21 March 2014

Spring's Melancholy Side

Alexander Smith, "On the Importance of a Man to Himself," Dreamthorp (London: Andrew Melrose, 1906), p. 164:
Spring has her melancholy side, and bears a sadder burden to the heart than Autumn, preaching of decay with all his painted woods. For the flowers that make sweet the moist places in the forest are not the same that bloomed the year before. Another lark sings above the furrowed field. Nature rolls on in her eternal course, repeating her tale of spring, summer, autumn, winter; but life in man and beast is transitory, and other living creatures take their places. It is quite certain that one or other of the next twenty springs will come unseen by me, will awake no throb of transport in my veins. But will it be less bright on that account? Will the lamb be saddened in the field? Will the lark be less happy in the air? The sunshine will draw the daisy from the mound under which I sleep, as carelessly as she draws the cowslip from the meadow by the riverside. The seasons have no ruth, no compunction. They care not for our petty lives.