Sandalwood, Australian(Santalum spicaturm) CO2 select extract

The CO2 extract of Australian Sandalwood(Santlum spicatum) extracted from the heartwood is a golden yellow viscous liquid displaying a  soft, sweet, subtle but rich, precious woods bouquet with a  nutty, creamy, balsamic undertone

Its use in natural perfumery is wide ranging as it can be used as a fixative in high class florals,
amber bases, chypre, fougere, musk accords, precious woods notes, incense bouquets, sacred perfumes

White Pepper(Piper nigrum) CO2 select extract/Madagascar

White Pepper CO2 is extracted from the peppercorns of Piper nigrum from which the outer husks have been removed by slow soaking in water. It is rarely extracted using co2 as the extra step of removing the outer husks is time consuming and expensive.

White Pepper CO2 is a light yellow colored liquid displaying a distinct  warm, powdery, spicy bouquet with a green, woody, animalic  undertone

In natural perfumery it is used in spice accords, colognes, culinary perfumes, amber bases, musk accords

Winter Trees from In God's Out-of-doors By William Alfred Quayle



Cairn in Snow
Winter Trees from In God's Out-of-doors  By William Alfred Quayle

Winter Scene in New England

 
Winter Landscape

Winter Scene in New England from The American Monthly Magazine, Volume 1
 By Nathaniel Parker Willis

The Splendour of the New Jerusalem from Walks in New England By Charles Goodrich Whiting

 
Savrasov's painting of the Sukharevka in 1872

The Splendour of the New Jerusalem from
Walks in New England

 By Charles Goodrich Whiting

Sweet Vernal Grass



Sweet Vernal Grass
To enjoy the delicious breath of our meadows, you must enter them in the sleepy stillness of summer afternoons, when each blade of grass has been warmed by the sun, and plentifully exudes its own juicy sweetness, and you bathe your feet in depths of fragrance. Then you may look all about you and wish for an endless leisure-day to fill your hands with the million sprays and airy panicles of flowers on which bees swing themselves.
It is the scented vernal grass (ant/zoranlum odaralum) which emits the balsamic odor of the new-mown hay. Without it the village hay-cart, as it passes along the road, would leave no sweeter track through the air than a load of clean straw. The scented vernal grass, which the French musically' call flauw, grows in our meadows, our woods, and mountain pastures. About one foot high, it has short leaves and a compact panicle of flowers, which become pale yellow as it ripens. The green valves that hold the flowers are sprinkled over with gold dust, similar to those of black currant berries, and these valves are the censers that secrete, then scatter to the wind, the odor of the grass, which is the benzoic acid. And yet that grass is scentless to the touch. If you pluck it your fingers are not made fragrant, as they are by the least contact with any aromatic plant, such as mint, or sage, or sweet basil. But you cannot pass it by without gathering into every pore of your being its subtle emanation. In an insinuating, irresistible perfume, almost the first breath of earth, it communicates a voluptious intoxication to the senses, and awakens in the mind a veiled harmony of delicious dreams. Even hidden among other grasses, in a bunch of flowers, the smallest spray of that scented grass will betray itself by its ineffable sweetness, so ditferent from that of any other plant.
The Galaxy, Volume 5
 edited by William Conant Church

Memory of Roasted Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts


ROAST CHESTNUTS
Roast chestnuts? You have eaten them of course—who has not? Better still, who has not roasted them for himself before the open grate, or, lacking this beneficence, upon a hot griddle of the kitchen range, while the winter wind whistled merrily at doors and windows, coaxing you to come outside and join him in his frolics, to become half playfellow, half the sport of this jolly, rollicking reveler?
You did not go, certainly not. You let the wind whistle, and stayed to watch the fat, brown chestnuts swelling in the heat— swelling, expanding, till at last they burst all bounds, and revealed the rich, creamy gold of the juicy meat beneath; stayed to romp with those other companions nearer and dearer than the wind, those brothers and sisters and neighbor-friends who seem now like spectres of some far-distant land and time.
How real then! How the fire did gleam and crack; how red the apples and the cheeks! Vividly, it all comes back to-night as we turn the gusty corner from Eighth Street to Broadway, and the wind—ah, that same wind, just as boisterous and frolicsome as of old—flings into our very faces the odor of chestnuts roasting in the pan of a street-vender who—
What, it revives no memories, that odor? You see no visions of faces and fire and home, nothing but this forlorn little old man with his tin box and charcoal fire, nothing but these hurrying crowds, these clanging cars, these faithless lights? Strange. Where, then, were you born? West—Fifth Street? Ah, poor, destitute soul— what a threadbare background for life, to have always seen these same sights, to have always felt the rush, the unavailing haste of these barren streets filled to overflowing—never to have known the sweet simplicity of fields, of unpaved streets, the quiet enclosures of Nature's own seclusions, the elements of a simplicity that alone makes for reality.
Fate, you say, has denied you this basic web for the years of your weaving. You cannot see my visions, do not hear the wind in orchard tree-tops, or the sputtering of the nuts on the hearth? Then, though we tread the glaring length of Broadway together, we must needs walk leagues apart.
But you, reader? Surely you, too, are not both city-born and city-bred. No? Good. I should have known it. Else why did the bare, undignified title of this little piece attract you? I scarcely need to tell you what visions are borne on the breath of an evening wind brushed by the aroma of roasting chestnuts.
You, too, can see those spreading fields of grass and grain and wood, the low, rambling farmhouse and scattered out-buildings, the old cow-pasture with its queer, straggling paths up the hillside, the deep, cold spring, the daisy patch where the first wild berries grew. You know how the water raced between the narrow banks of the wayside brook after a heavy rain; how soft the mud to bare, brown feet.
You, too, can hear all those separate sounds that, blended into a perfect third, form the dominant chord of Nature's Halleluiah Chorus —the twitter of birds at dawn, the soft patter of rain, the sighing of wind through hollow arches of the big, black ash in summer or its bare branches in winter, the ripple of little rills, the lowing of homeward-coming cows, the twilight chirp of small insects, and the majestic roll of distant thunder in the still night. You can hear them now because the ear that has once been attuned to such sounds never forgets the separate melodies, or fails to recognize their harmony. Likewise, you can smell the incense of blossoming clover, the fragrance of ripe, red berries, and of yellowing cornfields.
Cornfields! How a very few days in one's life actually stand out. Shall I ever forget that Saturday when, free from school, I must follow the corn-planters with their hand machines across the field, up and down the endless rows, engaged in the unromantic task of "sticking" pumpkin seeds? Irksome enough at any time, especially so on a day when trout were leaping in the brook, and there was a new colt to be examined and appraised. How could any boy justly be asked to "stick" pumpkin seeds on such a day, even in consideration of hungry cows or with a view to Thanksgiving pie?
There must have been some extenuation of circumstances for the lad who, impatient to be done, put riot two seeds as bidden, but from six to a dozen in a hill; who, when a convenient hollow stump presented itself, deposited a goodly handful therein. Thus was the supply of seeds soon exhausted, work done, and freedom gained from bondage.
Alas, that morning many days later when the boy's father followed his cultivator between the rows of tender, green shoots of corn, and beheld on every side, solid phalanxes of sprouting pumpkin seeds that had so faithfully performed their duty! With what amazement did the boy, summoned again from play, view them. Why, he had never even thought of their sprouting, never once dreamed that they would arise to accuse him. The deception, the very incident, had been forgotten by him before night that other Saturday.
But the seeds! They had not forgotten. There they were, every last one, saucily, shamelessly starting up at him from the tips of their pale green leaves.
Imagine the fear and trembling (not a figure of speech) in which the lad waited for judgment, a judgment so long in coming—as long as it took him to follow his father back and forth across interminable lengths of that measureless field, between those sickening rows, until the last impudent colony of pumpkin seeds had been passed. Imagine, too, the effect of absolute silence the while, a silence whose growing weight increased the heavy burden of a small boy's heart and lagging feet.
Final judgment: "Son, I want you to remember one thing. You can't fool Nature. You mustn't put seeds into the ground, and not expect them to come up."
That was all. Dear dad! He had never heard of pedagogy, yet that lesson so silently drilled and so tensely, tersely applied, that is the one of my schooling that stands out most clear-cut. Remember? I couldn't forget.
And so to-night, with the whiff of roast chestnuts on the wind, the whole cycle of those boyhood years grows vivid. I live briefly again all those old, dear experiences, see the home faces, and turn like a startled lad to look within, wondering if, perchance, I may have dropped some seeds, forgetful that their one undying end and aim is to sprout, grow, and bear harvest—always.
How simple, how commonplace a thing is the dissolving fragrance of roast chestnuts, but how rich, how redolent when stored with the wealth of a world of priceless memories. C. C. D. B.
 
Efficient Composition: A College Rhetoric
 By Arthur Huntington Nason

Mr. Thomas Cat's Chestnuts



Roasted Chestnuts
MR. THOMAS CAT'S CHESTNUTS

THE first thing Mr. Thomas Cat did, after he reached home, was to roast his chestnuts for dinner. He scraped out a nice place in the ashes, and, just as he had his chestnuts nicely covered over, there came a rap, tap, tap, at his door; and when Mr. Thomas Cat opened it, in walked Mr. Monkey, with a big new cravat on.
"Good morning, Mr. Thomas Cat; it seems to me I smell something good cooking," said Mr. Monkey, sniffing in the air with his queer nose. "My, it smells so good, Mr. Thomas Cat! Is it oranges?"
"No," said Mr. Thomas Cat, "it is n't oranges."
"Then it must be apples," said Mr. Monkey.
"No, it is n't apples," said Mr. Thomas Cat. .
"Then it must be nuts," said Mr. Monkey. "Oh, Mr. Thomas Cat, it smells just like chestnuts, — are n't you roasting chestnuts for dinner? Who showed you how to roast chestnuts, Mr. Thomas Cat? You do it better than anybody in the whole world! I wish I knew how to roast such nice chestnuts, — I wonder how they taste, Mr. Thomas Cat?"
"I don't know," said Mr. Thomas Cat, smiling. But he felt so proud because Mr. Monkey said he roasted the best chestnuts in the whole world that he didn't know what to do. Mr. Monkey watched a while longer, and then he said: "Why, Mr. Thomas Cat, you have such beautiful, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l claws! They must know how to do all kinds of things. How do you
"Then it must be apples," said Mr. Monkey.
"No, it is n't apples," said Mr. Thomas Cat. .
"Then it must be nuts," said Mr. Monkey. "Oh, Mr. Thomas Cat, it smells just like chestnuts, — are n't you roasting chestnuts for dinner? Who showed you how to roast chestnuts, Mr. Thomas Cat? You do it better than anybody in the whole world! I wish I knew how to roast such nice chestnuts, — I wonder how they taste, Mr. Thomas Cat?"
"I don't know," said Mr. Thomas Cat, smiling. But he felt so proud because Mr. Monkey said he roasted the best chestnuts in the whole world that he didn't know what to do. Mr. Monkey watched a while longer, and then he said: "Why, Mr. Thomas Cat, you have such beautiful, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l claws! They must know how to do all kinds of things. How do you
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get your chestnuts out of the ashes when they are done? Do you use a spoon?"
"Why, no," said Mr. Thomas Cat, feeling prouder than ever because Mr. Monkey said he had such beautiful claws. "How do I get them out? Why, I just scratch them out with my claws."
"With your beautiful claws?" said Mr. Monkey. "Why, how smart you are! — I should be sure to burn myself! Show me how!"
Mr. Thomas Cat felt prouder than ever, so he scratched in the ashes, and pulled out a fine chestnut and put it on the hearth to cool.
"My," said Mr. Monkey, "how smart you are!"
Then he gobbled up the chestnut very quickly; but Mr. Thomas Cat did not know it, because he was too proud to see.
"Let me see if you can scratch out another one with your beautiful claws," said Mr. Monkey. And then he gobbled up that one, too, very quickly. "How smart you are to get them out and not burn yourself! Can you scratch out another one, Mr.
Thomas Cat?" And then Mr. Monkey gobbled up that one, too.
And he kept on praising Mr. Thomas Cat, and telling him how smart he was, until Mr. Thomas Cat became so proud he couldn't see, and just as fast as he would scratch out those chestnuts Mr. Monkey would eat them up, — one by one, until he ate them every one.
And by and by, when Mr. Thomas Cat turned around to count his chestnuts, why, they were all gone!
Now, what do you think of that?
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Merry animal tales: a book of old fables in new dresses By Madge Alford Bigham

Using Popcorn to Advertise Gas Stoves from Gas Age Record, 1922


Popcorn



A very effective method of advertising the gas heater room was adopted to good advantage by Mitchells, of Philadelphia recently. One of the delights of winter evenings is popcorn. Modern conveniences offer acceptable substitutes for the open fire and in this case the substitute has many advantages of over the original. They started their campaign with an ad:
 

       The Handy Gas Heater for Winter Evening's Sport 

"Few Modern Homes are equipped with the old fashioned fire-places but by means of a gas heater you can pop corn, toast marshmallows, or roast chestnuts, not only in the kitchen but in any room in the house. 
See our window display and be convinced."

The centre of attraction of this window display was a small gas heater with dancing flames. Standing in front of it was a girl in dress of scarlet and gold, popping corn over the blaze. In the evening a wax model was placed in the window, but during the shopping hours a real girl popped corn, and its delicious aroma floated out on the wintery air each time the door was opened. Of course the firm did not make a practice of competing with the local corn vendors, the sale of popcorn lasting only a week, being put on merely to call attention to gas heaters and the uses to which they could be put. Inside the store other heaters were shown, and quantities of popcorn were offered with each heater during the sale, the amount of corn depending on the price of the heater. Knowing full well that people value things according as they pay for them the firm did not offer the popped corn free, but sold big bags for a nickel. They also sold the ears of corn—suggesting that with the corn and a small heater many a winter evening’s pleasure was assured. During the sale they also sold corn poppers, both double and single, on the same plan that the Peoples Gas Stores, Chicago, sell kitchen cabinets and pyrex ware—to advertise their gas stoves.
But to return to the window display. Down in front were a number of wire corn poppers, some holding shelled corn, and others full of the puffed and creamy flakes. Clumps of ferns were banked in the corners, and on a mound in the center of each clump was a vase holding a cluster of big white chrysanthemums. Beneath the green fronds of the ferns was a large doll in Japanese costume. From the ceiling hung a number of branches of dark red oak leaves, while quantities of red and brown leaves were scattered over the floor. Sacks of popcorn stood at either side, one of them having fallen over, with the yellow ears of corn pouring out upon the floor.
They had printed a little pamphlet telling of the joys of the simple life and occupying a prominent position on the first inside page was a gas stove, captioned “the magnet that keeps the people at home.” They then went on to tell of the almost lost arts of popping corn, roasting chestnuts, baking apples and toasting marshmallows. Following this they quoted prices on corn poppers, wooden and steel skewers, and hand shovels for roasting chestnuts. The booklet was inclosed in an envelope and sent under letter postage to a selected list of farmers, grammar and high school students, and housewives, with a special invitation for them to come down and look over all this merchandise, and to view the gas stoves, heaters, ranges, plates, etc., which make so much for the comfort of the home in winter.

Pine in Winter


I wonder why it is that the pine has an ancient look, a suggestion in some way of antiquity? Is it because we know it to be the oldest tree 1 or is it not rather that its repose, its silence, its unchangeableness, suggest the past, and cause it to stand out in sharp contrast upon the background of the flitting, fugitive present? It has such a look of permanence! When growing from the rocks, it seems expressive of the same geologic antiquity as they. It has the simplicity of primitive things; the deciduous trees seem more complex, more heterogeneous; they have greater versatility, more resources. The pine has but one idea, and that is to mount heavenward by regular steps, — tree of fate, tree of dark shadows and of mystery.

The pine is the tree of silence. Who was the Goddess of Silence? Look for her altars amid the pines, — silence above, silence below. Pass from deciduous woods into pine woods of a windy day, and you think the day has suddenly become calm. Then how silent to the foot! One walks over a carpet of pine needles almost as noiselessly as over the carpets of our dwellings. Do these halls lead to the chambers of the great, that all noise should be banished from them? Let the designers come here and get the true pattern for a carpet, —a soft yellowish brown with only a red leaf, or a bit of gray moss, or a dusky lichen scattered here and there; a background that does not weary or bewilder the eye, or insult the ground-loving foot.
How friendly the pine-tree is to man, — so docile and available as timber, and so warm and protective as shelter! Its balsam is salve to his wounds, its fragrance is long life to his nostrils; an abiding, perennial tree, tempering the climate, cool as murmuring waters in summer and like a wrapping of fur in winter.

Winter Apples by John Burroughs



http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Basket_of_Apples%27_by_Levi_Wells_Prentice,_Dayton_Art_Institute.JPG



Do you remember the apple hole in the garden or back of the house, Ben Bolt? In the fall after the bins in the cellar had been well stocked, we excavated a circular pit in the warm, mellow earth, and covering the bottom with clean rye straw, emptied in basketful after basketful of hardy choice varieties, till there was a tent-shaped mound several feet high of shining variegated fruit. Then wrapping it about with a thick layer of long rye straw, and tucking it up snug and warm, the mound was covered with a thin coating of earth, a flat stone on the top holding down the straw As winter set in, another coating of earth was put upon it, with perhaps an overcoat of coarse dry stable manure, and the precious pile was left in silence and darkness till spring. No marmot hibernating under ground in his nest of leaves and dry grass, more cosy and warm. No frost, no wet, but fragrant privacy and quiet. Then how the earth tempers and flavors the apples! It draws out all the acrid unripe qualities, and infuses into them a subtle refreshing taste of the soil. Some varieties perish; but the ranker, hardier kinds, like the northern spy, the greening, or the black apple, or the russet, or the pinnock, how they ripen and grow in grace, how the green becomes gold, and the bitter becomes sweet 1

As the supply in the bins and barrels gets low and spring approaches, the buried treasures in the garden are remembered. With spade and axe we go out and penetrate through the snow and frozen earth till the inner dressing of straw is laid bare. It is not quite as clear and bright as when we placed it there last fall, but the fruit beneath, which the hand soon exposes, is just as bright and far more luscious. Then, as day after day you resort to the hole, and, removing the straw and earth from the opening, thrust your arm into the fragrant pit, you have a better chance than ever before to become acquainted with your favorites by the sense of touch. How you feel for them, reaching to the right and left! Now you have got a Tolman sweet; you imagine you can feel that single meridian line that divides it into two hemispheres. Now a greening fills your hand, you feel its fine quality beneath its rough coat. Now you have hooked a swaar, you recognize its full face; now a Vandevere or a King rolls down from the apex above, and you bag it at once. When you were a schoolboy you stowed these away in your pockets and ate them along the road and at recess, and again at noontime; and they, in a measure, corrected the effects of the cake and pie with which your indulgent mother filled your lunch-basket.

The boy is indeed the true apple-eater, and is not to be questioned how he came by the fruit with which his pockets are filled. It belongs to him . . . His own juicy flesh craves the juicy flesh of the apple. Sap draws sap. His fruit-eating has little reference to the state of his appetite. Whether he be full of meat or empty of meat he wants the apple just the same. Before meal or after meal it never comes amiss. The farm-boy munches apples all day long. He has nests of them in the hay-mow, mellowing, to which he makes frequent visits. Sometimes old Brindle, having access through the open door, smells them out and makes short work of them.

Ambergris Botanical Melange(Blend)

 Ambergris Melange(Botanical) has been created for us using ambrette seed absolute, oakmoss absolute, labdanum absolute, clarys sage essential oil, nagarmotha and several other natural essences. It is a amber colored liquid displaying a warm, suave, powdery, sweet, resinous-balsamic bouquet of a delicate marine, mossy  undertone of excellent tenacity.

In natural perfumery it is a prized fixative in delicate florals, musk bases, amber accords, herbal accords, forest notes, Oriental perfumes


In perfumery terminology the words "amber" and "ambergris" are often confused. Both are, in fact, terms which are almost always used for perfumery "notes" rather then a product extracted or distilled from amber resin or from ambergris which is produced from sperm whales. That is to say, they are blends of different essences, both natural and synthetic, to create products which are, in a general way, associated with the words  "amber" and "ambergris".

Of the two, amber essence is, by far, the more well known of the two. In natural perfumery it can be as simple a combination as vanilla absolute/co2, ambrette seed eo/co2/absolute and labdanum or more complex blends which include benzoin, frankincense, myrrh, tonka bean, patchouli, etc. Its basic olfactory qu alities are deep, sweet,  musky, resinous. True extracts and distillations of amber resin do exist but tend to be dominated by smoky, phenolic notes with an faint sweet resinous undertone.

Ambergris, on the other hand, is now almost entirely produced as blends of synthetic isolates which are thought to mimic the aroma of ambergris produced by sperm whales. Those products are  "interpretations" of the aroma of true ambergris as the genuine product is highly variable. In general a fine quality genuine ambergris tincture is said to contain these olfactory properties-

"Its odor is rather subtle, reminiscent of seaweed, wood, moss. with a peculiar sweet, yet very dry undertone of unequaled tenacity. There is rarely any animal note at all in a good grade of Ambra(Ambergris)"- Steffen Arctander

Fine ambergris accords can be created using totally natural materials which may include labdanum, sage clary, agarwood, seaweed abs, ambrette seed, cedarwood, oakmoss etc.


In perfumery terminology the words "amber" and "ambergris" are often confused. Both are, in fact, terms which are almost always used for perfumery "notes" rather then a product extracted or distilled from amber resin or from ambergris which is produced from sperm whales. That is to say, they are blends of different essences, both natural and synthetic, to create products which are, in a general way, associated with the words  "amber" and "ambergris".

Of the two, amber essence is, by far, the more well known of the two. In natural perfumery it can be as simple a combination as vanilla absolute/co2, ambrette seed eo/co2/absolute and labdanum or more complex blends which include benzoin, frankincense, myrrh, tonka bean, patchouli, etc. Its basic olfactory qu alities are deep, sweet,  musky, resinous. True extracts and distillations of amber resin do exist but tend to be dominated by smoky, phenolic notes with an faint sweet resinous undertone.

Ambergris, on the other hand, is now almost entirely produced as blends of synthetic isolates which are thought to mimic the aroma of ambergris produced by sperm whales. Those products are  "interpretations" of the aroma of true ambergris as the genuine product is highly variable. In general a fine quality genuine ambergris tincture is said to contain these olfactory properties-

"Its odor is rather subtle, reminiscent of seaweed, wood, moss. with a peculiar sweet, yet very dry undertone of unequaled tenacity. There is rarely any animal note at all in a good grade of Ambra(Ambergris)"- Steffen Arctander

Fine ambergris accords can be created using totally natural materials which may include labdanum, sage clary, agarwood, seaweed abs, ambrette seed, cedarwood, oakmoss etc.

Perfumery Notes on Amber and Ambergris

 

Perfume Shrine: Frequent Questions: Amber or Ambergris?

Amber and Ambergris are Two Different Notes ~ Raw Materials

Amber Base Newsletter - White Lotus Aromatics

 

 

A Conversation by James Vila Blake


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nicolae_Grigorescu_-_Old_Woman_Darning.jpg



A CONVERSATION


Amid a throng of merry people
An aged dame sat quietly,
Alone, looking, not looked upon,
Glad in their festival, and drinking
Her sober glass spiced with their glee.
I, seeing not the royalty
Which God hath crowned when he leads age
Into the court of company,
Passed by that gentle majesty,
To youth and beauty. But soon chided,
I saw her eye whose eye I sought,
And heard her voice whose voice I loved,
Turn toward the dame with reverence.
"Go there! Pay court where it is due,"
She said, "and not to me. There sits 
Station august; go talk to her."


Gently admonished, I drew near
That meek sublimity, and spoke:—
"Lady," said I, "by right divine
Queen of this noisy throng, may I
Pay homage due from youth, and hear
Thy wisdom?" "Nay," she said, "the body
Of stiffening age shall drink with thanks



The new wine of thy youth." "Nay, nay,"

I answered, " thou wilt give to me

Stored wealth." "No," said she, "I will draw

From thee life to enjoy my wealth."

"Why, then," I said, " I will stay here

Not as a suitor, for himself

Seeking advantage, paying homage

To a mere ruler; but at home

In thy mild realm, giving free service."


Then, knowing her lone life, I asked,
"Where is thy charge and whilom playmate,
That winsome child whom I have seen
Alternate following thee and followed?
I have not met his smile of late.
Often I saw him at the school
Where thou wast waiting, serving him
With holy deference of knowledge
To tender ignorance; and often
I saw thee guiding him to church,
As if in his sweet company
To draw near heaven—'tis made of such.
By thee, within the holy walls,
He sat, or on thy lap slept childlike;
For preachers yet preach not to children.
And at thy house his games have filled
My ears with innocence; I marked him
Float in swift curves well-nigh the ceiling
In his light swing, and laugh, not fearing;
Thy daughter's child. Where is he now?"

Smiling, she answered me, the heart
Meanwhile, still young, so strongly sending
Through stiffening cords its tide, they trembled,
And the voice shook:

"Thou wilt remember,
Hardly twelve months ago the child's
Dear mother-flesh, cast by the spirit,
Was borne from church to mingle with
The earth that fed it. And the father
Was twice bereaved, since I the child kept
In whom they, being two, grew one.
But soon the father took the child,
To keep in sight that rare alloy
Wherein he and the mother mingled
Defy the analysis of death."


"And so," I said, "he took the boy—
'Twas natural—and left thee lone.
Dost find the day too sad, too long,
Now that no child's small troubles call thee
To help or heal? Belike time weighs
Upon thy heart too heavily."


"Not so," she said, " for I find duties
To make day busy and night sleepy;
And time I wield like a gold sceptre
By which I keep my realm in order.
I have a son, a manly lad,
Who early goes to work each morn.

He comes not home the live-long day,
But night brings him again, a star
That rises on me in all weathers.
Right early, and, in winter months,
Long before light, I must rise up
To set his breakfast,—pleasant work!
'Tis sweet to see him eat my food
With the keen zest of health and toil!
Soon he is gone, the table cleared,
The stove left comely, shining ranks
Of glass and metal on the shelf
Disposed, utensils bright and useful.
Then leisure comes, filled with new pleasures.
Another lad, a traveler,
I have, who visits all the climes
Of this vast land, from sea to sea,
And with his own eyes looks on nature,
Not taking tales from other men.
Up towering mountain peaks he goes,
And down in dark mines, over plains,
On inland seas. He treads wild forests,
Sleeps on the moss and drinks from brooks.
In his canoe, mid fertile fields,
He goes up rivers to their springs,
Or floats in canyons where a torrent
Hurled from a height has hewn a course
From flinty rock, for ages cutting,
Till the cleft stone precipitous
Towers up a mile above the bed.
He sees strange creatures, men more strange.

Cities magnificent he visits,
Where laws are made and streams of trade
Together rush, a roaring maelstrom.
And from his journeys I have letters,
And boxes of strange things he sends me,
And books of notes and strange adventure,
Thick tomes in which I read untiring.
He says the monstrous sea-board city,
Begirt with floods both salt and fresh,
The ocean and the watery hills
Embracing it like rival lovers,
Is a great continent itself,
Where all the peoples of the earth
Are gathered and all tongues are spoken.

Then comes my hour of exercise.
Tracking in thought my traveler's feet
Beguiles me not of my own walk
Which health requires, of mind and body.
And I wot well that I go forth In paths familiar girt with wonders
As great as those my traveler sees.
Under the sky I walk with awe;
Sunbeams broidered with shadows deck me;
The birds and far halloos of children,
Voices of men and tread of feet,
The cries of beasts, and watery hush
Of dew-tipped leaves, I hear, rejoicing;
And my heart sings and offers thanks
In summer's leafy tabernacles

Or gothic frames of trees in winter.
Kind greetings meet me—privilege
Of age long living in one place.
I visit marts of garden products,
For rosy fruit to deck the meal
At evening of my dear good lad;
For he from work comes hungry home.
I purchase webs of snowy cloth
To make him clothes or deck his bed.
Belike I buy some silk or linen
Against the Sunday, when afresh
And sprucely he shall dress, and rest.
These errands done of love or pleasure,
Homeward I turn; but pause, reluctant,
Lingering to breathe again my joy
For all the sweet day's blessedness.

Then do I eat, with thanks, at mid-day,
Frugal and lone, my slight repast.
Then up and down my house I go,
Setting it all in comely order,
Renewing the night-ravaged rooms.
The well aired beds are made, and downy
Pillows up-piled, like drifts of snow.
Fresh water sparkles in the ewers,
Fresh towels drape the rack, and air
Is fresh and crisp in every cranny.
The broom, a tool invincible,
Renews the floor. A pure aroma
Of cleanliness pervades the place.

This odor of fresh garniture,
Also a sweet fatigue, awhile
Lull me to sleep. And so my days pass."

The dame ceased, but I answered not,
Thinking how simple was this life,
How fresh and sweet, how tranquil, simple:
Like to the house that held it, daily
Renewed. I thought how well they do,
What gentle ministers are they,
Who, knowing naught of Nature's secret
Save to adore it, naught of learning,
Yet fill our days with wholesomeness,
Our nights with uninfected sleep,
And purify our lives and dwellings,
Washed, weeded, winnowed, ventilated.
O homely arts of unstained thrift,
Instincts of souls immaculate
Which, from their own unsullied stream,
Our bodies' dwelling clarify,
Let none despise you, lowly sources
Of sweetness, privacy and health!
And ye that practice these, unfailing,
In lowliness of place or duty,
Naught knowing but your simple lot,
Or suffering pangs of higher dreams,—
Ye shall be blest, in heaven rewarded,
Where spotless usefulness is crowned.

Then, with new reverence: "Surely," said I,
"Thy life is lonely since the child 
Went to his father; art not lonely?"

"Lonely?" she said; "Can one be lonely 
In the audience-room of life? 
I open My window wide and life engulfs me, 
Befriends me with companionship 
And consolation. But lest this 
Seem too remote to satisfy 
The heart that languishes alone, 
Know that I cherish in my house 
Two kinds of living things. My plants 
I tend with love. I wash their leaves, 
And prune them to grow not ungainly; 
And with the soil mix food and drink, 
That they get not athirst nor languish. 
I know their names and characters. 
Their constancy is beautiful,— 
Always the same to those that guard them. 
Blooming, their colors seem rays broken 
From aether, sunsets, clouds and stars. 
Their scent is air from Paradise, 
Sealed in the bud, freed when it opens. 
Also I have my birds, now five, 
But lately six; for yesterday 
I sold one, grieve, and wish I had not. 
They pick the shell within the cage, 
And blithe they are, content and happy, 
Knowing no other life; ay, sooth, 
Favored; for birds toil hard to live,
 Hunting their food; and many a robin
In sight of a canary's cage
Has starved to death, hearing his song.
At early morn I give them food
And drink, the while I talk to them.
Then I provide them brimming bowls
In which they bathe them merrily,
And smooth their plumage with pink bills,
Nodding their saucy heads with pleasure.
I hang their cages, cleansed, in sunbeams,
Shaded if fervent. Then their songs
They pour, throats full and beaks upraised,
In answering strains, or all together—
Sweet music of a tropic isle
Caught from the clang of shells and pebbles
On coasts where breaking waves roll back;
But known to me; I know their notes,
And hail them like familiar words.
These are my company before
My lad comes home. I am not lonely."

"But is not work," I asked, " unaided, 
A burden?"

"Surely not," she answered. 
"But one thing at a time I do, 
And all things slowly. No, I tire not. 
I have full strength. My heart is songful, 
Although my withered voice sings not. 
My share of sorrow I have had,
Loss, pain, and unrequited toil;
But all is past, and where the flame burned
Spring up our Lord's new shoots of goodness."

A duty called. I made my reverence. 
The venerable lady answered, 
"Thanks, sir, for sitting down beside me; 
You have conferred a pleasure on me." 
Amazed, humbled, I turned away, 
Glad to hide shame, shame sore yet welcome. 
Could this be royal? this mien lowly, 
The royal sovereignty of age? 
Ay! throned! The last shall be the first, 
And giddy throngs of those now first 
Must be the last, with gentleness, 
Before they shall be crowned.

Thanked ?— For what I had not grace myself 
To purpose, blinded to God's glory? 
O let me not walk in his splendors, 
Splendors of innocence in babes, 
Of joy, woe, pathos, in mid-life, 
And of the majesty of age— 
Blind, senseless, like a clod or stone, 
Or with my eyes prone earthward, brute-like, 
Peering for prey to feed ambition. 
But let me know the things God makes, 
And worship what he sets on high. 
O let me feel the pang, the woe,
 The shame, that any other knows;
And know the praise, the honor, glory,
Of lowly hearts living beside me.
Blest be thou, venerable dame!
Thy house is heaven's ante-chamber,
With voices filled from inner halls,
Sweet converse to invite thy heart;
Till thou lay down thy simple life,
And give thy soul to God with peace. 
From Poems By James Vila Blake