The Flowering of New England

For Cambridge had ripened, in these few short years, as a well-tended garden ripens in June.  All in a mist of birds and honeysuckle, the literary mind had put forth shoots.  Thoughts were growing, books were growing under the quiet boughs of the ancient elm-trees, in the fragrant shadows of the locusts, the perfume of the Daphne and the lilac.  Robins darted down the leafy paths, orioles swung on their nests; one heard the murmur of bees and doves and the bobolink’s song in the meadows along the river. The scent of the syringa filled the air.  These were the scholastic shades that poets had always loved; and books, whether in verse or prose, were springing from the Cambridge mind, thick and fast as the grass of the Cambridge door-yards…Everyone in Cambridge appeared to be writing a book.
— Van Wyck Brooks


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