DIAMONDS IN LITERATURE 395
to it as an adornment of the person excepted, the poets employ the
diamond more frequently to heighten their description of water and
light than in any other way. Nor could it well be otherwise, for as
Bryant says in " Green River: "
" The quivering glimmer of sun and rill
With a sudden flash on the eye is thrown,
Like the ray that streams from the diamond-stone."
who has reveled in the exquisite fairy dance of light and water, in
which every movement of each, twins with the grace and beauty of the
other to the joyous bewilderment of the onlooker, can understand the
despair of the poet for words to carry the impression, and his
desperate seizure of the most precious and beautiful thing known, to
" After the Tempest," Bryant describes the landscape when Nature,
drenched, the clouds and windstorm gone, basks once more in the hush
of repose under a beaming sun. One hears in the lines, the momentary
rustle of the flying bird, and feels the splash of liquid diamonds as
they fall on hand and cheek:
The raindrops glistened on the trees around, Whose shadows on the tall
grasses were not stirred, Save when a shower of diamonds, to the
ground, Was shaken by the flight of startled bird."
The same poet creates about the gem a beautiful and pleasing fancy in " A Winter Piece " :
" Oh! you might deem the spot The spacious cavern of some virgin mine, Deep in the womb of earth, where the gems grow,