IN early spring, when the willows by the brook are putting forth their downy catkins and the first robin's note gladdens the waiting ear, the desire is native with the human heart to have winter let go her icy fetters and speedily take her departure. Somewhat later, when the April showers have clothed the brown earth with an emerald sheen and the fruit-trees are in full flower, one might wish that the beautiful bloom of apple, pear, and peach would linger with us; but the fruit-trees are deaf to this unwise desire, and in a few days the winds, at play among the blossoms, scatter far and wide the pink and white petals.
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