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Nature expressions expound in the second half of Whitman’s prose collection, Specimen Days.
Whitman contrasts the green of apple orchards and the yellow of wheat fields, the fresh morning to the hazy afternoon. The lilac bushes are the beautiful, perfumed flowers of May, Whitman’s birth month. They are also symbols of President Lincoln from Whitman’s “Memories of President Lincoln.”

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Apple orchards, the trees all coverd with blossoms;
Wheat fields carpeted far and near in vital emerald green;
The eternal, exhaustless freshness of each early morning;
The yellow, golden, transparent haze of the warm afternoon sun;
The aspiring lilac bushes with profuse purple or white flowers.