splendor of the White Mountain
region as ‘dauntingly terrible, being full of rocky hills, as thick as molehills in a meadow, and full of infinite thick woods.’
spoke of Niagara
, in the narrative still quoted in the guide-books, as a ‘frightful cataract;’ and honest John Adams
could find no better name than ‘horrid chasm’ for the picturesque gulf at Egg Rock
, where he first saw the sea-anemone.
But we are lingering too long, perhaps, with this sweet April of smiles and tears.
It needs only to add, that all her traditions are beautiful.
says well, that she was not named from aperire
, to open, as some have thought, but from Aphrodite
, goddess of beauty.
April holds Easter-time, St. George
's Day, and the Eve of St. Mark
's. She has not, like her sister May in Germany
, been transformed to a verb and made a synonyme for joy,—‘Deine Seele maiet den truben Herbst
,’—but April was believed in early ages to have been the birth-time of the world.
According to the Venerable Bede
, the point was first accurately determined at a council held at Jerusalem
about A. D. 200, when, after much profound discussion, it was finally decided that the world's birthday occurred on Sunday, April 8th,—that is, at the vernal equinox and the full moon.
But April is certainly the birth-time of the season, at least, if not of the planet.
Its festivals are older than Christianity, older than the memory of man. No sad associations cling to it, as to the month of June, in which month, says William of Malmesbury
, kings are wont to go to war,—‘Quando solent reges ad arma procedere
,’—but it contains the Holy Week
, and it is the Holy Month
And in April Shakespeare
was born, and in April he died.