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ASPEN
[ Also see Trees ]

At that awful hour of the Passion, when the Savior of the world felt deserted in His agony, when--
  "The sympathizing sun his light withdrew,
    And wonder'd how the stars their dying Lord could view"--
      when earth, shaking with horror, rung the passing bell for Deity, and universal nature groaned, then from the loftiest tree to the lowliest flower all felt a sudden thrill, and trembling, bowed their heads all save the proud and obdurate aspen, which said, "Why should we weep and tremble? we trees, and plants, and flowers are pure and never sinned!" Ere it ceased to speak, an involuntary trembling seized its very leaf, and the word went forth that it should never rest, but tremble on until the day of judgment.
      - Unattributed Author, Legend,
        from "Notes and Queries", first series, vol. VI, no. 161

What whispers so strange at the hour of midnight,
  From the aspen leaves trembling so wildly?
    Why in the lone wood sings it sad, when the bright
      Full moon beams upon it so mildly?
      - Bernhard S. Ingemann, The Aspen

Beneath a shivering canopy reclined,
  Of aspen leaves that wave without a wind,
    I love to lie, when lulling breezes stir
      The spiry cones that tremble on the fir.
      - John Leyden, Noontide

And the wind, full of wantonness, wooes like a lover
  The young aspen-trees till they tremble all over.
      - Thomas Moore,
        Lalla Rookh--Light of the Harem

Do I? Yea, in truth, do I, an 'twere an aspen leaf. I cannot abide swaggerers.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Hostess at II, iv)

O, had the monster seen those lily hands
  Tremble like aspen leafs upon a lute
    And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
      He would not then have touched them for his life.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Marcus at II, iv)


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