Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/84

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in the twilight with long-haired lovers in knee breeches and round hats. Nuns in their gray, gowns went to and fro from hospital and the insane asylum or charity school; and the beautiful old priest sometimes went feebly by smiling paternally on his flock, who rose and uncovered reverently as he passed.

Flowers were everywhere,—in the gardens of the rich, at the windows of the poor. The stalls in the market were gay with plumy lilacs, splendid tulips, roses of every shade, and hyacinths heavy with odor. All along the borders of the river waved the blossoming grass; every green bank about the mills at Lehon was yellow with dandelions, and the sunny heads of little children welcoming the flower of the poor. Even the neglected churchyard of the ruined abbey, where the tombs of the stately Beaumanoirs still stand, was bright with cheerful daisies and blue-eyed forget-me-nots.

The willows in the valley were covered with fragrant tassels, and the old women and children sat all day on door-stones and by the wayside stripping the long, white wands for basket-making. Flax fields were blooming in the meadows, and