Puslapio vaizdai

develops an exquisite symmetry; but with girth, and yet, if you look closely, no two
the elm this symmetry is not only one of are really alike. They differ as the great
general contour, but of individual limbs. doors of Notre Dame in Paris differ-
Not only is the silhouette symmetrical, individual, yet harmonious. When the
but the skeleton also, branch balancing bulwarks of willow around the river
branch. That is what gives it its remark- bends are turning to soft, grayish silver
able fitness to comport with architectural in the low afternoon light, when the shad-
lines, with geometrically designed vistas. ows are creeping like long amethyst fin-
It has a formal structure and a conse- gers over the grass, these five trees rise
quent dignity which make it the logical in radiant lightness against the west, every
shade for a village street, a chapel, a li- detail of their lovely symmetry outlined
brary, the scholarly procession in cap and sharply against the sky. They are like a
gown. Add to that dignity its arched row of figures by Botticelli arrested in a
and airy lightness and its splendid size, lacy dance.
and you have the king of urban trees. These same trees are scarcely less beau-
Yet I sometimes think the elm is never

tiful in winter. Some lovers of trees, in-
so lovely as when it grows along the river deed, delight in the body more than in the
bends where nature planted it. We all raiment. A nude tree may be pathetic in
know such river bends; every American its suggestion of vanished summer, but it
cherishes in memory the picture of a green is seldom or never unlovely. Did not
intervale, of browsing cattle, of a winding Ruskin somewhere speak of the wonderful
stream, with vervain and wild cucumber life in the line of a twig or branch? Cer-
on the banks, and now and then, rising tainly no line in nature is so vital, whether
like graceful green fountains, or like great it be the straight taper of a Norway
vases on slender stems, the noble elms, the spruce trunk or the radiating forked light-
wardens of the peaceful landscape. The ning of an aged locust top.
valley of the Housatonic, in the Berkshire Did you ever look carefully at an old,
Hills, is peculiarly rich in splendid trees neglected apple-tree in winter? Of course
of many kinds, especially willows. Yet it always makes the arms of the true
its elms stand out with a certain aristo- agriculturist yearn for a pruning-saw, as
cratic aloofness, and demand, or, rather, Grizel's arms rocked for a sponge and
compel, the chief attention. Over the water when she saw a dirty baby ; but,
well-kept village streets they spread mag- forgetting farmers' bulletins for a
nificently, with the spring of a Gothic ment, did you ever pause to admire the
arch in their massive limbs, and oriole- veritable spray of “suckers” such a tree
nests depending like tiny platinum ear-

like a shower-bath nozle drops from the outer twigs. But along turned upside down? The pattern they the river you see the whole tree; you are make is tangled and formless, but what not aware of it as the under side of an a testimony they are to the vitality of the arch, but rather as a complete and beau- tree, what eloquent witnesses of its will tiful design, a mammoth vase rising on its to live! The end of a dead limb may graceful stem from the emerald meadows. have rotted back to make a flicker's or a There are five such elms in a row near bluebird's nest, the trunk may be ringed my home. They grow along the bank of with the sapsucker's bores, the tree may a swale close to the river, with space be lopsided, perishing with scale, but al enough between them to permit each tree over it sprout the suckers, its symbol of its standard of form; and yet each, too, continued struggle. The poor old applehas conceded a little something to its tree beside some abandoned farm-house, neighbor, and made up for the loss by a or cellar hole where perchance no house fringe of foliage close about the trunk, as has stood for generations, still fighting for well-fed elms sometimes do. They are life, still striving to function, is to me a of almost exactly the same height and brave and beautiful thing.

has sent up,




“The elm is never so lovely as when it grows along the river

bends where nature planted it”

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The birch which rises by the edge of the frozen stream


“A pine on a hilltop which has been carved by the storms of a century

into a quaint and splendid replica of the Winged Victory”

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“ The red cedar ... seems ... to clasp the rock with crooked hands,

as an eagle might hold a ball in its claws"

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