bank, their small, clean hands pressed on the white rails, and their sunny faces peeping between, — themselves forming a lovely rose wreath, — with soft, half-pleading, half assured tones, they say, "Please Mrs.
to give us some roses to put in the vase on our teacher's desk." The coveted blossoms are placed in the many eager hands, and one can scaree say which are most beautiful, those young, glad faces, or those fragrant children of Nature. The wishful but slightly doubting expression when soliciting, and the beaming smile when receiving them, occasion the involuntary comparison with those fair, sensitive flowers, which, when just dimmed by a floating cloud, glow even more radiantly in the bursting sunbeams for the shadow having rested for a moment upon them. O, how small a thing can make or mar the happiness of a child.

And yet, in view of all the pure pleasure which they impart, the cultivation of flowers is treated by some, — they are to be sure the extreme utilitarians of the age— as if all attentions thus bestowed were not a folly simply, but an inexcusable perversion of common sense. "Root out your flowering shrubs, your useless plants," say they. "Cultivate corn, potatoes and squashes in their place; something useful, something which will meet the demands of your physical nature." They
will tell you " 'tis a foolish expenditure of time and means, an investment which makes no return. It will not satisfy the wants of either yourself or of your children."

Such persons doubtless mean well, but they are not aware that their argument refutes their own theory. They are not conscious of impeaching the wisdom of Him who ever "doeth all things well;" who manifests the beneficence of His character in the flowers, not less than in the clustered fruit and the ripened grain. They forget that the wise Creator has endowed us with other than mere animal instincts which demand indulgence. Our physical nature requires sustenance, and He has given us the faculties, and provided the means wherewith we may satisfy our every need. But He has created us with senses also, those ever open avenues through which the finer, purer instincts of the soul perceive and receive their insatiably craved-for aliment. And that aliment he has lavishly supplied. He has made us exquisitely sensitive to touch, and surrounded us with friends, the clasp of whose dear hands, and the pressure of whose loved lips thrill us with profoundest delight. Through His loving kindness we are delicately susceptible to fragrance, and Nature"s breath is laden with perfume. He has attuned our ears to the love of sweet sounds, and the entire creation swells and vibrates with music. He has possessed us with the faculty of taste, and every thing needful for our sustenance is made pleasant to our lips. He has graciously imparted to us keen perceptions of the beautiful; and the eye revels in, and is flooded with countless forms and hues of loveliness. For us the earth is arrayed in robes of gorgeous magnificence. He delights our sight with the painted banners with which he hangs the sky by day; and we gaze with rapture, adoring the hand which stretches over us the sparkling, jewel studded tent by night. And thus the soul partakes through the senses a perpetual, ever satisfying, but never satiating feast. - But of all the profuse adornments of earth, nothing is so incomparably lovely, and nothing seems so expressly designed for our pleasure as the flowers. They are to us the smiles of God, the symboled poetry of heaven; and as such, they cannot fail to fill with pure and elevated affection the heart that loves them. They are the breathing psalms with which we may pour our praise to the great Author of all created loveliness. They are the painted anthems with which we may worship the beneficent Giver of life, and of all that makes life beautiful and blessed. They are the perfumed chants with which we may offer the incense of onr grateful souls to the All-wise. All-loving bestower of every good and every perfect gift. God be praised for flowers.
Oldtown, June.