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Full text of "The voice of flowers"

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THE 



VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY. 



" Bring flowers bright flowers." 

Mrs. Hemctns* 



FOURTH EDITION. 

HARTFORD: 
H. S. PARSONS AND CO. 

1817. 







En emI ajccoVdfiig to &.eof Cqns^eSs/. n the year 1845, by 

H. S. PARSONS &, CO., 
In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of Connecticut. 



Stereotyped by 

RICHARD H. HOBBS, 
Hartford, Conn. 



INDEX. 



Page. 
FLOWERS, 5 

The Winter Hyacinth, 7 

He told his love in flowers, 9 

The Disobedient Pansy, 12 

The Lobelia Cardinalis, 14 

The White Lily, 17 

Flora s Party, 18 

The Tulip and Eglantine, 29 

The Blossom and the P>eautiful, 30 

The Snow-Drop, 32 

The Cactus Speciosissimus, 33 

The Dahlia and Verbena, 35 

The Desert Flower, 37 

Minerva s Prize, 39 

King Frost and the Garden Beauties, .... 42 

Transplanted Flowers, 45 

Wild Flowers gathered for a Sick Friend, ... 47 

Gossip with a Spring Bouquet, 48 

The Hollyhock and her Visitor, 53 

The Evening Primrose, 56 

The Constant Friends, 57 

The Tears of April, 59 

Planting Geranium and Box on the Grave of an 
Aged Friend, . . . 60 



M100476 



iV INDEX. 

Page. 

Forgotten Flowers. To a Bride, 64 

Circle of Friends compared to Flowers, ... 66 

Blossoms falling from Fruit-trees, 74 

The Willow, Poppy, and Violet, 76 

The Early Frost, 79 

The Stranger s Flower 85 

The Lily s Whisper, 87 

Planting Flowers on the Grave of Parents, . . 89 

Alpine Flowers, 92 

The Rose-Geranium, companion of a voyage, . 94 

The Emigrant Daisy, 95 

The Travelled Flower, 97 

Spring Blossoms to the Mourner, 101 

The Hare-Bell 103 

Evening Flowers, 104 

The Garden and the Rain, 106 

Changes during Sickness, 110 

Misletoe at the Tomb of Washington, ... 113 

Ministry of Flowers, 115 

The Winter Bouquet, 119 

Farewell to Flowers, 321 

Glossary, 125 



THE VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



FLOWERS. 

SWEET playmates of life s earliest hours ! 

They ne er upbraid the child, 
Who, in the wantonness of mirth, 

Uproots them on the wild ; 
And when the botanist, his shaft, 

With cruel skill, doth ply, 
Reproachless neath the fatal wound, 

Martyrs to science die. 

Wreathed brightly mid the locks of youth, 

They come to beauty s aid, 
And in this ministry of love 

All un reluctant fade ; 
To grace the bridal and the feast, 

From sun and shower, they bring 
Such robes of glorious tint, as sham d 

Judea s gorgeous king. 



\H i YOiCfc OF 1 FLOW^flS. 

- Anci when the fallen meet the scorn 

Of man s disdainful eye, 
They smile amid his path of thorn 

With sweet and pitying sigh ; 
And to the brow of guilt and care, 

The heart by anguish riven, 
Still point, with angel-finger, where 

The sinner is forgiven. 

They shrink not in our ghastly shroud 

Their sad abode to take, 
And keep their vigil o er the tomb, 

When all beside forsake ; 
Down in their own dark sleep of death 

They sink at wintry hour, 
But in new glory rise to show 

The soul s immortal dower. 

Oh ! sharers in our time of joy, 

And weepers in our woe, 
We bless ye, children of the sky, 

That by the wayside grow ; 
That to the cottage eaves go up, 

Or wreathe the courtly hall, 
Still, like the Power who call d ye forth, 

Dispensing love to all. 



THE WINTER HYACINTH. 



THE WINTER HYACINTH. 

How beautiful thou art, my winter flower ! 
Day after day thy mesh of slender roots, 
That mid the water wrought their busy wav, 
I Ve watch d intently through the chrystal vase 
That deck d my mantel-piece. 

Then, bursting forth, 

Came leaves, and swelling buds, and floral bells, 
Replete with fragrance: while thy graceful 

form, 

Fair Hyacinth, attracted every eye, 
And many a phrase of admiration woke, 
As from a lover s lip ; while unto me 
Thou wert as a companion, skill d to smile 
All loneliness away. 

But now alas ! 

I mark the plague-spot stealing o er thy brow, 
And know that thou must die. 

In thy brief space, 

Say did thine inmost soul remember Him 
Of whom thy rare and pencill d beauty spake 
So tenderly to us ? And was thy breath 
A pure and sweet ascription to His praise ? 
We trust it was ; forthose who teach of heaven 
Should have its spirit too. 



8 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Yet, if like us, 

Poor erring ones, thou e er didst leave undone 
What t was the duty of thy life to do, 
Haste, and repent thee ! for the time is short 
The Spoiler cometh ! 

Drooping on the stem, 
Methought it meekly folded its faint leaves 
For the last, voiceless prayer ; while unto me 
A gush of fragrance was its benison. 

At morn I came. No more its bosom glow d ; 
A heavy sleep hung o er its leaden eyes, 
And dews like funeral tears. 

Oh, Friend ! whose gift 
Was the dark bulb that veil d this glorious 

flower, 

And unto whom, in gratitude, I turn d, 
As its rich charms develop d come with me, 
And let us gather from its wither d lips 
Some lingering sigh of wisdom. 

If we blend 

True love to God with every kindly deed 
Unto our fellow man, and steadfast stand 
At duty s post, still inly bow d, as those 
Who feel the time is short may we not wait 
For sleep s last angel, full of placid trust, 
Like this sweet, folded flower ? 



HE TOLD HIS LOVE IN FLOWERS. 



HE TOLD HIS LOVE IN 
FLOWERS. 

I LL tell thee a story, friend, 

Here, under this shady tree ; 
If thou It keep it close in thy faithful breast, 

I 11 whisper the whole to thee 

I had a lover once, 

In my early, sunny hours ; 
A fair and fanciful youth was he, 

And he told his love in flowers. 

I remember its waking sigh ; 

We roam d in a verdant spot, 
And he cull d for me a cluster bright 

Of the purple " Forget me not." 

But I was a giddy girl, 

So I toss d it soon away, 
Gathering the dandelion buds, 

And the wild-grape s gadding spray. 



10 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

He mark d their blended hues 

With sad, reproachful eye 
For one was the symbol of thoughtless mirth, 

And one of coquetry. 

Yet he would not be baffled thus 
So he brought for my chrystal vase 

The Rose-geranium s tender bloom, 
And the blushing Hawthorn s grace. 

And a brilliant and fresh bouquet 
Of the rich Moss-rose he bore, 

Whose eloquent buds with dew-drops pearl d, 
Were full of the heart s deep lore. 

I could not refuse the gift, 

Though I knew the spell it wove ; 
But I gave him back a snow-white bud : 

" Too young too young to love." 

Then he proffer d a myrtle wreath, 

With damask roses fair, 
And took the liberty only think ! 

To bind it round my hair. 

And he prest in my yielding hand 

The Everlasting Pea, 
Whose questioning lip of perfume breath d, 

" Oh, say, wilt thou go with me?" 



HE TOLD HIS LOVE IN FLOWERS. 11 

Yet we were but children still, 

And our love, tho it seem d so sweet, 

Was well express d by the types it bore, 
For it pass d away as fleet. 

Tho he brought me the Laurel leaf, 

That changes but to die, 
And the Primrose pale, and Amaranth, 

Yet what did it signify ? 

For over his vaunted love 

Suspicion s mood had power 

So I put a French Marigold in his hat, 
That gaudy and jealous flower. 

But his rootless passion shrank, 

Like Jonah s gourd, away, 
Till the cold Chrysanthemum best reveal d 

The blight of its quick decay. 

And he sail d o er the faithless sea 
To a brighter clime than ours : 

So it faded away, that fickle love, 
Like its alphabet of flowers. 



12 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



THE DISOBEDIENT PANSY. 

A PANSY had many little ones. She talked 
much with them daily instructing them, and 
set them a good example of sweet temper and 
humility. 

She said often to them, " As soon as the 
great sun sinks away from you, and you feel 
the cool, fresh dews, compose yourself to rest. 
Look up smilingly, and breathe one sweet 
breath to Him who giveth the sun-beam, and 
the drops of dew. 

When you have offered this, (the prayer of all 
good flowers,) fold your leaves, and bend your 
heads in sleep, for He will take care of you. 
The buds that thus early and piously go to rest, 
will flourish and be pleasing in His sight." 

So her children obeyed her, all except one. 
This young pansy grew on rather a longer. 
stalk than the others ; and it said, " I wonder 
why my mother is thus always lecturing us ?" 

" I think I know as much as she. I do not 
like to go so early to bed. I have heard that 
those who have genius are always brightest 
when it is late. I wish to see how the world 
looks at midnight." 

So she omitted her prayers, and strained hex 



THE DISOBEDIENT PANSY. 13 

eyes open as wide as she could. Her brothers 
and sisters were quietly sleeping around her, 
and she laughed at what she called their stu 
pidity. 

By and by she began to grow tired, when 
suddenly a huge black spider seized her in his 
claws. She cried out in terror, but no one 
was awake to hear her. 

He held her so tight that she could scarcely 
breathe, and tears stood in her large, dark eyes. 
In the gray dawn he spun a web over her face, 
and fastened it to a neighboring shrub. 

Her mother awoke early, and lamented over 
her ; " Oh, my poor daughter, would that I 
could help you ! Perhaps He, to whom you 
forgot to pray, who is so good to all, may yet 
cause these chains to fall from you." 

Bitterly did the young pansy deplore her 
disobedience. Her fright, and the spider s 
cords, with their tight lacing, had so com 
pressed her heart and lungs, that she turned 
pale, and panted for breath. 

When the noon-day sun beat fiercely upon 
her, she drooped and faded away saying, with 
her last, faint sigh, " Oh ! brothers and sisters, 
take warning by my sad fate. Never disobey 
our dear mother, for she is wiser than we." 



14 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



THE LOBELIA CARDINALIS. 

" CULL me a flower," the Indian maid 

Unto her lover sigh d 
" Such as thy noble spirit deems 

Fit for thy chosen bride. 

" And I will wear it on my brow 

When from this home I part, 
And enter to thy forest bower, 

Thy true love in my heart." 

With meek intent, and searching glance, 
The chieftain pac d the sod 

Who, with Acteon s haughty stride, 
Had erst that region trod. 

Not now, to rouse the slumbering deer, 

Or scathe the eagle s throne, 
Thro those secluded shades he roam d 

His heart was love s alone. 

He cut the rich, wild rose, that still 

A lingering radiance cast 
Yet soon its falling petals told 

Its day of pride was past. 



THE LOBELIA CARDINALIS. 15 

He pluck d the iris, deeply blue, 

The amaryllis, bright, 
And stor d their treasures through the day, 

But cast them forth at night. 

He bound the water-lily white, 

Amid her lustrous hair, 
But found her black and flashing eye 

Requir d a gem more rare. 

At length, beside its mantling pool, 

Majestic and serene, 
He saw the proud Lobelia tower 

In beauty, like a queen. 

That eve, the maiden s ebon locks 

ReveaFd its glowing power, 
Amid the simple, nuptial rites 

That grac d the chieftain s bower. 

But she, who, by that stately flower, 

Her lover s preference knew, 
Was doom d, alas ! in youthful bloom, 

To share its frailty, too ; 

For ere again its scarlet spire 

Rejoic d in summer s eye, 
She droop d amid her forest home 

Her fount of life was dry. 



16 VOICE OP FLOWERS. 

Then, as the ebbing pulse declin d, 

Forth from her sacred nook, 
With swimming eye, and trembling hand, 

Her bridal wreath she took, 

And bound its wither d floral bells 

Around her temples pale, 
And faintly to her maidens spake 

For breath began to fail : 

" Should the last death-pang shake me sore, 
(For on they come with power,) 

Press closer in my ice-cold hand 
My husband s token-flower; 

And rear the turf-mound broad and high 

To span my lonely grave, 
That nought may sever from my locks 

The gift of love he gave 

So, when the dance of souls goes forth 

Athwart the starry plain, 
He 11 know me by his chosen flower, 

And I 11 be his again." 



THE WHITE LILY. 17 

THE WHITE LILY. 

TO A YOUNG LADY. 

WITH its pure and stainless breast, 

See the graceful Lily rise, 
Bearing on its snowy vest 

Pearly dew-drops from the skies. 

Emblem of the youthful mind 
Fresh from Nature s pencil bright, 

And by Heaven s own smile refm d 
For unfading realms of light. 

Fair One may thy life below, 
Like that peaceful flow ret prove, 

And thy spirit s fragrance flow 
O er the fervent heart of love. 

Of thyself forgetful still, 

All who dwell around thee bless, 
Heedful of thy Maker s will, 

Beautiful in lowliness. 

Long may faithful Memory dwell 
On thy virtues fond and true, 

And Affection s tablet tell 

Where the stainless Lily grew. 



18 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



FLORA S PARTY. 

LADY FLORA gave cards for a party at tea, 
To flowers, buds, and blossoms of ev ry degree ; 
So from town and from country they thronged 

at the call, 
And strove, by their charms, to embellish the 

hall. 

First flock d the exotics, with ornaments rare, 
The tall Oleander and Heliotrope fair ; 
Camella, resplendent with jewels new set, 
And changeful Hydrangia, the heartless co 
quette. 

The Tulips came flaunting in gaudy array, 
With Hyacinths, bright as the eye of the day ; 
Dandy Coxcombs and Daffodils, proudly polite, 
With their dazzling red vests, and their corsets 

laced tight ; 

While the Soldiers in Green, cavalierly at 
tired, 

Were all by the ladies extremely admired ; 
But the beautiful Lily, with bosom of snow, 
Complain d that those officers star d at her so, 
She was strangely confus d, and would like to 

be told 

What they saw in her manners that made them 
so bold. 



FLORA S PARTY. 19 

There were Myrtles and Roses from garden 

and plain, 
And Venus s Fly Trap, they brought in their 

train ; 
So the beaux cluster d round them, they hardly 

knew why, 
At each smile of the lip, or each glance of the 

eye. 
Madame Damask a robe had from Paris brought 

out, 

The envy of all who attended the rout ; 
Its drapery was folded, her form to adorn, 
And clasp d at the breast with a diamond-set 

thorn. 
Yet she, quite unconscious, t would seem, of 

the grace 
That enchanted all groups who frequented the 

place, 
Introduced, with the sweetest of words in her 

mouth, 
The young Multiflora, her guest from the 

South. 
Neighbor Cinnamon prated of household and 

care, 
How she seldom went out, even to breathe the 

fresh air ; 



20 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

There were so many young ones and servants 

to stray, 
And the thorns grew so fast if her eye was 

away : 
" Cousin Moss-Rose," she said, " you who 

live like a queen, 
And ne er wet your lingers, scarce know w r hat 

I mean." 

So that notable lady went on with her lay, 
Till the auditors yawned, and stole softly 

away. 

The sweet Misses Woodbine, from country 

and town, 
With their brother-in-law, Colonel Trumpet, 

came down ; 
And Lupine, whose azure eye sparkled with 

dew, 
On Amaranth leaned, the unchanging and 

true ; 

While modest Clematis appeared as a bride, 
And her husband, the Lilac, ne er moved from 

her side 
Tho the Dahlias all giggled, and said, " Twas 

a shame 
For a young married chit, such attention to 

claim ; 



FLORA S PARTY. 21 

They had travell d enough, in all conscience, 

to tell 
What the ton was abroad, where the great 

people dwell, 

But were ne er at a ball, or soiree in their life, 
Where a city-bred gentleman spoke to his 

wife." 

Mrs. Piony came in, quite late, in a heat, 

With the Ice -plant, new-spangled from fore 
head to feet, 

Lobelia, attired like a queen in her pride, 

And the Larkspurs, with trimmings new fur 
bished and dyed, 

And the Blue-bells and Hare-bells in simple 
array, 

With all their Scotch cousins, from highland 
and brae. 

Acacias and Marigolds clustered together, 

And gossiped of scandal, the news, and wea 
ther, 

What dresses were worn at the wedding so 
fine 

Of Counsellor Thistle, and fair Columbine ; 

Of the loves of Sweet- William, and Lily, the 
prude, 

Till the clamors of Babel again seem d re 
newed. 



22 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

In a little snug nook sate the Jessamine pale, 
And that pure, fragrant Lily, the gem of the 

vale ; 
The meek Mountain-Daisy, with delicate 

crest, 
And the Violet, whose eye told the Heaven in 

her breast ; 
While allur d to their side, were the wise ones, 

who bow d 
To that virtue which seeks not the praise of 

the crowd. 
But the proud Crown Imperial, who wept in 

her heart 

That modesty gained of such homage a part, 
Looked haughtily down on their innocent 

mein, 
And spread out her gown, that they might not 

be seen. 

The bright Lady-slippers, and Sweet-briars 

agreed 
With their slim cousin Aspens a measure to 

lead; 
And sweet t was to see their light footsteps 

advance, 
Like the wing of the breeze, thro the maze 

of the dance ; 



FLORA S PARTY. 23 

But the Monk s-hood scowPd dark, and in 

utterance low, 
Declared " t was high time for good Christians 

to go ;" 

He d heard from the pulpit a sermon sublime, 
Where t was proved from the Vulgate " To 

dance was a crime." 

So, wrapping a cowl round his cynical head, 
He snatch d from the side-board a bumper, 

and fled. 

A song was desired, but each musical flower 

Had " taken a cold, and t was out of her 
power ;" 

Till sufficiently urged, they burst forth in a 
strain 

Of quavers and trills, that astonished the tram. 

Mimosa sat shrinking, and said, with a sigh, 

" Twas so fine, she was ready with rapture, 
to die ;" 

And Cactus, the grammar-school tutor, de 
clared 

"It might be with the gamut of Orpheus com 
pared." 

But Night-shade, the metaphysician, com 
plained 

That " the nerves of his ears were excessively 
pained ; 



24 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

T was but seldom he crept from the college," 

he said, 
"And he wished himself safe in his study, or 

bed." 

Lady Flora, t was thought, had a taste for 

design, 

And her skill in embroidery all felt to be fine ; 
So the best of her pictures, fo r tinting and 

shade, 

Were all on this pleasant occasion displayed. 
Her visitors vied in expressions of praise, 
And exhausted the store-house of elegant 

phrase ; 
Tho some grave connoisseurs in a circle must 

draw, 
Their acuteness to show by detecting a flaw. 

Miss Carnation took her eye-glass from her 

waist, 

And pronounc d they were scarce in good- 
keeping, or taste, 
While prim Fleur de lis in her robe of French 

silk, 

And magnificent Calla, with mantle like milk, 
Of the Louvre recited a wonderful tale, 
And how " Guido s rich tints made dame Na 
ture look pale." 



FLORA S PARTY. !flf 

Signer Snow-Ball assented, and ventured to 

add 
An opinion, that " all Nature s coloring was 

bad ;" 
He had thought so, e er since a short period he 

spent, 
To muse on the paintings of Rome, as he 

went 

To visit his friend Rhododendron, who chose 
An abode on the Alps, in a palace of snows. 
But he took, on Mont Blanc, a most terrible 

chill, 
And since his return had been pallid and ill. 

Half-wither d Miss Hackrnetack studied her 



And hop d with her cousins, the Spruces, to 

pass ; 

But Ivy, the sage antiquarian, who knew 
Every cycle, twas said, that Chronology drew, 
Thro his near-sighted optics, descrying her 

late, 

Discompos d her, by asking some aid in a date ; 
So she pouted her lip*, and said, tartly, with 

scorn, 
She " could not remember before she was 

born." 



26 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Old Jonquil, the crooked-back d beau, had been 

told, 
That a tax would be laid on old bachelors 

gold, 
So he lac d down his hump, pre-determined to 

try 

The long disus d weapons of Cupid, so sly, 
Sought out half open d buds in their infantine 

years, 
And ogled them all, till they blushed to their 

ears. 

Philosopher Sage, on a sofa was prosing, 
With good Dr. Chamomile quietly dozing, 
Though the Laurel descanted, with eloquent 

breath, 

Of heroes and battles, of victory and death ; 
Of the conquests of Greece, and Bozzaris, the 

brave, 
" He had trod in his footsteps, and sigh d o er 

his grave." 

Farmer Sunflower stood near, entertaining a 

guest, 
With the crops he had rais d, and the cheeses 

he prest ; 



FLORA S PARTY. 27 

For the true-hearted soul deem d a weather- 
stained face, 

Or a toil-harden d hand, were no marks of dis 
grace. 

Then he beckon d his nieces to rise from their 
seat, 

The plump Dandelion, and Butter-cup neat, 

And bade them to " pack up their duds, and 
away, 

He believ d in his heart twas the break of 
the day. 

" And high time it is, for good people," said 
he, 

" At home, and in bed, with their households 
to be." 

Twas indeed very late, and the coaches 
were brought, 

For the grave matron flowers of their nur 
series thought ; 

The lustre was dimmed of each drapery rare, 

And the lucid young brows looked beclouded 
with care ; 

All, save the bright Cereus, that nymph so 
divine, 

Who preferr d through the curtains of midnight 
to shine : 



28 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Now with congees, and curtseys, they moved 

to the door, 
But the White Poppy nodded ere parting was 

o er, 

For Night her last candle was snuffing away, 
And Flora grew tired, though she begged them 

to stay ; 
Exclaimed, " all the watches and clocks were 

too fast, 
And old Time fled in spite, lest her pleasure 

should last." 

Yet when the last guest went, with daugh 
ter and wife, 
She vowed she " was never so glad in her 

life ;" 
Called out to her maids, who with weariness 

wept, 
To " wash all the glasses and cups ere they 

slept, 
For Aurora, that pimp, with her broad staring 

eye, 
Would be pleas d, in her house, some disorder 

to spy." 
Then drank some pure honey-dew, fresh from 

the lawn, 
And with Zephyrons hastened to sleep until 

dawn. 



THE TULIP AND EGLANTINE. 29 



THE TULIP AND EGLAN 
TINE. 

THE Tulip called to the Eglantine ; 

" Good neighbor, I hope you see 
How the throngs that visit the garden come 

To pay their respects to me. 

" The florist admires my elegant robe, 

And praises its rainbow ray, 
Till it seoms as if, through his raptured eyes 

He was gazing his soul away." 

" It may be so," said the Eglantine ; 

" In a humble nook I dwell, 
And what is passing among the great, 

I cannot know so well. 

But they speak of me, as the flower of love, 
And that low, whispered name, 

Is dearer to me, and my infant buds, 
Than the loudest breath of fame." 



30 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



THE BLOSSOM AND THE 
BEAUTIFUL. 



To a bright bud, with heart of flame, 
The angel of the seasons came, 
Took its close-shrouding hood away, 
And rais d its forehead to the day, 
And from its blushing depths updrew 
A stream of incense, fresh as dew. 

He kiss d its cheek, and went his way, 
And then a form, with temples grey, 
Crept to its side, and taught it how 
To shrink, to shrivel, and to bow, 
On the cold earth its lip to lay, 
And mix with fair things pass d away. 

Thus, to a maid, in beauty s spring, 
Love s angel came, on radiant wing, 
Nerv d the light foot to skim the plain, 
And made the voice a music strain, 
And wreath d his cestus round her breast, 
Till every eye her power confest. 



THE BLOSSOM AND THE BEAUTIFUL. 31 

A ghastly shade, with lifted dart. 
Strode to her couch, and chill d her heart. 
Pale grew the brow, which roses fir d ; 
And the soft breath in sighs expir d : 
Yet that which bound her to the sky 
Escap d his shaft It could not die. 



32 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

THE SNOW DROP. 

A Dedication for an Annual with that title. 

WHEN infant Spring, with a glance of fear, 
Doth tread in the steps of the Winter drear, 
And beckon the streams on the frosted plains 
To loosen the links of their icy chains, 
Ere yet the Violet hath dar d to show 
Its timid head through the wasting snow, 
While Tulip and Dahlia on couches deep, 
In their bulbous night-caps, are fast asleep, 
Like beauties fatigued at the midnight rout, 
Who shut the sun, with their curtains, out, 
At the earliest call of the blue-bird sweet, 
I venture forth through the mist and sleet, 
And haste to bring, with my simple cheer, 
The first glad wish of the new born year. 
But now from Autumn, a boon I bear, 
Of varied tint, and a perfume rare, 
Taste hath wander d through grove and bower, 
The bird to win, and to cull the flower, 
And to gather them close in a charmed ring, 
And to bind them fast with a silken string ; 
Friendship doth offer the gift to thee, 
Pure and warm may its guerdon be. 



THE CACTUS SPECIOSISSIMUS. 33 



THE CACTUS SPECIOSIS 
SIMUS. 

WHO hung thy beauty on such rugged stalk, 
Thou glorious flower ? 

Who poured the richest hues, 
In varying radiance, o er thine ample brow, 
And, like a mesh, those tissued stamens laid 
Upon thy crimson lip ? 

Thou glorious flower ! 
Methinks it were no sin to worship thee, 
Such passport hast thou from thy Maker s 

hand, 

To thrill the soul. Lone, on thy leafless stem, 
Thou bidd st the queenly rose, with all her 

buds, 

Do homage, and the greenhouse peerage bow 
Their rainbow coronets. 

Hast thou no thought ? 
No intellectual life ? thou who can st wake 
Man s heart to such communings ? no sweet 

word 
With which to answer him ? T would almost 

seem 



34 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

That so much beauty needs must have a soul, 
And that such form as tints the gazer s dream, 
Held higher spirit than the common clod 
On which we tread. 

Yet while we muse, a blight 
Steals o er thee, and thy shrinking bosom 

shows 

The mournful symptoms of a wan disease. 
I will not stay to see thy beauty fade. 

Still must I bear away within my heart 

Thy lesson of our own mortality ; 
The fearful withering of each blossomed bough 
On which we lean, of every bud we fain 
Would hide within our bosoms from the touch 
Of the destroyer. 

So instruct us, Lord ! 

Thou Father of the sunbeam and the soul, 
Even by the simple sermon of a flower, 
To cling to Thee. 



THE DAHLIA AND VERBENA. 35 



THE DAHLIA AND VERBENA. 



A TALL and richly drest Dahlia boasted. She 
lifted up her head haughtily, as though she felt 
herself a queen. Her lips moved, and she was 
heard thus to soliloquize : 

" I alone, of all the flowers around, am truly 
beautiful. Which of them can compare with 
me, in elegance of dress, or dignity of deport 
ment? 

Yet I suffer for want of society. I cannot 
associate with those around, who are destitute 
of my accomplishments. 

Here is an insipid Verbena at my feet, al 
ways trying to be sociable. She is so ill-bred 
as to smile, when I meet her eye, as if she 
were an acknowledged acquaintance. 

It is in vain that I strive to convince her of 
her vulgarity. I cannot even look down with 
out seeing her. I wish she would move away, 
and give place to some neighbor, more proper 
for one of my rank. 

I doubt whether she even knows that my 
name is Lady Liverpool. I will throw her 



36 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

a withering frown, and see if it is not possible 
to repel her advances." 

That night there came an early frost. The 
splendid robes of the Dahlia were ruined by 
its chilling touch. She hung her head in bit 
terness, and was ashamed to be seen. 

But the little pale-cheeked Verbena, whom 
she had so long despised, looked meekly up, 
and spoke kind and cheering words. It had 
been sheltered from the frost by the drapery 
of its proud neighbor. 

Forgetting the disdainful demeanor of the 
Dahlia, it tenderly ministered to its sorrows, 
and sent up its sweetest perfumes, to cheer 
her, like a cloud of incense. 

And as I bent down, admiring its sympathy, 
there seemed to come from its meek example, 
a gentle voice, " Go thou and do likewise." 



THE DESERT FLOWER. 37 



THE DESERT FLOWER. 

A WEARY course the traveller held, 

As on with footstep lone, 
By scientific zeal impelled, 

He tracked the torrid zone. 

Sad thought was with his native glades, 

His father s pleasant halls, 
Where darkly peer, through woven shades, 

The abbey s ivied walls. 

Yet to the far horizon s bound, 
Far as the glance could sweep, 

The sandy desert spread around, 
Like one vast, waveless deep. 

What saw he mid that dreary scene, 

To wake his rapture wild ? 
A flower ! A flower ! with glorious mien, 

Like some bright rainbow s child. 



38 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Kneeling, he clasped it to his breast, 
He praised its wondrous birth, 

Fair, fragile, beautiful, and blest, 
The poetry of earth. 

No secret fountain through its veins 

Sustaining vigor threw, 
No dew refreshed those arid plains, 

Yet there the stranger grew. 

It seemed as if some tender friend, 

Beloved in childhood s day, 
A murmur through those leaves did send, 

A smile to cheer his way ; 

And fervently a prayer for those, 

In his own distant bower, 
Like incense from his heart uprose, 

Beside that Desert Flower. 



For thus do Nature s hallowed charms 
Man s softened soul inspire, 

As to the infant in her arms, 
The mother points its sire. 



MINERVA S PRIZE. 39 



MINERVA S PRIZE. 



MINERVA, a visit to Flora once made, 
When the flowers, in a body, their compliments 

paid, 
And, charmed with their manners, and elegant 

dyes, 

Desired she might give to the fairest a prize 
Appointing a day, when herself should preside, 
And on their pretensions to beauty decide. 

Then the Rose bridled up, with a confident 

air, 

As if she would say, Who with me shall com 
pare ? 

While the Lily, but newly come out as a bride, 
Whisper d low to her sisters, and laugh d at 

such pride. 

The Hyacinth studied her wardrobe with care, 
Still puzzled to settle what colors to wear ; 
The Poppy, ashamed of her dull, sleepy eyes, 
Wore a new scarlet dress, with a view to the 
prize. 



40 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Then flock d the Anemones, fair to behold, 
With the rich Polyanthus, in velvet, and gold ; 
And the Tulip came flaunting, and waving her 

fan, 

And turned up her nose at the Daffodil clan. 
The buds who were thought by their mothers 

too young, 
Round their sister s toilettes discontentedly 

hung ; 
There was teazing, and dressing, and prinking 

enough 
The pretty Quill-Daisies each bought a new 

ruff; 

The stately Carnations stood frizzing their hair, 
And the tall London-pride, choosing feathers 

to wear. 

Tne Pink at her mirror was ready to drop, 
And the Snow-ball bought rouge at a milliner s 

shop; 
While in the same square, at a shoe-store so 

neat, 
The trim Lady-Slippers were pinching their 

feet. 
Thrifty Lilac acknowledg d her robe was not 

new, 
But with turning and furbishing thought it 

might do ; 



MINERVA S PRIZE. 41 

While the queer Ragged-Lady, who pass d for 

a poet, 
Sat darning her hose, and wish d no one to 

know it ; 
And Fox-Glove, who sometimes had furnished 

a sonnet, 

Was tying new bows on a fanciful bonnet. 
The green-house exotics, in chariots, went by, 
For their delicate nerves feared each frown of 

the sky, 
While from her low cottage of moss on the 

plain, 
The Violet look d up and admired the bright 

train, 

Not thinking to join in a circle so gay, 
Or dreaming that she had a charm to display ; 
Beside a sick bud she preferred to attend, 
Which down to the dust its pale forehead would 

bend. 

But judge how this splendid conventicle stared, 
When Minerva the prize to the Violet declar d ! 
Remarking, though beauties and graces were 

there, 

That " Modesty ever to her was most fair." 
And distinctly pronounced, in the hearing of all, 
That "the humble must rise, and the arrogant 

fall." 



42 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



KING FROST, AND THE 
GARDEN BEAUTIES. 

THE Dahlia calPd to the Mignionette, 
And what do you think she said ? 

" King Frost has been seen in the vale below," 
And she trembled and shook with dread. 

" King Frost has been seen in the vale below, 

A marshalling forth his train 
Captain Gladiolus told me so, 

And brandish d his sword in vain." 

Then the Snow-Berry knock d at the Wood 
bine s bower, 

Affrighted, and out of breath : 
" Pray, give me a draught of water," said she; 

" I am growing as pale as death." 

"Ah me !" the gay Carnation cried, 

" The Rose, on her dying day, 
Bade me prepare for this solemn hour, 

But I ve trifled my time away." 



KING FROST, ETC. 43 

The Poppy complain d that her sleep was broke 
By her neighbor s noise and fright ; 

And the Coxcomb said " t was a burning shame 
To disturb a belle so bright." 

Lady Larkspur nodded her graceful head, 
And beckon d the fair Sweet-Pea, 

" Do you credit this terrible news, my dear ?" 
" I think tis but gossip," said she. 

"Young Zephyr was here," said the Asters 
proud, 

11 He made us a morning call, 
And if there had been any truth in the tale 

He must surely have known it all : 

" For the daily papers he always reads, 
As soon as they come from the press, 

And if King Frost were at any hotel, 
T would not be forgotten, we guess." 

" T is doubtless a hoax," said the Sun-Flower 
tall, 

" Don t you think that the higher powers 
Would have seen that I was appris d, before 

These pert little radical flowers ?" 



44 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Yet still, Mimosa was nervous and faint, 

And Convolvolus feared to stir, 
And the Mourning-Widow wept, though long 

The world had been dark to her. 

But Amaranth smil d, with a changeless eye, 
And the Constancy rose unbow d, 

For a deathless spirit of hope was theirs, 
And their trust was above the cloud. 

That night, King Frost to the garden came, 

With all his legions dread, 
And laid the might of the proudest low, 

And left the fairest dead. 



TRANSPLANTED FLOWERS. 45 



TRANSPLANTED FLOWERS. 

THERE S many a flower that proudly springs 

Amid the gaudy world s parterre, 
Caress d by Fashion s painted wings, 
To Folly dear. 

Whose flaunting petals woo the sun, 
Heedless of Beauty s transient lot, 
But wither ere the day is done, 

Unwept, forgot. 

Yet some there are that bloom apart, 

With meekly consecrated charm, 
Whose gifts of fragrance cheer the heart 
Like healing balm. 

O er the blest spot, where erst they grew, 

The eye of Love its tears shall shed, 
And Pain and Penury bedew 

Their funeral bed. 



46 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

But, tvath an everlasting beam 

They smile, where no dark cloud descends ; 
Theirs wa> that hallow d incense stream, 

Which heavenward tends. 

Unfading, lo ! they live, they bloom 
Transplanted by His culturing hand, 
Who bade them seek beyond the tomb 
A better land. 



WILD FLOWERS, ETC. 47 



WILD FLOWERS, GATHERED 
FOR A SICK FRIEND. 

RISE from the dells where ye first were born, 
From the tangled beds of the weed and thorn ; 
Rise, for the dews of the morn are bright, 
And haste away with your eyes of light. 
The greenhouse princes, with gathering frown, 
On your simple garbs may look haughtily down, 
Yet shrink not His finger your heads hath 

bowed, 

Who heeds the lowly, and humbles the proud. 
The tardy spring, and the frosty sky, 
Have meted your robes with a miser s eye, 
And checked the blush of your blossoms free ; 
With a gentler friend ytmr home shall be, 
To a kinder ear you may tell your tale 
Of the zephyr s kiss, and the scented gale. 
Ye are charmed ! ye are charmed ! and your 

fragrant sigh 
Is health to the bosom on which ye die. 



48 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



GOSSIP WITH A SPRING 
BOUQUET. 

SPEAK, speak, sweet guests. 

Yes, ope your lips in words. 
Tis my delight to talk with you, and fain 
I d have an answer. I ve been long convinced 
You understand me, though you do not 

choose 

To wear your bright thoughts on your finger 
tips, 
For all to sport with. 

Lily of the Vale, 

And you, meek Violet, with your eyes of blue, 
I call on you the first, for well I know 
How prone such village maidens are, to hide 
Their clear good sense among the city folks, 
Unless well urged, and fortified to speak. 

O purple Pansy ! friend of earliest years, 
You re always welcome. Have you never 
heard 



GOSSIP WITH A SPRING BOUQUET. 49 

From some wise grandame. of your ances 
tors, 

Who on the margin of my native Thames 
Flourished, more vigorous and more fair than 

you ? 

Twas not the fond garrulity of age, 
That made her laud the past, without respect 
To verity ; for I remember well 
How beautiful they were, and with what pride 
I used to pluck them, when my school was 

o er, 
And love to place them, rich with breathing 

sweets, 

Between my Bible-leaves, and find them there 
Month after month, pressing their bosoms close 
To some undying hope. 

Bright Hyacinth, 
I m glad you ve brought your little ones. How 

snug 

You wrap them in their hoods. But still I see 
Their merry eyes and their plump cheeks 

peep out. 

Ah ! here s the baby, in its blanket too : 
You re a good mother, sure. Don t be in haste 
To take their mantles off; the morn is chill; 
I d rather see them one by one come forth, 
I Just when they please. A charming family ! 



50 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

And very happy you must doubtless be, 

In their sweet promise, and your matron care. 

Gay, graceful Tulip, did you learn in France 
Your taste for dress ? and how to hold your 

head 

So elegantly ? In the gale, yestreen, 
That o er the parterre swept with sudden force, 
I thought I saw you waltzing. Have a care, 
And do not look disdainfully those 
You call plebian flowers, because, my dear, 
We live in a republic, where the strength 
Comes from beneath, and many a change 

occurs 
To lop the haughty, and to lift the low. 

Good neighbor Cowslip, I have seen the bee 
Whispering to you, and have been told he 

stays 

Quite long and late, amid your golden cells. 
It must be business that he comes upon, 
Matter-of-fact, he never wastes an hour. 
Know you, that he s a subtle financier ? 
And shows some gain for every day he spends ? 
Oh! learn from him the priceless worth of 

time, 



GOSSIP WITH A SPRING BOUdUET. 51 

Thou fair and frail ! So shalt thou prove the 

truth, 

That he who doth associate with the wise, 
Shall in their wisdom share. 

Narcissus pale ! 

Had you a mother, child, who kept you close 
Over your needle or your music books ? 
And never bade you sweep a room, or make 
A pudding in the kitchen ? I m afraid 
She shut you from the air, and fervid sun, 
To keep you delicate, or let you draw 
Your corset-lace too tight. I would you were 
As hardy as your cousin Daffodil, 
Who to the sharp wind turns her buxom cheek 
Unshrinking, like a damsel taught to spin, 
Or milk the cows, and knead the bread, and 

lead 

A useful life, her nerves by labor strung 
To bear its duties and its burdens too. 

Lilac of Persia ! tell us some fine tale 
Of Eastern lands. We re fond of travellers. 
Have you no legend of some Sultan proud ? 
Or old fire-worshipper ? Not e^en one note 
Made on your voyage ? Well, tis wondrous 

strange, 
That you should let so rare a chance slip by, 



52 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

While those who never journeyed half so far, 
Fill sundry volumes, and expect the world 
To reverently peruse and magnify 
What it well knew before. 

Most glorious Rose, 

You are the queenly belle. On you, all eyes 
Admiring turn. Doubtless you might indite 
Romances from your own sweet history. 
They re all the fashion now, and crowd the 

page 

Of many a periodical. Wilt tell 
None of your heart adventures ? Never 

mind ! 

All can detect the zephyr s stolen kiss 
In your deep blush ; so, where s the use to 

seal 

Your lips so cunningly, when all the world 
Call you the flower of love ? 

And now good-bye ; 
A pleasant gossip have I had with you, 
Obliging visitants, but must away 
To graver toils. Still keep your incense fresh 
And free to rise to Him, who tints your brows, 
Bidding the brown mould, and unsightly stem 
Put forth such blaze of beauty, as translates 
To dullest hearts His dialect of love. 



HOLLYHOCK AND HER VISITOR. 53 



THE HOLLYHOCK AND HER 
VI SITOR. 

A LARGE bumble-bee often visited a stately 
hollyhock. He lingered in the deep red cup 
that she made for him, and talked busily with 
her. The neighboring flowers heard the full 
tones of his voice, but could not distinguish 
his words. 

At length, a tall larkspur bent her ear, and 
listening closely, understood him to say, " I am 
very rich. I have gathered much pollen. I 
store it in a large wax palace, which I shall 
fill with honey. None of the bumble-bees in 
the village can compare with me." 

" Oh, it must make you very happy," an 
swered the hollyhock, " that when any poor, 
sick bees come and ask relief, you will have 
plenty for them, as well as yourself." 

" 1 cannot undertake to feed them" he re 
plied. " Every one must provide for himself. 
I worked hard to get what is mine. Let others 
go and do the same." 



54 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

" But will you be able to use all that you 
have laid up ? And, if not, what good will it 
do you ?" asked the hollyhock, blushing more 
brightly from the earnestness with which 
she spoke. 

" I never expect to use half of it., but I do 
not choose to give it away. What good will it 
do me to hoard it up, do you ask 1 Why, don t 
I hear people say, there goes the rich bumble 
bee ? That pleases me." 

" I will tell you how to get rich, too. Open 
your leaves wide when the sun shines, and 
gather all the beams you can, and keep them 
close in your secret chamber. Then, when 
the dews fall, and you have drank as much as 
possible, shut yourself up, and do not let a 
single drop escape on the buds below ; so you 
will be sure to grow larger than they." 

But the hollyhock said, " There is no avarice 
among flowers. We take what our Father 
sends, and are glad. We do not wrinkle our 
brows with care, or grow old before our time." 

The bumble-bee drew nearer still, and said, 
" You know nothing at all about the pleasures 
that wealth can bring. Listen ! I think of 
setting up an equipage. I shall have two glow 
worms for postillions ; you know their lamps 



HOLLYHOCK AND HER VISITOR. 55 

will cost me nothing. But you must not breathe 
this, for I have not yet mentioned it to my 
wife." 

The hollyhock replied with a clear voice, 
" There is neither meum nor tuuni among the 
flower-people. We like to share with others 
the good things that come to us from above. 
It makes us happier than to sound a trumpet 
before us, and boast of riches with which we 
do no good." 

Then the large bumble-bee seemed offended 
at his friend the hollyhock, and, buzzing in an 
angry tone, flew away. 



56 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



THE EVENING PRIMROSE. 



PALE Primrose ! lingering for the evening star 
To bless thee with its beam, like some fair 

child, 

Who, ere he rests on Morpheus downy car, 
Doth wait his mother s blessing, pure and 

mild, 

To hallow his gay dream. His red lips breathe 
The prompted prayer, fast by that parent s 

knee, 
Even as thou rear st thy sweetly fragrant 

wreath 
To matron Evening, while she smiles on thee. 

Go to thy rest, pale flower ! The star hath shed 
His benison upon thy bosom fair, 

The dews of summer bathe thy pensive head, 
And weary man forgets his daily care : 

Sleep on, rny rose ! till morning gilds the sky, 

And bright Aurora s kiss unseals thy trembling 
eye. 



THE CONSTANT FRIENDS. 57 



THE CONSTANT FRIENDS. 



O SWEET soul d flowers, with robes so bright 

Fair guests of Eden birth, 
In changeful characters of light, 
What lines of love divine ye write 

Upon this troubled earth ! 

Man sinn d in Paradise, and fell 

But when the storm arose 
When thorns and brambles sow d his path, 
And gentlest natures turn d to wrath, 

Ye leagued not with his foes. 

Ye sinn d not, though to him ye clung, 

When, at the guarded door, 
The penal sword its terrors flung, 
And warn d him, with its flaming tongue, 

To enter there no more. 



58 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Forth by his side ye meekly far d, 

With pure, reproachless eye, 
And when the vengeful lion roar d, 
A balmy gush of fragrance pour d, 
In hallow d sympathy. 

Ye sprang amid the broken sod, 

His weary brow to kiss ; 
Bloom d at his feet where er he trod, 
And told his burden d heart of God, 

And of a world of bliss. 

Ye bow d the head, to teach him how 

He must himself decay ; 
Yet, dying, charged each tiny seed 
The earliest call of Spring to heed, 

And cheer his future way. 

From age to age, with dewy sigh, 

Even from the desert glade, 
Sweet words ye whisper, till ye die 
Still pointing to that cloudless sky, 
Where beauty cannot fade. 



THE TEARS OF APRIL. 59 



THE TEARS OF APRIL. 

"He who goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, 
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves 
with him." 

QUEEN of the opening year, who weep st to 
take 

Thy slender sceptre o er a loyal clime, 
Fearing a lot of royalty must wake 

The wrinkle and the thorn before their time; 

Be firm and hopeful ! for the sparkling smile 
Shall kiss the transient tear-drop from thy 
cheek, 

And in thy foot-prints spring with gentlest wile, 
The blushing primrose, and the violet meek. 

The snow-drop pure shall don its mantle green, 
And balmy skies awake their favoring ray, 

And heralds, bright with plumage, bless the 

queen, 
Who joins a tender heart to regal sway. 

So go thou forth, with tears, thy precious seed 
Sowing in lowly trust, for Joy shall crown the 
deed. 



60 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



PLANTING GERANIUM AND BOX 

ON THE GRAVE OF AN AGED FRIEND.* 

FRAGILE plant, of slender form, 
Fair, and shrinking from the storm, 
Raise thou here, thy timid head, 
Bloom in this uncultur d bed : 
Thou, of firmer spirit, too, 
Stronger texture, deeper hue, 
Dreading not the blasts that sweep, 
Rise, and guard its infant sleep. 

Fear ye not the lonely shade 

Where the bones of men are laid ; 

Short, like yours, their transient date, 

Keen hath been the scythe of fate. 

Forth, like plants, in glory drest, 

They came upon the green earth s breast, 

Spread forth their roots to reach the stream, 

Their blossoms, toward the rising beam, 



* This tribute to the memory of a kind benefactress of 
childhood, though written in early years, seemed not inappro 
priate to the present selection. 



PLANTING GERANIUM, ETC. 61 

InhaPd the morning s balmy breath, 

And sank at eve, in withering death. 

Rest here, meek plants, for few intrude 

To break this silent solitude. 

Yet should some giddy footstep tread 

Amid the ashes of the dead, 

Still let the hand of rashness spare 

These tokens of affection s care, 

Nor pluck their cherish d buds that wave, 

In sweetness o er a Christian s grave. 

White were the locks that thinly spread 

Their silver o er her honor d head, 

And furrows, not to be effaced, 

Had time amid her features traced, 

Before my earliest strength I tried 

In infant gambols by her side ; 

But yet, no grace or beauty rare, 

Were ever to my eye so fair. 

Seven times the sun with swift career, 
Hath marked the circle of the year, 
Since first she pressed her lowly bier ; 
And seven times sorrowing have I come 
Alone and wandering through the gloom, 
To pour my lays upon her tomb ; 
Nor could I bear to see her bed 
With brambles and with thorns o er spread. 



62 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Ah ! surely round her place of rest 
I should not let the coarse weed twine, 
Who every path by sorrow prest, 
With pure benevolence hath blest, 
And scattered such perfumes on mine ; 
It is not meet, that she should be 
Forgotten, or unwept by me. 

My plants, that in your hallowed beds, 
Like strangers, raise your trembling heads, 
Drink the pure dew that evening sheds, 
And meet the morning s earliest ray, 
And catch the sunbeams when they play ; 
And if your cups are filled with rain, 
Shed back those drops in tears again ; 
Or if the gale that sweeps the heath, 
Too roughly o er your leaves should breathe, 
Then sigh for her, and when ye bloom, 
Scatter your fragrance o er her tomb. 

But should ye, smit with terror, cast 
Your blighted blossoms on the blast, 
Or faint beneath the vertic heat, 
Or fail when wintry tempests beat, 
There is a plant of deeper bloom, 
Whose leaves shall deck this honor d tomb, 
Not blanch d with frost, or parch d for rain, 
Or by the wrath of winter slain, 



PLANTING GERANIUM, ETC. 

But every morn its buds renewed, 
Are by the tears of evening dewed, 
The deathless plant of gratitude. 



63 







64 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

FORGOTTEN FLOWERS. 

TO A BRIDE. * 

We were left behind, but we would not stay, 
We found your clue, and have kept the way, 
For, sooth to say, the track was plain, 
Of a bliss like yours in a world of pain. 
How little we thought, when so richly we 

drest, 

To goto your wedding, and vie with the best, 
When we made our toilette with such elegant 

care, 

That we might not disgrace an occasion so rare; 
To be whirl d in a coach at this horrible rate, 
From county to county, and State to State ! 
Though we travel d incog, yet we trembled 

with fear, 
For the accents of strangers fell hoarse on our 

ear. 

An elegant bouquet, sent as a nuptial present, arrived just as 
the bride had taken her departure for her new home in a neigh 
boring State, and were sent after her, in the stage coach, and 
reached her without injury, in the depth of winter. 



FORGOTTEN FLOWERS. 65 

We could hear every word, as we quietly lay, 
In the snug box of tin, where they stow d us 

away, 
And how would our friends at a distance have 

known, 
If charm d by our beauty, they d made us their 

own ? 
All unus d to the taverns, and roads, as we 

were, 

Our baggage and bones were a terrible care, 
But we ve scap d every peril, the journey is 

o er, 
And hooded and cloak d, we are safe at your 

door. 

We bring you a gift from your native skies, 
The chrystal gem from Affection s eyes, 
Which tenderly trickles, when dear ones part, 
We have wrapp d it close in the rose s heart ; 
We are charged with a mother s benison kiss ; 
Will you welcome us into your halls for this? 
We are chilled with the cold of our wintry 

way, 

Our message is done, we must fade away, 
Let us die on your breast, and our prayer shall 

be, 
An Eden s wreath for thy love and thee. 



66 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



COMPARED TO FLOWERS. 



Go seek the choicest sweets that Nature fair 
Hath kindly trusted to the culturer s care, 
Unfolding buds, with vernal dew-drops pure, 
Resplendent flowers, that summer suns ma 
ture, 



*At the dissolution of a Literary Society, whose members (nine 
of each sex) were united in friendship as well as in intellectual 
pursuit, it was proposed that some emblematic poem should 
preserve the recollection of their pleasant intercourse. Thus 
the foregoing poem, which has been hitherto unpublished, was 
called into existence ; and a beautifully painted bouquet was 
also executed by another member, in which the eighteen per 
sonified flowers were tastefully grouped. 

The arbitrary signification of the inmates of Flora s realm 
not being as generally adopted at that period, as now, the se 
lections in the foregoing lines were founded less upon those, 
than upon some supposed resemblance between the flowers and 
the character they typified. Now, at the expiration of a quar 
ter of a century, during which the spoiler has not left our cir 
cle unvisited, some of the passages acquire interest, as being 
linked by tender associations to the memory of the departed 
and beloved. 



CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, ETC. 67 

And changeless plants, whose firmer breasts 

defy 
The frosts of autumn, or the wintry sky. 

Bring first the thornless Rose, of colors rare, 
Fresh, bright, and graceful, from the florist s 

care, 
That reared in bowers, where nought was ever 

found 

To chill, depress, contaminate, or wound, 
Knows no dark art to rouse the breath of strife, 
And bears enchantment for the vale of life. 

Mark well yon Lily, on its stately stem, 
Whose snowy leaves conceal a polish d gem, 
Thou may st not miss it in the loveliest train, 
Nor once beheld, forget its charms again ; 
Go, bow to taste its fragrance, and request 
The favoring presence of the cherish d guest. 
And thou, Mimosa, dear and trembling flower, 
Come from thy cell, unshrinking leave thy 

bower ; 

No pressure rude, thy folded buds shall harm, 
No touch unkind thy tender leaves alarm ; 
Though in the world s rough journey thou 

may st fear 
Unkindred spirits, none shall meet thee here ; 



DO VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

This gentle band are form d with thee to feel, 
And well they prize what thou would st fain 

conceal, 
Come, loved and fearless, while our care shall 

set 

Fast by thy side, thy sister Violet, 
Still cheerful, unobtrusive, and serene, 
To grace the high, or deck the lowly scene ; 
High be his bosom honor d who shall gain 
This as a solace, and a charm for pain. 
The Woodbine next, whose graceful tendrils 

twine 

In sweet luxuriance round the parent vine, 
Whose heaven-born fragrance breathes reviv 
ing power, 

Neath dewy evening, or the summer shower, 
Shall bless our wreath, for this can teach to 

glow 

The morn of pleasure, or the night of woe. 
Thou, too, pale Lily, leave thy native vale, 
And yield thine essence to our fresher gale, 
What though thy bending head no gaze would 

meet, 

Thy perfume guides us to thy green retreat, 
Where lingering zephyrs round thee gently 

sigh, 
And catch the tones of music as they fly. 



CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, ETC. 69 

The orange Cowslip, pure in heart, and gay, 
Bestows its beauty on our fair bouquet, 
Known by its sweetness, for its worth ap- 

prov d, 
If seen, remember d, if remember d lov d. 

And there, " wee, modest, crimson-tipped 

flower," 
Meek Mountain Daisy, pride of friendship s 

bower, 

Come all unconscious of thy winning grace, 
And lend thy lusture to our charmed vase. 

Wilt thou, bright Pink, all graceful as thou 

art, 

Still mid our circle form a cherish d part ? 
Or wouldst thou rather, in thy native glade, 
Reserve thine incense for the healer s aid ? 

From beauty s sheltered sphere roam onward 

wide, 

Invoking forms of loftier strength and pride, 
That while the house-plants round the hearth 

shall glow, 

As future years the varied lot bestow, 
Perchance strong conflict with the storm may 

wage, 
Or tower, the master spirits of the age. 



70 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Why do we ask the Laurel here to glow ? 
Is it that fame or glory blind us ? No ! 
But that it hath a spirit nobly bold, 
To bide the blast, or brave the tempest cold. 
Not train d by art, or nursed in idle ease, 
Or taught to bow to what the world shall please, 
But independent, and to honor true, 
Might guard the weak, and charm the tasteful 
too. 

One, too, there is, whose latent virtues claim 
Of constancy, the undisputed name ; 
Who seeks, by shrinking in his favorite cell, 
The applause to shun, that he deserves so well ; 
Yet all in vain, for few can fail to prize 
The hues that change not with the changing 
skies. 

Wilt thou, Oh Sage ! from cloistered study 

deign 

To heed our summons, and delight our train ? 
" Cur moriator homo," * might we say, 
Dum salvia crescit in horto," but the lay, 

It would seem that the ancient Romans had a high respect 
for the salubrious properties of this plant, by the interrogative 
adage, " Why need any man die, who has Sage in his gar 
den ?" 



CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, ETC. 71 

Cramp d by the unyielding chains of Saxon 

verse, 

Suits not the Roman proverb, boldly terse ; 
Still more unworthy is this pencil faint, 
Thy many virtues, lenient Sage, to paint. 

And thou, Geranium, half exotic, say, 

Why art thou from the ancestral halls away ? 

Thou need st no gift that nature did not lend, 

Or art improve, or cultivation blend : 

Yet if ,thou better lov st a sunnier sky, 

Breathe there the fragrance that can never 

die. 

The meek Narcissus next invites our care, 
With fragile stalk and efflorescence fair, 
W T hich anxious friendship fears will scarce en 
dure 

The world s contagion, with a brow so pure ; 
Yet this, perchance, may bear the dangerous 

test, 
For heaven s own spirit lives within its breast. 

Lure from its home, mid green Vermonia s 

plain, 

The English Holly to our classic train, 
That fearless, firm, and scorning all disguise, 
Where er it dwells, points upward to the skies. 



72 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

The Lilac, prompt to heed the call of Spring, 
Shuns not the summons to our magic ring ; 
We saw it o er the way-side traveller cast 
Shade from the heat, and covert from the blast, 
Yet from the meed of fame retire, to throw 
Its wealth of fragrance on the vale below. 

And shall the verdant Myrtle be forgot, 
All unassuming in its shaded spot ? 
Perchance we may not win its wreathing vine 
From Coke and Blackstone, where it fain 

would twine, 

Yet might it be persuaded thus to cheer 
The glowing circle, it were welcome here. 

The varied Tulip, versatile and gay, 
With colors changing to the changing ray, 
Attracts the stranger by its brilliant dye, 
And with rich tissue charms the studious eye, 
Yet better loves in southern climes to bide, 
Than hear the accents of our praise or pride. 

Now bind the treasur d sweetness. 

Do you say 

That aught is wanting ? There are none away. 
A plant there is, indeed, from mountains 

lone, 
But blossom, flower, or fragrance, it hath none ; 



CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, ETC. 73 

Yet since ye call it forth, with friendship kind, 
It hath a tendril round your stalks to bind, 
A rustic shoot, the florist ne er could teach, 
Yet loves the brilliance it despairs to reach. 



74 VOICE OF FLOW K us. 



BLOSSOMS FALLING FROM 
T HE FRUIT-TREES. 

THE World doth take us captive with its wiles 
Of vanity or plousure. So our thoughts 
Are scarce in unison with Nature s grief, 
When her sweet blossoms fade. 

Yon stricken trees, 
From whence glad Autumn gathcreth plenteous 

store 

Of niddy apples for the wintry eve, 
Resign their r.-idinnt robes, and rich perfume, 
That made the orchard like a queen s levee, 
And clad in russet garments, fleck d with green, 
Lamenting, teach the philosophic lore 
Of brief prosperity. 

That lofty pine, 

Which, like some feudal baron from his tower, 
Did awe the neighboring peasantry of shrubs, 
Deplores that they should see his boasted 

wealth 
Stripp d by each robber breeze. 



BLOfifSOMS PALLING, ETC. 75 

A tint like snow, from the young Almond ? 

charms 

Strcw d lavishly around ; while, sick at heart, 
The Peach, despairing mother, sees her babes 
Dead at her feet. 

Hreuk forth in Hong, ye birds, 
From your cool nests, or on the buoyant wing, 
And be their comforters. 

Uphold their hearts 

With cheering descant of the season s prime, 
When their bereavement shall be lost in joy. 
Tell them that man, their culturer, oft beholds 
His beauty and his pride, like theirs, depart; 
But yet, from what he counted loss, doth reap 
A more enduring gain. 

Yea, bid them bide 

In faith and hope, the chastening of this hour, 
Yielding their fragrance to the tyrant winds 
1 or Ciod remembereth them. 

Lift high your strain, 
Minstrels of Heaven, afld ask the sorrowing 

trees 

If those pale petals fell not, where would bo 
The glory of their fruitage ? or the praise 
Of the Great Master at the Harvest Day ? 



76 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



THE WILLOW, POPPY, AND 
VIOLET. 

A CHILD held in his hand a slight, leafless 
bough. It was like a supple, green wand. But 
it had been newly cut from the parent stock, 
and life still stirred in its little heart. 

He sought out a sheltered spot, and planted 
it in the moist earth. Often did he visit it, and 
when the rains of summer were witheld, he 
watered it at the cool sunset. 

The sap, which is the blood of plants, began 
to flow freely through its tender vessels. A 
tiny root, like a thread, crept downwards, and 
around the head was* a bursting forth of faint 
green leaves. 

Seasons passed over it, and it became a 
tree. Its slender branches drooped downward 
to the earth. The cheering sun smiled upon 
them the happy birds sang to them but they 
drooped still. 



WILLOW, POPPY, AND VIOLET. 77 

"Tree, why art thou always so sad and 
drooping ? Am not I kind unto thee ?" But 
it answered not only as it grew on it drooped 
lower and lower, for it was a weeping willow. 

The boy cast seed into the soft garden 
mould. When the time of flowers came, a 
strong, budding stalk stood there, with coarse, 
serrated leaves. Soon a full red poppy came 
forth, glorying in its gaudy dress. At its feet 
grew a purple violet, which no hand had 
planted or cherished. 

It lived lovingly with the mosses, and with 
the frail flowers of the grass, not counting 
itself more excellent than they. 

" Large poppy, why dost thou spread out thy 
scarlet robe so widely, and drink up all the 
sunbeams from my lowly violet?" 

Bat the flaunting flower replied not to him 
who planted it. It even seemed to open its 
rich silk mantle still more broadly, as though 
it would have stifled its humble neighbors. 
Yet nothing hindered the fragrance of the 
meek violet. 

The little child was troubled, and at the 
hour of sleep he spake to his mother of the 
tree that continually wept, and of the plant 
that overshadowed its neighbor. So she took 



78 



VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



him on her knee, and spake so tenderly in his 
ear, that he remembered her words when he 
became a man. 

" There are some, who, like the willow, 
are weepers all their lives long, though they 
dwell in pleasant places, and the fair skies 
shine upon them in love. And there are 
others, who, like the poppy that thou reprov- 
edst, are proud at heart, and despise the hum 
ble, whom God regardeth." 

" Be thou not like them, my gentle child ; 
but keep ever in thy breast the sweet spirit of 
the lowly violet, that thou mayest come at last 
to that blessed place, which pride cannot enter, 
and where the sound of weeping is unknown." 



THE EARLY FROST. 79 



THE EARLY FRO S T , 



MY flowers, rny few and precious flowers, 

what evil hath been here ? 
Came the fierce Frost-King forth last night, so 

secret and severe? 
I saw you last with diamond dew fresh on 

each beauteous head, 
And little deem d to find ye thus, all desolate 

and dead. 

White Poppy, tall and full of pride, whose pe 
tals feathery grace 

With fully rounded orb has decked my simple 
parlor vase ; 

Thy oozing buds disclose the gum, that swells 
Hygeia s store, 

But the sleep of death is on thee now, thy 
magic spell is o er. 



80 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Alas, my brave Crysanthemum, how crisp thou 

art, and sere ; 
Thou wert, perchance, too lightly prized, when 

gaudier friends were near ; 
Yet, like a hero didst thou rise, to meet the 

spoiler s dart, 
And battle, till the pure life-blood ran curdling 

round thy heart. 

My poor Sweet-Pea, my constant friend, 
whene er I sought in vain 

To twine a full bouquet for one who pressed 
the couch of pain ; 

Or when my garden sometimes failed my man 
tel-piece to dress, 

Thou always gav st a hoarded gem, to help me 
in distress. 

But thou, dear lonely Pansy, thus smiling in 
my path, 

I marvel much how thou hast scap d the ty 
rant s deadly wrath ; 

Didst thou hide beneath thy neighbor s robe, 
so flaunting and so fine, 

To bid one sad good-morning more, and press 
thy lips to mine ? 



THE EARLY FROST. 81 

Good bye, my pretty flowering Bean, that with 

a right good will, 
O er casement, arch and trellis went climbing, 

climbing still, 
Till the stern destroyer marked thee, and in 

his bitter ire, 
Quenched out thy many scarlet spikes that 

glowed like living fire. 

Pale, pale Snowberry, all is gone ; I would it 
were not so, 

Methinks the Woodbine near thee hath felt a 
lighter woe ; 

Lean, lean upon her sheltering arm, thy latest 
pang to take, 

And yield to autumn s stormy will, till happi 
er seasons wake. 

Coarse Marigold, in days of yore, I scorned thy 

tawny face, 
But since my plants are frail and few, I ve 

gave thee welcome place, 
And thou, tall London-pride ! my son from 

weeds preserved thy stem, 
And, for his sake, I sigh to see thy fallen dia- 

adem. 



82 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

I have no costly Dahlias, nor greenhouse flow 
ers to weep, 

But I passed the rich man s garden, and the 
mourning there was deep, 

For the crownless queens, all drooping, hung 
amid the wasted sod, 

Like Boadicea, bent with shame, beneath the 
Roman rod. 

Tis hard to say farewell, my plants, tis hard 

to say farewell ; 
The florist might despise ye, yet your worth I 

cannot tell ; 
For at rising sun, or even-tide, in sorrow or in 

glee, 
Your fragrant lips have ever op d, to speak 

good words to me. 

Most dear ye were to him who died, when 

summer round ye play d, 
That good old man, who looked with love on 

all that God had made ; 
Who, when his first familiar friends sank 

down in dreamless rest, 
Took nature s green and living things more 

closely to his breast. 



THE EARLY FROST. 83 

My blessed sire, we bore his chair at early 
summer morn, 

That he might sit among your bowers and see 
your blossoms born ; 

While meek and placid smiles around his rev 
erend features played, 

The language of that better land, where ye no 
more shall fade. 

Shall I see you, once again, sweet flowers, 

when Spring returneth fair, 
To strew her breathing incense upon the 

balmy air? 
Will you lift tome your infant heads? For 

me with fragrance swell? 
Alas ! why should I ask you thus, what is not 

yours to tell. 

I know, full well, before your buds shall hail 

the vernal sky, 
That many a younger, brighter brow, beneath 

the clods must lie ; 
And if my pillow should be there, still come 

in beauty free, 
And show my little ones the love that you have 

borne to me. 



84 



VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



Yea, come in all your glorious pomp, ambas 
sadors, to show 

The truth of those eternal words that on God s 
pages glow, 

The bursting of the icy tomb, the rising of the 
just 

In robes of beauty and of light, all stainless 
from the dust. 




THE STRANGER S FLOWER. 85 



THE STRANGERS FLOWER. 



In some of the South American republics, it was customary 
for ladies to present a flower to every stranger whom they re 
ceived as a guest. 



STRANGER ! new flowers in these vales are 

seen, 

With a dazzling eye, and a fadeless green, 
They scent the breath of the dewy morn, 
They feed no worm, and they hide no thorn, 
But revel and glow in our balmy air ; 
They are flowers that freedom hath planted 

there. 

This bud of welcome to thee we give ; 
Bid its glowing blush in thy bosom live ; 
It shall charm thee from all a stranger s pain, 
Reserve, suspicion, and dark disdain ; 
A race in its freshness and bloom are we, 
Bring no cares from a worn out world with 
thee. 



86 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Tis a little time since the lance and spear, 
And the clamor of war and death were here ; 
Our siesta the shout of the murderer broke, 
And we struggled to rend a tyrant s yoke, 
Till our midnight slumbers were pale with 

fears, 
And the fairest cheeks bore a mourner s tears. 

But now on the couch of its mother s breast, 
The infant sleeps long in its dream of rest, 
And the lover beneath the evening star, 
Woos the young maid with his light guitar ; 
These are the blessings that wait the free, 
And stranger ! this flower is our gift to thee. 



THE LILY S WHISPER. 87 



THE LILYS WHISPER, 



" Bow down thy head, thou born of clay,- 

Bow down thy head to me," 
A drooping Lily seemed to say, 
As sank the footsteps of the day, 

Upon the grassy lea. 

Its dewy lips to mine I prest, 

And drank its stifled sigh, 
A tear-drop lay within its breast, 
" Hast thou a woe to be confess d, 

Thou favorite of the sky ?" 

" Two buds beside my heart awoke, 

More pure than opening day, 
But lo ! a hand with sudden stroke 
From my embrace those idols broke, 
And bore them hence away." 



00 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Still deeper seem d the Lily s tone 

My listening ear to greet : 
" Think not for sympathy alone 
That thus to thee I make my moan, 

Though sympathy is sweet ; 

" No. Be my wound thy lesson made, 

We love your nobler race, 
Whose lot it is like ours to fade, 
Like ours, to see in darkness laid 

Your blossom s wither d grace. 

" So, let the Will Supreme be blest, 

And still with spirit meek, 
Shut rebel tear-drops in your breast, 
And wear, as badge of Heaven s sweet rest 

Its smile upon your cheek." 



PLANTING FLOWERS. ETC. 



PLANTING FLOWERS ON THE 
GRAVE OF PARENTS. 

I VE set the flow rets where ye sleep, 

Father and mother dear ; 
Their roots are in the mould so deep, 

Their bosoms hide a tear ; 
The chrystal of the dewy morn 

Their trembling casket fills, 
Mixed with that tear-drop from the heart, 

Which filial love distils. 

Above thy pillow, mother dear, 

I ve placed thy favorite flower 
The bright-eyed purple violet, 

That deck d thy summer bower; 
The fragrant chamoinile, that spreads 

Its leaflets fresh and green, 
And richly broiders every niche 

The velvet turf between. 



90 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

I kissed the tender violet, 

That droop d its stranger head, 
And called it blessed, thus to grow 

So near my precious dead, 
And when my venturous path shall lead 

Across the deep blue sea, 
I bade it in its beauty rise 

And guard that spot for me. 

There was no other child, my dead ! 

This sacred task to share ; 
Mother ! no nursling babe beside, 

E er claim d thy tenderest care. 
And father ! that endearing name, 

No other lips than mine 
E er breathed to prompt thy hallow d prayer 

At morn or eve s decline. 

Pluck not those flowers, thou idle child, 

Pluck not the flowers that wave 
In sweet and simple sanctity 

Around this humble grave, 
Lest guardian angels from the skies, 

That watch amid the gloom, 
Should dart reproachful ire on those 

Who desecrate the tomb. 



PLANTING FLOWERS, ETC. 91 

Oh, kindly spare my plants to tear, 

Ye groups that wander nigh, 
When summer sunsets fire with gold 

The glorious western sky : 
So when you slumber in the dust, 

Where now your footsteps tread, 
May griev d affection train the rose 

Above your lowly bed. 




_J 



92 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



ALPINE FLOWERS. 



MEEK dwellers mid yon terror-stricken cliffs, 
With brows so pure, and incense-breathing 

lips, 
Whence are ye ? 

Did some white-wing d messenger, 
On Mercy s errands, trust your timid germ 
To the cold cradle of eternal snows ? 
Or, breathing on the callous icicles, 
Bid them, with tear-drops, nurse ye ? 

Tree, nor shrub 

Dare yon drear atmosphere. No polar pine 
Uprears a veteran front. Yet there ye stand, 
Leaning your cheeks against the thick-ribb d 

ice, 

And looking up, with trustful eyes, to Him 
Who bids you bloom, unbl anch d, amid the 

waste 
Of desolation. 



ALPINE FLOWERS. 93 

Man, who panting toils 
O er slippery steeps ; or, trembling, treads the 

verge 
Of yawning gulfs, from which the headlong 

plunge 

Is to eternity, looks shuddering up, 
And marks ye in your placid loveliness, 
Fearless, yet frail ; and, clasping his chill 

hands, 

Blesses your pencil d beauty. Mid the pomp 
Of mountain-summits, towering to the skies, 
And chaining the rapt soul in breathless awe, 
He bows to bind you drooping to his breast, 
Inhales your fragrance on the frost-wing d 

gale, 
And freer dreams of Heaven. 



94 VOIct OF FLOWERS. 



THE ROSE-GERANIUM. 

COMPANION OP A VOYAGE. 

HOLD up thy head, thou timid voyager ! 

Vex d by the storm-clouds, as they darkly 

roll, 
And by the fiercely tossing waves, that stir 

Thy slender root, and try thy trembling soul. 

Sad change from thy sweet garden, where the 
dew 

Each morning glisten d in thy grateful eye, 
And where no rougher guest thy bosom knew, 

Than quiet bee, or gadding butterfly. 

It grieves me sore to see thy leaflets fade, 
Wearing the plague-spot of the ocean spray, 

And know what trouble I for thee have made, 
Who bore thee from thy native haunt away ; 

Though, in thy life, I seem to hold the chain 

Of home and its delights, here on the pathless 
main. 



THE EMIGRANT DAISY. 95 



THE EMIGRANT DAISY. 

ONCE, from its home in England s * soil, 

A daisy s root I drew, 
Amid whose moistened crown of leaves 

A healthful bud crept through, 
And whispered in its infant ear 

That it should cross the sea, 
A cherished emigrant, and share 

A western home with me. 

Methought it shrank, at first, and paled ; 

But when on ocean s tide 
Strong waves arid awful icebergs frowned. 

And manly courage died, 
It calmly reared its crested head 

And smiled amid the storm, 
As if old Magna Charta s soul 

Inspired its fragile form. 



* This daisy was taken from the spot, often visited by trav 
ellers, where King John signed the Magna Charta in 1215. 



O VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

So where within my garden plat, 

I sow the choicest seed, 
Amid my favorite shrubs I placed 

The plant from Runnimede. 
And know not why it may not draw 

Sweet nutriment, the same 
As when within that noble clime 

From whence our fathers came. 

Here s liberty enough for all, 

If they but use it well, 
And Magna Charta s spirit lives 

In even the lowliest cell, 
And the simplest daisy may unfold 

From scorn and danger freed, 
So make yourself at home, my friend, 

My flower from Runnimede. 



THE TRAVELLED FLOWER. 97 



THE TRAVELLED FLOWER. 



A DAISY, which once grew on the banks of 
the Thames, in England, had been transplant 
ed and brought to this country. It bore the 
voyage well, and flourished in the garden 
where it was placed. 

A Cowslip, its nearest neighbor, was very 
kind, and if it ever looked sad, like a stranger, 
cheered it, and spoke words of comfort. It 
asked much of its adventures on the ocean, 
and of its native land. So it told its friend the 
Cowslip, whatever it desired to know. 

It described the ship sailing quietly over the 
great waters, and its pleasant intercourse with 
a pansy that bore it company. " We stood 
side by side on a shelf, in the room of the per 
son, with whom we emigrated. 

"The Pansy was blessed with a large family 



98 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

of fine children, and I had two promising in 
fants when I began the voyage. But they pin 
ed for the free air, and the fresh dews of the 
valley where they were born. 

"I was ever watching and nursing them. 
One night, we were alarmed by great confu 
sion and noise, and a chill that struck us to the 
heart. We heard a cry of " icebergs" and 
peeping through the window of our state room, 
saw monstrous masses of cold glittering ice 
floating around us. 

" Then I heard the Pansy whispering to her 
little ones, not to be afraid, to die. But I trem 
bled with terror. That very night my young 
est darling died. And had it not been for the 
care of my other drooping babe, I think I should 
have died too. 

" The next day, they said we were out of dan 
ger, and the keen wintry cold passed away. 
And though we arrived safely, and I am happy in 
my new home, I never can bear to think of the 
voyage where my poor little one perished." 

The kind neighbor could not help shiver 
ing with sympathy at the tale of sorrow. " 1 
have heard people who walk in the garden, call 
you the Daisy of Runnimede. What can they j 



THE TRAVELLED FLOWER. 99 

mean by such a hard name ?" asked the Cow- 
| slip. 

" It is a delightful green vale in England, 
where, in old times, a king signed a paper, 
which gave the people freedom. For that rea 
son it is visited as a sort of sacred place. 

" My birth there, was all that gave me value 
in the eyes of my owner, and procured me the 
privilege of travelling to see distant lands." 
Many things the Daisy related, so that the 
Cowslip, thus daily instructed, knew almost 
as much of foreign countries as if it had been 
there. 

A Dandelion lived near, but did not incline 
to listen to these adventures. Indeed, she 
ridiculed the way in which her neighbors 
spent so much of their time, and said for her 
part, she had something else to do. 

She thanked her stars she was not a blue, 
no ! not she ! nor a pedant neither. The 
vanity of those travelled people was extremely 
ridiculous, always talking about what they had 
seen. She laughed loudly at the Cowslip, cal- 
ing her an antiquarian, and said she wondered 
what good came from being such a deal wiser 
than other people. 



100 TOICE OF FLOWERS. 

A Sage-plant, who had cast off his blossoms, 
and gone to seed, heard her flippancy of speech 
and reproved her. He said, " knowlege is 
good ; it teaches men how to be useful to each 
other, and keeps women from too much gad 
ding abroad. 

" By knowledge, my own salubrious proper 
ties have been discovered, so that I am not 
cut down like a common weed. Right 
knowledge teaches both men and flowers not 
to be slanderous, for it gives them higher and 
better subjects of thought." 

So the Dandelion was silent before the Sage 
and ceased to laugh at those who were wiser 
than herself. For she had already perceived 
that they had some kind of secret happiness, 
and took comfort when other flowers were out 
of spirits, on stormy days, and when no butter 
flies visited them. 



SPR?NG . T h CSS OMS, .TTC. -01 



SPRING BLOSSOMS TO THE 
MOURNER. 



THOU bririgest violets in thy hand, 
Sweet Spring. Thy gifts how vain 

To soothe us for those fair, bl"e eyes, 
That ope no more again 

Thou bringest music of the birds, 

As if such strain could pay 
For their melodious speech, who sank 

From our lone bowers away. 

Thou showerest breathing roses roun|J, 
To blush on beauty s breast ; 

Give back ! give back those lips of rose, 
That to our own were prest. 



102 V OLCE OF FLOWERS. 

Thou know st to burst the tyrant gloom 

Of Winter s icy urn ; 
Teach them to break the envious tomb, 

And to our arms return. 

Thou canst not ! To our grieving souls 

Thy boasted spell is o er ; 
From all thy gifts to those we turn, 

Whom thou canst ne er restore. 

To those o er whom thy quicken d turf, 
With earliest snow-drops grows , 

Yet fails to wake their wonted smile, 
Or move their deep repose. 

Yes ; from thy charms to Him we turn, 
Who laid our treasures low, 

And, with a Father s love, ordains 
Our discipline of woe : 

We look to that unsullied clime, 
Where storm shall never sweep ; 

Nor fickle Spring the heart beguile, 
Nor drooping mourner weep. 



THE HARE-BELL. 103 



THE HARE-BELL; 

A DEDICATION FOR AN ANNUAL, WITH 
THAT TITLE. 

YE have seen me oft, mid the summer day, 
In my woodland home, with the breeze at play ; 
Catching the dews as they sparkling fell, 
And folding them close in each floral bell ; 
And teaching my buds, with a joyous ray, 
To lift their blue eyes to the King of Day. 

But now, when the last leaf of Autumn is shed, 
Ye thought, no doubt, I was sere and dead : 
No, no ! I have baffled the Spoiler s sting, 
Affection s token to you to bring. 
I have dared the wrath of the frosty sky, 
To gather you blossoms that cannot die. 

Will ye welcome me in from my toil and care, 
For the blessings I breathe, and the sweets I 

bear? 

If ye give me shelter this wintry hour, 
If ye make me a guest at the hearth and bower, 
You will never regret, I am fain to say, 
The Hare-Bell s visit, this Christmas-day. 



104 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



EVENING FLOWERS. 

WHEN shuts the rose at even tide, 

The lily folds its bell, 
And every bud on vale or wild, 

Dream in their hermit cell. 

Then, neath still twilight, dim and grey, 

Or where the taper stands, 
Or meekly by the fireside ray, 

The flower of heart expands. 

The influence of this favoring hour 

The watchful lover knows, 
And marks its soft mimosa leaves 

Their modest charms disclose. 

The husband by its fragrance cheer d, 

Unlocks the cares of day, 
Which, neath the warm, confiding smile, 

Like shadows, fleet away. 



EVENING FLOWERS. 105 

The fond exulting parent culls 

Its blossoms, rich and red, 
And twines a garland bright with hope 

For each young slumberer s head. 

While they who best its root protect, 
With thrilling breast shall prove, 

How the sweet charities of home 
Fit for a heaven of love. 

But when this heart-flower droops its head, 

And wearied mortals ask 
The deep repose that nightly fits 

For morn s returning task, 

Up springs another by its side, 

With calm and lowly eye, 
A seraph-planted germ that holds 

Communion with the sky : 

The flower of soul! Its breath is prayer, 

And fresh its balm-drops flow, 
To cleanse the ills that stain d the day, 

And heal the wounds of woe. 

While gently o er its closing sigh, 

With blessed vision bends 
That angel-guarded sleep, which God 

To his beloved sends. 



106 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



THE GARDEN AND THE 
RAIN . 

ONE summer there had been a long drought, 
made more painful by intense heat. Young 
trees drooped ; many plants withered away ; 
and the newly-mown grass crisped under the 
feet as though it would never spring again. 

The master of a garden went forth at the sun 
set to water it. He was grieved to see how 
his nurslings suffered. The slight branches 
of the fruit-bearing trees were brittle, and broke 
at the touch ; and the juiceless berries, shrink 
ing away, tried to hide behind their yellow 
leaves. 

The cisterns had become low, and the shal 
low brooklets were dry ; yet he gave water to 
all his plants, as plentifully as he could. Still 
they looked languidly at him, as if asking 
"Can you do nothing more to help us ?" Some 
were perishing at the root, for the earth to 
which they clung was like powder and dust. 



THE GARDEN AND THE RAIN. 107 

That night he awoke, and heard the blessed 
rain falling ; at first, gently, and then with 
power. He thanked the Merciful Giver, and 
remembered the words, " Can all the vanities 
of the heathen give rain ? or can the heavens 
without Him, give showers?" 

In the morning, when the rain had ceased, 
he walked in his garden. He rejoiced, with 
his plants and flowers, in the great goodness 
of God. Their long season of sorrow had 
made them dearer to him, as the parent loveth 
the child who has been sick with a more ten 
der love. 

But now their time of suffering was past. 
The grape-vine, having put on beauty for ashes, 
wore at every point of its broad leaves a 
pearl : and the honey-suckle, which was thought 
to have been dying, was heard teaching its 
young tendrils where to twine. 

The willow, whose long wands had turned 
yellow, from disease, was weeping for joy. 
Every infant blossom tried to tell of its new 
happiness. Birds carolled from the nest, and 
breathed into their silent praise a living soul. 

As he passed among the shrubbery, every 
reaching bough shed on him a few chrystal 
drops. They seemed to have saved for the 



108 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

master a portion of what they best loved. The 
statelier plants secreted a little moisture to 
bestow upon the lowly. They had themselves 
known want, and it seemed to have made them 
more pitiful. 

He took in his hand the long leaves of a 
lily, which, the day before, was ready to per 
ish, and it poured him one fragrant drop from 
its cup of snow. And the rose-bud gave him, 
from its heart, a chrystal gem that it had trea 
sured there, saying, " Here ! here ! take this, 
thou who didst, minister unto me in my need, 
and when I was thirsty, give me drink." 

A forget-me-not, which he had removed a 
few days before, from the dominion of a thorny 
raspberry, had reserved a little rain, to bestow 
upon the grass-cups at her side. As he bent 
over her, she seemed to raise her blue eyes 
and whisper, " I was in prison, and ye came 
unto me ; sick, and ye visited me." 

Then the master of the garden said, " Oh ! 
thankless human heart, that daily takest thy 
water, and thy bread, yet yieldest scarcely one 
smile unto God perchance art angry because 
of some smitten gourd, or some rose-leaf 
doubled upon thy pillow come forth, after the 
shower of summer, and be abased. 



THE GARDEN AND THE RAIN. 109 

" See, every leaf and bud share the pure 
essence of their life with all around. The 
sigh of the lightest breeze wakes their charity. 
They refuse not, as long as any thing re 
mains to give. Hast thou no surplus drops of 
Heaven s bounty ? Hoard them not from thy 
brother, the frail partaker of the same clay ; 
but, instructed by the branches of thine own 
planting, become wise unto eternal life." 



110 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



CHANGES DURING SICKNESS. 

I BOW D me down amid the race of life, 

And let the fever-spirit have its will. 

With wrench and screw the tissued nerves it 

tried, 
And held from sleep the strained and burning 

eye, 

So that the soft-voic d watcher s toil was vain. 
Two weeks passed by, and then His healing 

love, 

Who knows the weakness of this mortal frame 
Which He hath fashioned, bade me take my 

place 
Again among the living. 

Strange and new 

Seemed every wonted object. All around 
Change had been busy. Boldly up had sprung, 
Even to the eaves, the rich Convolvolus, 
So long with patience water d, even and morn. 
Its clustering floral bells, profoundly blue, 



CHANGES DURING SICKNESS. Ill 

Or crimson, fleck d with white, thro the broad 

leaves, 

Were redolent of beauty. So, methought 
I d close my books, and study with the flowers, 
Where sang the bee ; and where, for aught I 

knew, 
Might winged angels hover. 

Closely hid 

In a dense grape-vine, was a cunning nest, 
Which oftimes I had visited, to strew 
Crumbs for the brooding mother. On that 

morn 
When fell disease stalk d near me with his 

chain, 

Intent to smite me, tho I knew it not, 
I had withdrawn those curtaining leaves, and 

met 
Her clear, bright eye. 

Now, all were fled and gone ! 
Yes, those small eggs with gladness and with 

song 

Had travell d forth to swell the tide of love 
That bathes Creation in its boundless sea. 
Oh ! ever-watchful goodness, that doth work 
Whether we sleep, or, neath the weight of 

pain, 
Bow down in dreamy reverie ; while time, 



112 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Unnoted, glideth onwards, nest and flower 
Confess thee. Shall the thoughtless human 

heart, 

So much indebted, e er thy praise forget, 
Whether beneath the sunshine or the cloud, 
It takes its lesson from thy page divine ? 




TO THE MISLETOE. ETC. 113 



TO THE MISLETOE AT THE 
TOMB OF WASHINGTON. 



DARK plant of Superstition s shade, 

Why lift st thou here the cheerless eye, 
Where reeks no Druid s purple blade, 
To stain the Christian s hallow d shade, 
Or dim fair Freedom s sky ? 

Sacred to orgies blind and base, 
Where human blood was sternly spilt, 

How dar st thou seek this holy place ? 

Rude parasite ! whose foul embrace 
Hast wreath d the murderer s hilt. 

Where ancient Mona s foliage wept, 

Or drear Stonehenge was wrapp d in gloom, 

Thy earthless root had fitter crept, 

Thy mystic garland better slept, 
Than near a Christian tomb. 



114 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

What though in Maro s * fabled lore, 

To Troy s bold chief thine aid was lent, 
Who dauntless trod the infernal shore, 
Where sad and frowning shades of yore 
Their date of anguish spent, 

Yet we, to Pluto s dreary coast, 

Passport from such as thee, disdain ; 
We seek our hero mid the host, 
Where wails no grim and guilty ghost, 
On ileaven s unclouded plain. 

Lo ! watchful o erjiis honor d clay, 

A nation sheds the filial tear ; 
And pilgrim s kneel, and patriots pray, 
And plants of glory drink the day, 

Why dost thou linger here ? 

In war the laurel wove his crest, 
The olive deck d his sylvan dome, 

The mournful cypress marks his rest, 

Dark Misletoe ! the Druid s guest, 
Hence ! seek some fitter home. 

* The Viscum Album of Linnaeus, or sacred misletoe of the 
Druids, is the plant which was the passport of ^Eneas in his 
descent to the Infernal Regions. See JEneid, Book 6th. 



THE MINISTRY OF FLOWERS. 115 



THE MINISTRY OF FLOWERS. 

FLOWERS ! Flowers ! the poetry of eHrth, 

Impulsive, pure, and wild; : * 
With what a strange delight they fill 

The wandering, mirthful child ; 
It clasps their leaflets close a while, 

Then strews them wide around ; 
For life hath nany a joy to spare 

Along its opening bound. 

The maiden twines them in her hair, 

And, mid that shining braid, 
How fair the violet s eye of blue, 

And the faint rose-bud s shade, 
Upon her polish d neck they blush, 

In her soft hand they shine, 
And better crown those peerless charms 

Than all Golconda s mine. 



116 VOICE OP FLOWERS. 

Above the floating bridal veil 

The white Camella rears 
Its innocent and tranquil eye, 

To calm young beauty s fears, 
And when her hoary age recalls 

The memories of that hour, 
Blent with the heaven-recorded vow 

Will gleam that stainless flower. 

The matron fills her chrystal vase 

With gems that Summer lends, 
Or groups them round the festal board 

To greet her welcome friends, 
Her husband s eye is on the skill 

With which she decks his bower, 
And dearer is his praise to her 

Than earth s most precious flower. 



Frail gifts we call them, prone to fade 

Ere the brief spring is o er, 
Though down the smitten strong man falls, 

Returning never more. 
Time wears away the arch of rock, 

And rends the ancient throne, 
Yet back they come, unchang d, as when 

On Eden s breast they shone. 



THE MINISTRY OF FLOWERS. 117 

How passing beautiful they are, 

On youth s unclouded plain, 
And yet we scarcely know their worth 

Till life is on its wane, 
Then grows their love a deeper thing, 

As our lone path-way tends 
Down mid the withering plants of hope, 

And graves of buried friends. 

Like ready comforters, they bend, 

If sorrow pales the cheek, 
And to the sad, desponding heart 

An angel s message speak, 
While, to the listening mourner s ear, 

They fondly seem to say 
The words of those departed ones, 

Who sleep in mouldering clay. 



We nurse them in our casement warm, 

WTien Winter rules the year, 
And see them raise their graceful form, 

The darkest day to cheer ; 
Within our coffin-lid they glow, 

When death hath had his will, 
And o er our pillow in the dust 

They bend and blossom still. 



118 



VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



Yes, o er our cradle-bed they creep, 

With rich and sweet perfume, 
Around the marriage altar twine, 

And cheer the darksome tomb ; 
They whisper to the faithful dead 

With their fresh, vernal breath, 
That such his rising hour shall be, 

Through Him, who conquer d death. 



THE WINTER BOUQUET. 119 



THE WINTER BOUQUET. 

FLOWERS ! fresh flowers, with your fragrance 

free, 

Have ye come in your queenly robes to me ? 
Me have ye sought from your far retreat, 
With your greeting lips, and your dewy feet ; 
And the upward glance of your radiant eye, 
Like angel guests from a purer sky ? 

But where did ye hide when the frost drew 

near, 
And your many sisters were blanched with 

fear? 

Where did ye hide ? with a blush as bright 
As ye wore amid Eden s vales of light, 
Ere the wile of the Tempter its bliss had 

shamed, 
Or the terrible sword o er its gate-way flam d. 



120 



VOICE OF FLOWERS. 



Flowers, sweet flowers, with your words of 

cheer, 

Thanks to the friend who hath sent you here. 
For this, may her blossoms of varied dye 
Be the fairest and first neath a vernal sky ; 
And she be led, by their whispered lore, 
To the love of that land where they fade no 

more. 




FAREWELL TO THE FLOWERS. 121 



FAREWELL TO THE FLOWERS. 



Go to your peaceful rest, 

Friends of a brighter hour, 
Jewels on youthful beauty s breast, 

Lights of the hall and bower. 
Well have ye done your part, 

Fair children of the sky, 
We 11 keep your memory in our heart, 

When low in dust ye lie. 

Your gladness in our joy, 

Your smile beside our way, 
Your gentle service round the bed 

Of sickness arid decay, 
Your rainbow on the cloud, 

Your sympathy in pain ; 
We 11 keep the memory of your deeds 

Until we meet again. 



122 VOICE OF FLOWERS. 

Rest, from the blush of love ; 

Rest, from the blight of care, 
From the sweet nursing of your buds, 

And from the nipping air ; 
Rest, from the fever-thirst 

Of summer s noontide heat, 
From coiling worm, and rifling hand, 

That vex d your lone retreat. 



If e er ye thrilled with pride, 

When the admirer knelt, 
Or on the lowly look d with scorn, 

Which man for man hath felt, 
If through your bosoms pure 

Hath aught like evil flow d, 
(Since folly may with angels dwell,) 

Rest from that painful load. 

But not with grief or fear, 

Bow down the drooping head ; 
See ! in the chamber of your birth 

Your dying couch is spread; 
Go ! strong in faith, ye flowers ; 

Strong in your guileless trust, 
With the returning birds, to rise 

Above imprisoning dust. 



FAREWELL TO THE FLOWERS. 123 

Hear we a whisper low, 

From withering leaf and bell ? 
" Our life hath been a dream of love, 

In garden, or in dell ; 
Yet wintry sleep we hail, 

And, till the trump shall swell, 
To wake us on the vernal morn, 

Sweet friends, a sweet farewell!" 




GLOSSARY 



OF FLOWERS MENTIONED IN THIS 
VOLUME. 



ACACIA, Concealed love. 

Almond, Hope. 

Amaranth, Immortality. 

Amaryllis, Beautiful, but timid. 

Anemone, Anticipation. 

Aspen, Tenderness. 

Aster, Love of variety. 

Bluebell, Health. 

Box, Constancy. 

Buttercup, Riches. 

Cactus Speciosissimus, . Perfect beauty. 

Calla, Magnificent beauty. 

Camella, Unpretending excellence. 

Carnation, Pride and beauty. 

Cereus, Long life. 

Chamomile, Energy in adversity. 

Chrysanthemum, ... A heart left to desolation. 

Clematis, Mental beauty. 

Columbine, .... Desertion. 

Convolves, . . . . Worth sustained by affec- 

Cowslip Winning Grace. 

Coxcomb, Fashion. 

Crown Imperial, . . . Pride of riches. 
Cypress, Despair. 



GLOSSARY. 

Daffodil, Uncertainty. 

Dahlia, Elegance and beauty. 

Daisy, Beauty and innocence. 

Daisy, Mountain, . . . Meek loveliness. 
Dandelion, Coquetry. 

Eglantine, I wound to heal. 

Fleur de lis, .... Aristocracy. 
Flowering Bean, . . . Industry. 
Forget-me-not, . . . True love. 
Fox-Glove, Insincerity. 

Geranium, Gentility. 

Geranium, Rose, . . . Preference. 

Gladiolis, Martial taste. 

Grape, Mirth. 

Hackmetack, .... Single blessedness. 

Hare-Bell, Grief. 

Hawthorn, Hope. 

Heliotrope, Devotion. 

Holly, Domestic happiness. 

Hollyhock, Ambition. 

Honeysuckle, .... Fidelity. 
Honeysuckle, Trumpet, . Inconstancy. 

Hyacinth, Friendship in adversity 

Hydrangia, Heartlessness. 

Ice-Plant, An old beau. 

Iris, My compliments. 

Ivy, Wedded love. 

Jessamine, Amiability. 

T -i I desire a return of affec- 

Jon( l ul1 tion. 

JLady s-Slipper, .... Capricious beauty. 
Larkspur, Haughtiness. 



GLOSSARY. 

Laurel, I change but in dying. 

Lilac, Persian, . . . An accomplished traveller. 
Lilac, Purple, .... Fastidiousness. 
Lilac, White, .... Youthful innocence. 

Lily, White Purity and beauty. 

Lily of the Valley, . . Delicate simplicity. 

Lobelia, Malevolence. 

London-Pride, . . . Frivolity. 
Lupine, Dejection. 

Maple, Reserve. 

Marigold, Jealousy. 

Mignionette, .... Yo^rj^rtues surpass your 

Mimosa, Sensitiveness. 

Misletoe, Superstition. 

Monk s-Hood, .... Deceit. 
Mourning Widow, . . Bereavement. 
Myrtle, Love in absence. 

Narcissus Self-love. 

Nightshade, Dark thoughts. 

Oleander, Beware ! 

Olive, Peace. 

Pansy, Pleasant thoughts. 

Pea, Everlasting, . . . Wilt thou go with me? 
Pea, Sweet, .... Departure. 

Pink, Woman s love. 

Piony, Anger. 

Polyanthus, Confidence. 

Poppy, Red, .... Evanescent pleasure. 
Poppy, White, .... Consolation. 
Primrose, Modest worth. 

Ragged Lady, .... Bad housekeeping. 

Rhododendron, . . . Majesty. 

Rose, Beauty and prosperity. 



GLOSSARY. 

Rose, Cinnamon, . . . Maternal care. 

Rose, Damask, .... Bashful love. 

Rose, Thornless, . . . Ingratitude. 

Rose, Multiflora, . . . Grace. 

Rose, Moss, .... Superior merit. 

Rose, Wild, Lightness. 

Rose-bud, Moss, . . . Confession. 

Rose-bud, White, . . . Too young to love. 

Sage, Domestic virtues. 

Snowball, Thoughts of Heaven. 

Soldier in Green, . . . Undying hope. 

Spruce, Integrity. 

Sunflower, Lofty thoughts. 

Sweet-Briar, .... Simplicity. 
Sweet- William, ... A smile. 

Thistle, Misanthropy. 

Tulip, A declaration of love. 

Venus s Fly-Trap, . . Artifice. 

Verbena, Sensibility. 

Violet, Modesty. 

Water-Lily, .... Purity of heart. 

Wax-Berry, Confiding trust. 

Willow, Weeping, . . Forsaken love. 
Woodbine, Fraternal love. 



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