In the book The Information - A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick, there is a portion of text which speaks about the gradually increasing meanings/senses attached to verbs like go, make, take etc. And the corresponding challenges a dictionary faces in attempting to capture all those meanings. While presenting this point, Samuel Johnson, a prominent lexicographer, has been quoted. I did not understand one symbolism used in that quotation. Below is the quotation -
My labor has likewise been much increased by a class of verbs too frequent in the English language, of which the signification is so loose and general, the use so vague and indeterminate, and the senses detorted so widely from the first idea, that it is hard to trace them through the maze of variation, to catch them on the brink of utter inanity, to circumscribe them by any limitations, or interpret them by any words of distinct and settled meaning; such are bear, break, come, cast, full, get, give, do, put, set, go, run, make, take, turn, throw. If of these the whole power is not accurately delivered, it must be remembered, that while our language is yet living, and variable by the caprice of every one that speaks it, these words are hourly shifting their relations, and can no more be ascertained in a dictionary, than a grove, in the agitation of a storm, can be accurately delineated from its picture in the water.
From the structure of the sentences, I guess, that Samuel Johnson wants to say - it is very hard to capture, in a dictionary, the ever-changing senses in which these verbs are used. But I am not getting the imagery implied by the phrase "a grove, in the agitation of a storm, can be accurately delineated from its picture in the water". And subsequently, how it can be compared to the difficulty with these verbs.
P.S.: Would be better to get an answer that helps imagine the scene, and thereby draw the parallel with the metaphor.