Doubtless botany has its value; but the flowers knew how to preach divinity before men knew how to dissect and botanize them; they are apt to stop preaching, though, so soon as we begin to dissect and botanize them.
Imagination is the organ through which the soul within us recognizes a soul without us; the spiritual eye by which the mind perceives and converses with the spiritualities of nature under her material forms; which tends to exalt even the senses into soul by discerning a soul in the objects of sense.
In the hands of genius, the driest stick becomes an Aarons rod, and buds and blossoms out in poetry. Is he a Burns? the sight of a mountain daisy unseals the fountains of his nature, and he embalms the bonny gem in the beauty of his spirit. Is he a Wordsworth? at his touch all nature is instinct with feeling; the spirit of beauty springs up in the footsteps of his going, and the darkest, nakedest grave becomes a sunlit bank empurpled with blossoms of life.