St. John Chrysostom. St. Julian of Mans. St Marius.
It is observed in Dr. Forster's "Perennial Calendar," that "Buds and embryo blossoms in their silky, down coats, often finely varnished to protect them from the wet and cold, are the principal botanical subjects for observation in January, and their structure is particularly worthy of notice; to the practical gardener an attention to their appearance is indispensable, as by them alone can he prune with safety. Buds are always formed in the spring preceding that in which they open, and are of two kinds, leaf buds and flower buds, distinguished by a difference of shape and figure, easily discernible by the observing eye; the fruit buds being thicker, rounder, and shorter, than the others—hence the gardener can judge of the probable quantity of blossom that will appear:"—
Lines on Buds, by Cowper.
When all this uniform uncoloured scene
Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
And flush into variety again. [sic]
From dearth to plenty, and from death to life,
Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man
In heavenly truth; evincing, as she makes
The grand transition, that there lives and works
A soul in all things, and that soul is God.
He sets the bright procession on its way,
And marshals all the order of the year;
He marks the bounds which winter may not pass,
And blunts his pointed fury; in its case,
Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ,
Uninjured, with inimitable art;
And ere one flowery season fades and dies,
Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
"Buds possess a power analogous to that of seeds, and have been called the viviparous offspring of vegetables, inasmuch as they admit of a removal from their original connection, and, its action being suspended for an indefinite time, can be renewed at pleasure."
On Icicles, by Cowper
The mill-dam dashes on the restless wheel,
And wantons in the pebbly gulf below.
No frost can bind it there; its utmost force
Can but arrest the light and smoky mist,
That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide.
And see where it has hung th'embroidered banks
With forms so various, that no powers of art,
The pencil, or the pen, may trace the scene!
Here glittering turrets rise, upbearing high
(Fantastic misarrangement!) on the roof
Large growth of what may seem the sparkling trees
And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops
That trickle down the branches, fast congealed,
Shoot into pillars of pellucid length,
And prop the pile they but adorned before.
Earth Moss. Phascum cuspidatum.
Dedicated to St. Chrysostom.