And with busy love toiled the Elves amid the withered leaves, and new strength was given to the flower; while, as day by day the friendless child watered the growing buds
, deeper grew her love for the unseen friends who had given her one thing to cherish in her lonely home; sweet, gentle thoughts filled her heart as she bent above it, and the blossom's fragrant breath was to her a whispered voice of all fair and lovely things; and as the flower taught her, so she taught others.
Thus tossing to and fro, they might have been fancifully compared to a splendid bunch of flowers, suddenly shaken by a puff of wind, which threatened to scatter the leaves of an old, brown, withered rose, on the same stalk with two dewy buds
,--such being the emblem of the widow between her fair young bridemaids.
Seated on the grass, the child was almost hidden under an abundance of buds
and blossoms, whence her rosy face peeped merrily out, and, as Cadmus said, was the prettiest of all the flowers.
Here was a market-town--very much like Treddleston--where the arms of the neighbouring lord of the manor were borne on the sign of the principal inn; then mere fields and hedges, their vicinity to a market-town carrying an agreeable suggestion of high rent, till the land began to assume a trimmer look, the woods were more frequent, and at length a white or red mansion looked down from a moderate eminence, or allowed him to be aware of its parapet and chimneys among the dense-looking masses of oaks and elms--masses reddened now with early buds
Those of autumn the wind sheds upon the ground, but when spring returns the forest buds
forth with fresh vines.
To have seen them reclining beneath the shadows of one of the beautiful groves; the ground about them strewn with freshly gathered buds
and blossoms, employed in weaving chaplets and necklaces, one would have thought that all the train of Flora had gathered together to keep a festival in honour of their mistress.
The leaf of the native poplar was seen quivering in the woods; the sides of the mountains began to lose their hue of brown, as the lively green of the different members of the forest blended their shades with the permanent colors of the pine and hemlock; and even the buds
of the tardy oak were swelling with the promise of the coming summer.
In the three months of the summer it only freezes every other day and every night, and then the snow begins to weep off on the southerly slopes, and a few ground-willows put out their woolly buds
, a tiny stonecrop or so makes believe to blossom, beaches of fine gravel and rounded stones run down to the open sea, and polished boulders and streaked rocks lift up above the granulated snow.
Even the grey-ribbed trees looked young, for the pointed buds
on them were still pink, and in a pattern against the strong blue looked like innumerable childish figures.
The midnight airs and gusts, moaning amongst the tightly-wrapped buds
and bark of the winter twigs, were formulae of bitter reproach.
As I had been scrutinizing this weird monstrosity the balance of the herd had fed quite close to me and I now saw that while many had the smaller specimens dangling from them, not all were thus equipped, and I further noted that the little ones varied in size from what appeared to be but tiny unopened buds
an inch in diameter through various stages of development to the full-fledged and perfectly formed creature of ten to twelve inches in length.
But though I do not know what causes the cold winds to blow when the oak buds
unfold, I cannot agree with the peasants that the unfolding of the oak buds
is the cause of the cold wind, for the force of the wind is beyond the influence of the buds