Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thinking of Spring

Though it will take some time to disappear, the ice and snow began melting today. I bought this card, post marked in 1908, last November at an antique shop in town. I was intrigued by its symbolism. The verse on the card is attributed to a "Mitchell. " I found this poet difficult to track down. Plus I'm having trouble with my eyes again and can't look at the monitor for more than half an hour at a time, so my research efforts were at best limited. If anyone knows or can track down this poet, I would appreciate it if you let me know.

This is the verse on the card:

But soon the icy mass shall melt:

the winter end his reign,

The sun's reviving warmth be felt,

And nature smile again. --Mitchell

The four lines seem to limit the image of this post card, which seems to be an image of the personification of spring. No doubt, a beauty, she huddles by an earthly fire. She peers at the birds, which seem to be gleaning crumbs from what could be the last of her winter stored grain. One foot is exposed to the elements, testing the air. The other is tucked into her scarlet dress for warmth. Alas, it is still winter and she will not yet dance.

I thought this image would make a transition from flowers to crucifixion, which will be my theme for April.


  1. I am going to have a new "Postcard Scavenger Hunt" to start this Thursday and the subject will be "Spring" so I would like to have you put your link in Mr. Linky when it is available.

    Here is the poem I found in Google:

    FRANCESCA ANNA PASCALIS, a daughter of
    Dr. FeJix Pascalis, an Italian physician and
    scholar, who had married a native of Phila
    delphia, and resided several years in that city,
    was born in August, 1803. While she was
    a child her parents removed to New York,
    where Dr. Pascalis was conspicuous not only
    for his professional abilities, but for his wri
    tings upon various curious and abstruse sub
    jects in philosophy, and was intimate with
    many eminent persons, among whom was
    Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill, who was so pleased
    with Francesca, that in 1815, when she was
    in the twelfth year of her age, he addressed
    to her the following playful and characteris
    tic Valentine :

    Descending snows the earth o erspread,
    Keen blows the northern blast ;

    Condensing clouds scowl over head,
    The tempest gathers fast.

    But soon the icy mass shall melt,

    The winter end his reign,
    The sun s reviving warmth be felt,

    And nature smile again.

    The plants from torpid sleep shall wake,
    And, nursed by vernal showers,

    Their yearly exhibition make
    Of foliage and of flowers.

    So you an opening bud appear,
    Whose bloom and verdure shoot,

    To load Francesca s growing year
    With intellectual fruit.

    The feathered tribes shall flit along,

    And thicken on the trees,
    Till air shall undulate with song,

    Till music stir the breeze.

    Thus, like a charming bird, your lay

    The listening ear shall greet,
    And render social circles gay,

    Or make retirement sweet.

    Then warblers chirp, and roses ope,

    To entertain my fair,
    Till nobler themes engage her hope,

    And occupy her care.

  2. I owe you one. Thanks for the reference. I need to change browsers or take a class on Internet searches. I searched for hours and found nothing on that quote.
    I haven't figured out the Mr. Linky business either. I may just be an incorrigible cyber dufus. I'll keep trying though.

  3. It took me a while to figure out Mr. Linky too. I finally realized there is nothing to figure out unless you want a Mr. Linky on your own site. All you have to do with someone else's Mr. Linky is enter your URL.

    I use Google's Advance Search for something like this. I put in one line of the quote where you put an exact phrase and there were only 3 results (and one was yours). I didn't have such good luck with some quotes I was looking up for myself--there were thousands of results that had the same 4 lines I already had so it took quite a while to find the rest of the quote.

  4. Well done, Postcardy. Of course, if a grown man were to devote that much time to a Valentine for a pre-teen today, he might find himself answering a lot of uncomfortable questions. But the article described Dr. Mitchill as "eminent", which means that he could probably have called in a favor. I am reminded of all the inappropriate photos that Lewis Carroll got away with.