A FANTASIA by Arlo Bates

Kinder am Waldteich
NOT all the sensuousness of melting sound
Can move our being as sweet fragrancies
Steal with insinuations delicate
Into the mind. The lute's low melody,
Plaintive as love; the organ's reverent tone;
The horn's inspiring blast; the wild appeal
Of hautboys sentient of all life's deep pain;
The eager clamor of the drum's fierce beat;
Touch, thrill, or rouse, yet leave us still ourselves.

But who has breathed the scent of violets
And not that moment been some lover glad
That to his love is clasped in heavenly kiss;
Who smelled the earth new turned, and not a space
Been the blithe husbandman robust and free;
Who drunk the perfume of the ripening grape
Like wine, nor straightway felt himself a god?

All memories, or sad or piercing sweet,
Come on the wings of fragrance; all desire
Wakes at its bidding with resistless stress;
Old dreams are in its keeping; youth and love
Wait on its will, and not the thoughts which serve
Their sweet behests move with more subtile law,
Swifter or more mysteriously.
The sea
Sends its compelling message on the wind
In scent of brine, and who may say it nay.
The woods their odors balsamic breathe out
As slow swung censers all the minster fill
With fume of incense, and who strays therein
Forgets the world and fame and love and gold.
The sudden breath of some old fragrance long
Remembered, our lost youth gives back again;
And only by this mystic alchemy
Is the past from its ashes recreate.

What song of siren, over the hushed waves
Persuasive wooing to the yearning ear
Of mariners long storm-tossed, wins his sense
Like wafts of perfume from some isle of spice,
Seductive telling of groves dimly lit
With green light filtered through dark cassia boughs,
And honeyed hushes 'twixt the birds' low lays?
Of more delights than sense can speak they hint;
And weary wanderings on the bitter brine,
The toilsome oar, the stinging wind, the wave
Insatiate hounding down its cowering prey,
Are all forgotten in that luring spell.

What ecstasy of sense is like to that
One breathes in walking through the bosky way
Of the fresh woods in June? Odor of pines,
The heavy sweetness which the barberry pours,
And the divine aroma of the bloom
Of wild grapes matted o'er some rustic wall,
Or eglantine, mingling its spicy smell
With that of luscious honeysuckle horns.
What vague romances old flit through the brain
When on the air rich scents are shaken out
From Orient stuffs wrought with dull gold and silks
Dim with a hundred hues. All the fair time
Of great Alraschid seems to live again,
And dreams are real. Was not that sound the note
Of flutes contending with the nightingale?
Did not a signal taper's welcome spark
A moment from the loved one's lattice gleam?

Something there is more sublimate in scent
Than in aught else of which our earthly sense
Has cognizance. It trembles on the line
Which marks where spirit doth with matter blend.
Angels might talk with fragrancies for speech
As we with sounds; and truth so deep and high
Words cannot compass it, might be outbreathed
In perfumes, had we gift to understand.
Here an uncomprehended mystery,
There may be worlds where, its deep secret guessed,
It is the key which shall make all things plain!

Treasures of Aromatic Literature-Scent of the Orient by Various

Orientalisches Strassenmotiv

Treasures of Aromatic Literature-Scent of the Orient by Various

Sanderson occupied a corner room in one of the newer dormitories. In it was a piano on which he played Beethoven and rag time with equal ease. The mission bookcase was topped by a very large, felt college streamer and a "perpetual care" sign, which in his Freshman wildness he had taken from a cemetery. As he was a literary man with a pronounced taste for Poe and the French short story writers, there were various evidences of "atmosphere" in the orderings of the room. For instance, some old swords, which might have been discovered in the ruins of Troy, but which, in fact, were clever imitations bought for a song in Boston, hung over the door. A Turkish fez, which Sanderson would wear when company was present, usually hung from the clothes post in a corner of the room, over a quaint, fulllength lounging robe made from scarlet cloth and embroidered with Mohammed's crescent. An oriental scent lingered on those habits of dress; a scent which I have seen Sanderson compound from barks and minerals bought at the druggist's and of which he would never give me the names. When he held a spread or a meeting of any sort, Sanderson's room would be thick with the fumes of joss which he kept burning from a blue Chinese bowl. If any one complained, Sanderson would have no scruples in telling the complainant that perhaps the smoke would be even denser and more sulphurous in a later destination!
Through the school: the experiences of a mill boy in securing an education
By Frederic Kenyon Brown

The interesting ceremony of being presented to the Empress took place this morning. The only request about my dress was that I should wear a long light one, no hat, and my decorations. I drove to the Legation, and from there we went to the Palace. The moat surrounding the outside looked beautiful in the sunlight, and as we entered the grounds, everything had a very pleasing appearance. The Palace itself has been rebuilt within the last twelve years. The peculiar Oriental scent which met us as we walked through the long corridors was most fragrant. The large drawing-room into which we were shown was most impressive, and the ceiling and doors were of beautiful Japanese workmanship; all that was in this style was in perfect taste; it was only when foreign art had been called in that the harmony of the surroundings was destroyed—the hangings and furniture which were European looked out of place.
Under the care of the Japanese war office
By Ethel Rosalie Ferrier McCaul

The top glory of this young girl was her hair. It just missed being light auburn by being a pale gold, and no matter what the style of hair dressing, she wore hers always plaited in two great plaits which she coiled around the crown of her head. Around her face was always a fluffy mass of hair—a fit halo for so fair a face! With this hair, her dark blue eyes and dark eyebrows, a complexion the tint of milk, together with her perfect form, this girl acted on the artistic senses like a magnet. She had about her person always a faint oriental odor—an aroma of sandalwood it was, and it seemed wholly out of harmony with her unoriental type. The penchant for this particular scent in toilet powder was Denise's one and only incongruity.
A balance of destiny
By Martha Jane Garvin

In the island of Ceylon, where the flowering trees and shrubs are so beautiful, and where the blossoms among the verdure are so plentiful that the trees are said to stand upon a carpet of flowers, the scent at early morning and in the dews of evening, is far more powerful than can be conceived by those accustomed only to the flowers of cooler latitudes. The passengers of vessels approaching Ceylon can perceive
these gales
'That sigh along Beds of Oriental flowers'
long before they reach its shores.
Sweet-scented flowers and fragrant leaves
By Donald McDonald

There was a faint, subtle fragrance pervading the atmosphere which was peculiarly distasteful to his olfactory nerves; a suggestion of oriental perfume always scented the room that Madame Mercier inhabited. He had once told her, with masculine impatience, " that she created her own atmosphere. It is as enervating and sensuous as an Eastern harem," he had said in a remonstrative voice, and Madame Mercier had never forgiven him this speech. "It was ungentlemanly; it was brutal," she said to herself; " why should he begrudge her her little pleasures?" sweet scents were a joy to her; she loved to steep herself in sandalwood and attar of rose; every drawer and box in her bedroom was pervaded with some faint oriental perfume.
Rue with a difference
By Rosa Nouchette Carey

The tea was soon made, and its Oriental fragrance mingled with the other odors that filled the balmy air. Gay golden broken lights flickered in patches on the table, the china cups, the ladies dresses, and the grass, all but in one place, where the cool deep shadow lay undisturbed around the foot of the tree-stem.
Reade's novels, Volume 1
By Charles Reade

My first impression as we entered the place was that Manton had purposely planned the dim lights of rich amber and the clinging Oriental fragrance hovering about everything so as to produce an alluring and enticing atmosphere. The chairs and wide upholstered window seats, the soft, yielding divans in at least two corners, with their miniature mountains of tiny pillows, all were comfortable with the comfort one associates with lotus eating and that homeward journey soon to be forgotten. There was the smoke of incense, unmistakably.
The film mystery
By Arthur Benjamin Reeve

Thus urged, and wondering what it could be, I rose, leaving my book on the seat, and taking Raphael by the hand, followed by the do?, went into the house. The rooms were all on the ground floor; a broad hall ran through the house, and opening off it were four rooms; two were fitted up as salons, the other two consiituted my bed-room and dining-room. They were furnished alike with red velvet drapery, Turkey carpets, and mirrors. Pasiphae regularly each day placed fresh flowers in the Chinese vases on the marble consoles, and their delightful perfume scented the rooms with oriental fragrance.
Genevra: or, the history of a portrait
By Genevière Genevra Fairfield

In the time of our traveller these well watered and extensive plains presented the appearance of gardens. For miles the country was brought by artificial means to the highest pitch of cultivation. Nature not only yielded up her fruits as a generous mother, but appeared as richly arrayed and perfumed as an oriental bride. Flowers of every shape and hue, even to the choicest exotics, pleased the eye and filled the air with incense. The scenery was a happy mixture of the garden, the park, and the forest; whilst the Persian taste was gratified by the singing of countless birds, the murmuring of silver fountains, and the presence of wild and wondrous animals, sent as presents from every quarter of the immense empire.

The remains of Persepolis can still be identified. The magnificent ruins sometimes called Chehil-Menar, or the "Forty Pillars," and sometimes denominated TakhtiJemshid, or the " Throne of Jemshid," are undoubtedly the relics of the once famous palaces of Darius and of Xerxes; whilst the excavated chambers in the rocky hills in the neighbourhood have been regarded as the sepulchres of the successors of Cyrus. But how have the mighty fallen! How hath the golden city ceased! The screech owl screams and the spider weaves her web in the festive halls of the sons of Jemshid; and wolves and jackalls prowl where once the jewelled dresses of royal beauties wafted oriental fragrance through the pictured rooms.
The Life and Travels of Herodotus, Volume 2
By James Talboys Wheeler

The fragrance and somnorific power of the odor from the flowers of the Orient are to us unknown. It is related of a Persian poet who was rich in genius, but who wrote little, that on being asked why he did not produce more, replied, "I intended as soon as I should reach the rose tree, to All my lap and bring presents for my companions, but when I arrived there, the fragrance of the roses so intoxicated me that the skirt of my robe slipped from my hands."

Many of them like to hear the history of an article. If you know an article's history, what an interesting and enthusiastic story you can relate. Take an Oriental perfume like Sandalwood, you could tell of its various uses and connections in Japan, India, and Oriental countries, how the natives gather it, how the little bundles of sandalwood can be put into a bureau or dressing table, giving a characteristic Oriental odor to the clothes and toilet goods kept there, and at the same time acting as a moth preventative, what an important article it is in Oriental countries, etc.
A treatise on commercial pharmacy
By Daniel Charles O'Connor

There were perfumes imprisoned in delicate globules which might be thrown upon the hair and clothing of the guests of the household; the globules thus broken would release their contents to the guests' great delight; pots of incense from the far East, so deep and rich in their Oriental perfumes that their odors would cause the occupants of the chambers where they were released to travel in their imaginations through the lands of the Yellow River and the distant Ind, and in deep reveries the dreamer would hear the low, continuous chanting of white-bearded priests, punctuated by the clash of scimitars upon brazen shields, the stolid "chock" of bullock-carts and the jingle of the ropes of bells on the trappings of swaying elephants as they moved in long procession through narrow overhung streets.
The Wayfaring Man: a tale of the Temple
By George Estes

She touched her pony lightly, and in silence they took up the trail again through the jungle. On and on they rode, twisting and turning amid the India-rubber and banana trees and giant palms that hindered their way, under the strange, drooping foliage of the great amate trees, through which sifted the last rays of the afternoon sun. The darkness had overtaken them, the darkness suffused with the white radiance of a big tropical moon, which had risen somewhere beyond the great forest trees and the broad river, when they struck once more into the coffee fincas of El Paraiso. The path was wide and clear here, and, leaving Florentino far behind, singing as he strode along, they galloped down the fragrant avenues of coffee trees, brushing, as they passed, the shining leaves nodding level with their heads and the white, star-like blossoms with their faint Oriental perfume.
By Carter Goodloe

THE Cloisonne vase came the next day. Katherine had the box carried up to her room and opened it herself by the aid of a hammer, taking the treasure out of its innerwrappings of odd Oriental paper. There was an odd Oriental perfume that seemed to breathe not only from the wrappings but from within the vase itself, as if it had been filled with roses and sandalwood — the auctioneer had said it was an old piece. Perhaps some woman's hand had dropped the attar of roses in it once! The perfume gave the subtle sense of mystery which clings to the East and especially to the life behind the curtain — Katherine felt the thrill of it as she sat on the floor gazing dreamily at the vase as it stood, in all its shimmering beauty of blues and greens and interlacing pink, on the inverted box by the prosaic modernness of her mahogany dressing table. Katherine had a childish habit of secretly kissing certain inanimate objects; she kissed the vase now, pressing her soft rose-lips against its hard surface—it seemed to make it more a part of her when she should give it to Remsen — before putting it in the box once more, to be hidden in her closet.
Just for two
By Mary Stewart Doubleday Cutting

Stephen and Irene had sat as if entranced while the Magician had been giving them all this information. He now arose and waved his hands slowly to and fro before their faces and their eyes closed. Then touching a secret lever, or spring, the platform upon which they were seated began slowly to revolve. He pushed a golden button on the wall and the blue silken curtains unrolled and enclosed the platform. He touched an ivory spring upon a quaint bronze box standing beside it, and a weird dreamy music filled all the room. At the same time an odor of oriental perfume began to permeate the atmosphere. It came from the contents of small bronze urns which he had lighted. The Magician himself retired to a far corner of the room, and upon a silken cushion he kneeled before a bronze Buddha and became lost in reverie.
The amulet: a tale of the Orient
By Katherine Treat Blackledge

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The Involuntary Prayer of Happiness by N P Willis

Night Scene
The Involuntary Prayer of Happiness by N P Willis

I have enough, oh God! My heart, to-night,
Runs over with the fulness of content;
And as I look out on the fragrant stars,
And from the beauty of the night take in
My priceless portion—yet myself no more
Than in the universe a grain of sand-
I feel His glory who could make a world,
Yet, in the lost depths of the wilderness
Leave not a flower imperfect!
Rich, tho' poor!
My low roof’d cottage is, this hour, a Heaven :
Music is in it—and the song she sings,
That sweet voic'd wife of mine, arrests the ear
Of my young child, awake upon her knee;
And, with his calm eye on his master's face
My noble hound lies couchant; and all here—
All in this little home, yet boundless Heaven—
Are, in such love as I have power to give,
Blessed to overflowing !

Thou, who look'st
Upon my brimming heart this tranquil eve,
Knowest its fulness, as Thou dost the dew
Sent to the hidden violet by Thee!
And, as that flower from his unseen abode
sends its sweet breath up duly to the sky,
changing its gift to incense—so, oh God!
May the sweet drops that to my humble cup
Find their far way from Heaven, send back, in prayer,
Fragrance at thy throne welcome!

Henry Grady and His Mother.

Child at Prayer by Eastman Johnson, circa 1873
Henry Grady and his Mother.

That nobly gifted editor of Atlanta, Georgia, Henry Grady, a great publicist, a thrilling orator, a humanity-serving citizen, one of the South's most honored sons, got far away, right in the zenith of his
power and popularity, from Christ. Like many others similarly situated, he neglected the things of Christ and drifted with the tide. Far back yonder when he was a boy, he made a profession of religion, and for a while observed the religious habits, but when his remarkable fame and career came on, he neglected the Christian life, and went drifting with the tide. They told me, when I was speaking in Atlanta some years ago, this beautiful chapter out of his great life. When he had made one of his loftiest speeches, on one occasion, and plaudits from North, South, East, and West were coming to him on every wire, he slipped out of the office of the Constitution, his daily paper in Atlanta, saying to his associates as he left: "You need not know where I am, but I am going to find mother to-night in the little home. I have something to say to her. I will be back in the morning. You need not know where I am." And he took an out-of-the-way road to his mother's cottage, and when he reached it, he said to his mother: "Mother, all these plaudits, all this fame, all this notoriety, all this popularity, all this applause—these do not satisfy my heart. Mother, I once thought that I was a Christian, but if I was I have got far away from God, and I have come back, mother, to ask you if I may not kneel down at your knee, and be a little boy again, like I was when I was at home with you, and say my simple prayer, like I used to say it every day when the day was done. And then, when I have said my prayer like that, I wonder if you won't take me to my bed, and tuck the cover around me, just like you used to do when I was a little boy, and then, when you have tucked the cover around me, if you won't bend down over me and pray for your little boy, for God to teach him and guide him and help him, just like you used to pray for me when I was a little boy." And that is exactly what happened in that little home that night. Great Henry Grady knelt at his mother's knee like he used to do as a little boy, and said his simple, boyish prayer, like he used to say it long years before, and then his dear old mother escorted him to his room and bed, and she tucked the cover about him, and bent over him, with tears and prayers, commending her boy to the great Saviour. And then she kissed him, like she used to do, and left him alone. And in the gray of the early morning Henry Grady came from his room, and found his mother, and there was a light on his face fair like the morning light, and he said: "Mother, I was a little child last night, and felt out after Jesus, and He met me and has spoken peace to my poor, wandering heart."— George W. Truett, D.D.

Animal Crackers by Christopher Morley

Animal Crackers
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do YOU choose when you're offered a treat?
When Mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It's cocoa and animals that I love most!

The kitchen's the cosiest place that I know;
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.

Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don't have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said, he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea.
by Christopher Morley

The Night Jasmine by Elsa Cowen

The Night Jasmine by Elsa Cowen

AMONG the orange blossoms blooming under a tropical sky played the South Wind; he wafted away the dew-drops, shimmering and shining on the fragrant flowers; he rocked the dark glistening leaves to the cradle song he had learnt from beyond the sea, and the tiny humming birds stayed their flight to listen; then, ever restless, flashed through the air, their wings sparkling like myriads of precious stones.

From the orange trees the breeze sailed past the trumpet flower, her large white head raised in such proud unconcern to all he could have to say, that he sang no song to her. The "cacti" called him to tell them of the far-off wonders, but he heeded not. The "morning glories " with flushed faces beckoned him to no purpose. Over to the garden fence, where the double "jasmines" twined in delicious disorder, waving and dancing, he found his way.

Then commenced the fun in earnest; no lullaby was it now that he murmured to his favourites, for at every pause in his story the flowers shook with laughter and glee till the blossoms fell.

"Ah," cried a pomegranate from the other side of the fence; as she watched the white stars strewing the ground, "you have no future fruit to think of; I tremble when the wind touches me lest my buds fall off too soon." Nowithstanding her tone, she looked tenderly at her red and purple flowers. "You," continued she, "you dance all day ; if a blossom fall, what matter, one more or less? New ones will be born to-morrow."

"Yes," laughed the jasmines, "the hours are only too short for our play; we are giddy things, as you say, with no responsibilities, eh! sweet south wind?"

"No, not half long enough," echoed the breeze, "so we will make the most of them; yes, the days are glorious here;—" and with a half-sigh, for a moment his sportive manner ceased, as memories came over him of days that were far other than glorious, wherein he played a part quite different to this soft dallying among the tropical flowers.

"I could sing them sad songs enough," thought he, "but what good ? storms must come everywhere, no need to be warned beforehand."

"Come," cried the jasmines, "no serious mood here ;" and they stretched out their tendrils and caught him in their clasp. And the frolic began again in wilder glee, until the lizards darted out to look on, and the butterflies stopped their chasing to declare to each other "they were not so frivolous;" while the trumpet flower stared up into the sky, where not a white cloud relieved the intense blue, and thanked mother Nature that she was not a jasmine.

"Neither flowers nor fruit," murmured a shrub in a corner, "neither promise nor fulfilment, neither buds that bloom into full beauty, delighting the eye, giving no further care, withering when their short life is past, nor blossoms that fall but to make way for the more perfect fruit; nothing but a poor, plain, insignificant, useless plant; yet I have heard it said that the jasmines over yonder and I are related."

Wistfully she gazed at the fence, and her eyes wandered past the merry lighthearted flowers to where the pomegranate stood in all her pride and happy responsibility; and the contrast struck her more bitterly than ever.

The shrub was an insignificant one; it is true the leaves were not without gloss, and were of a delicate shape, the growth, too, was not ungraceful ; in another land than that rich tropical one she would doubtless have been prized ; but among all these vivid hues of buds and blossoms she stood alone, without vestige of flower; and as if to tantalize her more, where blossoms should have been, mother Nature had placed tiny bunches of what looked like slender green stalks, only discernible from very near. She did certainly seem to have no place in all that sunshine and brilliancy of colour; she felt the only things akin to her were the weeds that, spite all care, would spring up around her, and the bats, dark, mournful birds that, as the night fell, whirled and twirled above her head like living embodiments of her gloomy thoughts.

Under a window had she been planted; when, she could not tell. The ring of children's happy voices, little faces peeping out, dancing feet flitting before her in the garden; these were the first distinct memories she had. Years had come and gone since then in this land of ever summer time; the babble of baby tongues had long been hushed in the eternal "silent country ;" brother and sister alone of the many little ones had reached manhood and womanhood, and the two were as one. Still, as of old, came through the open window sounds that told of glad fellowship; and the shrub watched the two wandering arm-in-arm, at noon or at eve, through the avenue of lime and orange trees; or sitting on the terrace steps, the moonbeams silvering the mountain tops in the distance, while the palms stood still and breathless, waiting to catch a ray, a smile, from the goddess of the night.

Little of sympathy as the shrub had with her kind in the garden, the sight of these two, so twin in spirit, had a soothing influence over her, though it made her, perhaps, only more lonely. The night wind, as he slid in through the window many an evening late, to the two inside, would throw a glance at the dismal plant, wondering at her melancholy; but he had not courage to address her; and she, though she would fain have heard of his evening visits, did not care to speak to him; "only a wanderer after all" she would say to herself, and she let him pass on.

Golden balls gleam among the orange branches where the scented flowers were; the pomegranate has lost her gorgeous blossoms, and in their place hang tiny green fruit; the sun shines more fiercely, but clouds, black as a night without stars, touch the mountains, and flashes of light dart forth as if in quest of something lost; peals of thunder, each one louder than the last, are heard. In the house all is still, scarce a footstep sounds, scarce a murmur comes through open doors and window. * # * #

Like the breaking up of mighty torrents bursts the storm. Thunder and lightning war with each other like two powerful kings, as to who shall rule, who be first, till flash and crash come simultaneously. The trees hang their branches drenched by the pitiless rain, the ground lies strewn with fruit hurled from the boughs—one parting boom like a cannon discharged, the clouds part, and, as if tired of the battle, flee away quicker than they came, and leave the fair heaven free.

The sun lords it once again, the birds leave their refuge places, the flowers try to raise their heavy heads, on which the rain-drops linger like tears in a baby's eyes. The storm is past, as if it had never been; only deep pools flood the garden, and tell of its handiwork. * * * *

"Say, why is all so quiet within?" asked the shrub of the wind that night as he stole past her even more gently than his wont.

"Ah," replied he, softly; "the angels are calling their brother away; I go to waft his soul above," and he disappeared. The shrub gazed up into the starlit heaven, with its countless myriads of lights; the southern cross shone down on her in all its beauty, the pure holy influence she felt, though she knew not its significance; around her the fireflies, like fitful stars of earth, danced in the air, and almost touched her branches; but she scarce saw them.

Was she marvelling over the eternal mystery of human life, love, and death, as she gazed into the silent night, the night that could give no answer back to her dumb questioning?

"His soul is in Heaven," moaned the night-wind in her ear. But the shrub gave him no reply, though a sigh, a shiver, passed over her.

"My brother, oh ! my brother," breathed a voice from the window, like the wail of an imprisoned spirit, while tears fell bedewing the shrub's leaves; the plant trembled as she cried, "comfort her, oh, comfort her, sweet night wind."

"She will follow him," he answered, and he kissed the maiden's upturned brow, and caressed the flowing curls; then he moved to the side of the shrub.

"The angels and I will fetch her at dawn," whispered he; "only then will she be comforted."

And so it was. The spirit sought its fellow ere the morning's sun broke. But the shrub, the one desolate and forlorn plant lives yet under the window, no longer despairing, no longer sad; fruit has she none, but these fragile green stalks, scarce seen in day-light, give out as night approaches, a perfume so sweet, so rich, that all other fragrance seems faint. Should you ask a botanist, he will find a dozen reasons, natural ones, for the fact; the night-wind, too, declares it was love of him that worked the spell; yet, though he does not now woo in vain, and they call her in the Tropics, "The Night Jasmine" still, talk to her, and she will tell you that even this had not wrought the charm, had not sympathy, the intense longing to comfort sorrow, awoke in her; and where the maiden's hot tears fell, brought forth blossoms, that scarce to be discerned, yet nightly let their presence be known, shedding sweet, delicious perfume around.

Wreaths and Chaplets by Hilderic Friend

Woman with a Floral Wreath in a Leopard Dress

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Mädchen auf einer Blumenwiese

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At the garden bank

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Festival of the Cherry Blossom

A Sea of fragrant white foam bursts like a great tidal wave over the land of the gods in the early days of spring. It is the beauty and breath of the cherry flowers set free from the embrace of the dark-brown boughs, that have rocked them so persistently into life, through the long night of winter's silence.
The blossoming of the cherry trees, sakura-no-ki, which gains perfection about the seventh of April heralds in the spring. It is a season to which all classes look forward. It is a time wherein to rejoice, and crowds of light-hearted peasants may be seen wandering far and wide wherever the faint banners of blossom hang out their allurements to farseeing eyes. Maps are distributed marking out the flowered districts in shades of pink and pearly colour wherever the trees are known to be richest, and most worthy of a visit.
Pleasure boats well ladened, will supply from one village to another many admirers. It is a national fete in which all may participate, it is a sight which all may share, and yet each may regard as an individual privilege. The exquisite beauty and profuseness gladdens the senses, and brings to each separate life a joyous experience never to be forgotten. A general holiday is declared in order that all nature-loving beings may for awhile suspend labour and duty to participate at the yearly coronation of the Land.
The warm early April sun upon the pale pink, pure white, and rich red petals, irrigates through the air perfumes, and scented elixirs that stimulate the lovers and devotees of Nature to raise their orisons of thanksgiving. The swaying branches above, the admiring crowd beneath, both in spring attire, rejoice and smile, and become gay in each other's company, and mankind for awhile forgets his cares, and completely surrenders to the force of a fleeting joy.
There is a powerful and subtle fascination in this cherry blossom for the people whose country it crowns so regally. The faint perfume conveys hidden sentiments of the most soul-stirring nature. More poetry has been written to extol the virtues of the sakura-no-hana, than any other floral gift.
What is the Yamato Damashi-i?
The enquiring mind can only be answered in the following aphorism:
"'Tis the perfume the cherry bloom wafts to the skies,
When it sees in the East its sun god arise,
This is the spirit of Old Japan!"
Again, there is an ancient proverb that has been handed on through all time which has influenced many generations of the chivalrous races of
hero worshippers, that "As the cherry is first among flowers, so is the warrior first among men."
Poetry and flowers go hand in hand, they are ever found drawn within the closest bond of union. The reverence for the one calls forth the sentiment of the other. Thus when in the spring the boughs are fairly ladened, and this Festival of Sakura-no-hana is commemorated, when the luxuriant petals double and multiply in such profuseness, that anyone standing beneath them might be hidden from view, sweet musumes half shyly creep beneath into the shelter and tie strips of white paper lightly to the boughs. Upon these papers are written with the greatest care well chosen verses of poetry or proverbs applicable to the season. It is done in order that poetry and flowers may in this charming manner become associated together. These poetic offerings when lavishly supplied, make as they flutter a weird and strangely musical rhythm of their own. This mingles with the song of the bees, gathering the first honey of the year and diffusing the pollen, and thus assisting the secret works of nature, in setting the blossom for fruit.
All through the holiday peasants will seclude themselves beneath the trees and picnic for the whole day: they love the flowers best which they have to look up to—flowers that grow in profusion, that give a breadth of colour and a generous dole of tender perfume, that speak to them in a language all lovers of nature can interpret without words, flowers that draw men with the magnetic power silent and irresistible into each other's companionship.
Mr. Alfred Parsons, whose brush interprets in such a poetical way the charm of the cherry blossom, has feasted English eyes in his beautifully illustrated paper entitled "A Japanese Spring." The gardens of Uyeno and Yoshino, memorable for their beauty at the opening of the year, give fair enough pictures to show that native pride and love is not overstrained. The fugitive character of this first display of nature makes us mourn; but is it not because the year is yet so young and there are other children to bring forth out of the abundance of her budding overburdened heart? It is to the autumn flowers we look for a longer tarrying, and are not disappointed.
Visitors during this Festival are regaled at the tea houses with a beverage made from dried and salted sakura petals, and are also served with little cakes in the form of buds and flowers covered with pink sugar. On quitting these wayside restaurants, some of these cakes are put up in papers, bearing representations of the blossoms, and these are offered as parting souvenirs.
Everything that can possibly bear the impress of this symbol of perfect heroism and the embodiment of the national spirit, receives the sign manual of the Sakura-no-hana.
In the history of Japan it is related that when the Emperor Go-Daigo was taken prisoner, Kojmia Takanori his faithful vassal trespassed within the castle garden, and stripping the bark from a cherry tree wrote upon it to the effect that reliance might be placed upon the Emperor's faithful subjects to release him at all hazards and restore him to power. The promise was effected in the true spirit of the Yamato Damashi-i.
Like all customs and institutions that are traditional, kept up by an untutored race and handed down from one generation to another by hearsay, they are bound to differ in different counties, towns, or provinces as the case may be. At Kioto at this Festival of the Cherry Blossom, the Maiko-dori, a special ceremonial, is carried out in the following manner.
A large room of many mats is prepared into which about fifty musicians assemble, clothed in bright colours which suit well the youth and life of the performers. When the guests have all arrived into the centre of the room a geisha, or peasant girl appears dressed in a very bright coloured kimono and obi like the rest of her companions. On a zen or low table very slightly raised from the ground like the table placed for the spirit feast at the ceremony of Bom Matsuri, she prepares a bowl of tea, according to the ancient formula of the Cha-no-yu ceremony. It is a powdered tea of the first leaves of the tea plant, which she mixes before the guests with the aid of the bamboo brush or stirrer, until the brew is thick and frothy to whiteness. The guests are each given a tiny teacup full and two small cakes frosted with pink sugar—one cake to eat and one to take away with them; they are in the form of the cherry blossom. Whilst the guests thus partake of tea in ancient style on a circular raised platform the singing girls perform before a scenic painting relative to the season. As they sing they dance gracefully and carefully, while coloured lamps flame down upon them. From representing spring by holding branches of springflowering trees and umbrellas covered with real and artificial flowers, everything changes to summer emblems; then on to autumn, when in their hands the performers hold forth and waive the tinted tesselated leaves of fading autumn. The scene is at last transformed and winter reigns—a deep snow-ladened landscape is revealed upon the stage—the movement of the dancers becomes more and more subdued, in the presence of winter all grow hushed into peace!
Although there are varied opinions concerning Japanese music, to some few it is weirdly beautiful, bringing back years of forgotten ages, as the voices of the dead we loved so well and lost so long ago. Youthful voices take up this strain year by year, chosen for the sweetness and power of interpretation they possess.
We are told that in Japan all festivals are symbolic and more or less of a religious nature. This Sakura-no-hana Matsuri accompanied with the Maiko-dori speaks for itself in a language that needs no other conviction.

Fragrance of the Earth by Hamilton W. Mabie

Summer Showers

The Fragrance of the Earth.
There is something peculiarly pungent and delicious in the smell of the earth when the first dash of the summer shower falls on it; that penetrating fragrance which seems to issue out of the places where the flowers and the grasses are rooted, and to bring with it infinite suggestiveness of freshness and vitality. This smell of the earth comes so suddenly, especially after dry weather, that it fairly smites the sense, and gives one the same sudden joy which a deep breath of fresh air brings when one has been released from a crowded and overheated room. It is an odor compounded of many things; of leaves, grasses, the roots of trees; but, above everything else, it is the odor of the soil, the sudden escape from the earth of a fragrance which seems to lie just below its surface, slowly accumulating, waiting for the touch of the rain to release it.
The earth responds only to influences from the sky: it is dead, inert and unexpressive until it is assailed by something which either searches it, like heat, or evokes its hidden life, like rain. The leaves wait for the call of the sun, the flowers hold back until the warm air dissolves their reluctance, and the earth is hard and lifeless until the rain falls upon it; but, between shine and shower, all the secret potencies of life are stirred into action, and the earth becomes beautiful, not only to the eye, but to the sense of smell; which, in its sensitiveness to associations, psychologists tell us, is one of the most subtle of the senses. One hears the birds at nightfall in these late spring twilights, and takes them almost as a matter of co'irse; as if the mellow tones of the brown thrush and the sweet little song of the song-sparrow were part of the general order of things, and to be accepted as we accept a host of beautiful and helpful influences, without conscious gratitude; simply because they are so familiar to us.
But the smell of the earth, smitten out of the very dust by the dash of the rain, arrests us at once with a sense of something mysteriously sweet and refreshing. It is as if we had suddenly overheard the breathing of the earth; as if we had caught the sigh of nature, expressive of infinite relief after a long period of thirst. It Is one of the mysteries of our life, In which the roots of poetry are sunk deeply, that our associations with the world about us are so manifold, so rich and so uncommunicable. There is a race memory which antedates and in a certain sense enfolds our individual memories; and that race memory preserves, below our consciousness, the impress of multitudinous contacts between nature and the men and women who went before us in the long procession of race-life. There is no one of us who has not, in ancestral experience, stood in almost every active and passive relation to nature. At some period In our long racial life we have been
sailors hunters, trappers, explorers, tillers of the soil, dwellers in woods. We have pitched our tents in the deserts, and built our huts in the unbroken forests; we have heard the roar of the sea in all manner of frail and fantastic craft; we have exhausted the whole gamut of the experiences which may happen in the intercourse of man with nature. These things have gone out of our conscious recollection, but they have left their deposit in us; and we are largely what we are because of this long-sustained and marvellous companionship with the world of God's making. Nature has taught us more science, art and skill of every sort than any other teacher. She has ministered to more moods, stirred the imagination more deeply, trained the senses more keenly and worked her way into the very life of the soul more thoroughly, than any other single agency in the education of the race.
All this in its details we have forgotten, but it has left a rich deposit, a mass of hidden ties, of mysterious associations and of vague recollections; the results of the companionship of centuries of living together; and when the rain falls and the hidden life in the soil is suddenly transmuted into fragrance, and, exhaling like the perfume of a flower, assails our senses, it is not only the smell of the earth which comes to us, it is a sudden revival of some old association; some forgotten chord in our souls is smitten and set vibrating. In these mysterious ways, through the senses no less than through the imagination, the world without us is continually ministering to the world within us, refreshing, revitalizing and renewing forever the springs of life.