In this mature beauty, which is far more permanent than the more exquisite spring loveliness, there is a great charm. The monotony of July greens has yielded to the deeper tones of the woodland in August. The declining sun casts longer shadows in the afternoon. The grass along the winding stream, now at its lowest, stands up high from the surface of the water, with darkly shaded edges the more apparent that its prevailing tones are russet with bright golden lights, where the hay has not yet been cut Here and there the broad expanse shows a hay-cart and a few moving figures, the one touch of life wanting at other seasons to the landscape. The rounded hay-cocks in the distance are lightly shaded on the side opposite the light. There are streaks of red-brown where some of the grass is in blossom, and of vivid green where masses of sedges line the low banks of the tiny winding river, in which their reflections tone the blue through soft gradations to the deepest shadow. A solitary heron floats above the marsh, beating the air with slow strokes of his broad wings. In the evening sometimes the clanging of the wild geese is beard, the first deep tone in the knell of dying summer. Now and then a white flight of gulls comes up from the harbor searching for fish, pouncing down behind the grass after some luckless perch in the water. The shadows of the distant Oaks arc darkest blue, and some far-off Elms fleck the front of an orange-colored cottage and subdue it to harmony. The gray roofs and red chimneys of the distant houses and barns, half-buried in foliage, seem an essential of the picture, giving it that touch of humanness without which a landscape lacks its final charm. The veranda rail, with its drapery of Woodbine, gives a strong accent that brings out the values of the middle distance, while the tops of two old Apple-trees, laden with fruit, make a pleasing curve in contrast to the level lines of the party-colored marsh, elsewhere broken by the ashy-green foliage of some graceful Willows across the invisible road.
So much, at least, our landscape gar dening has accomplished; the ugly line which killed our predecessor has been obliterated by our border-plantation, and, to all intents and purposes, the great stretch of grassy meadow, with its winding stream and its bounding masses of Oak and Maple woods, is our own park, for none of its owners get the good of it as we do. For us it glows with sunshine, or frowns with a passing cloud; ours all this wealth of jasper and chrysoprase and turquoise; as much ours as the silver sheen of the Willows which wave so softly gray against it, and rest the eye from the dazzling tints in which the old marsh arrays herself for the mowers. But the problem that vexes our spirits is that unshaped foreground, and how it may be made to blend more completely with the meadow into one harmonious whole. If the great Apple-tree could but change places with a certain Elm, that is of no use in the landscape where it stands, the matter would settle itself. Two more Apple-trees to cut down, and you have a composition.