They Have A Little Odor—that To Me

785

They have a little Odor—that to me
Is metre—nay—'tis melody—
And spiciest at fading—indicate—
A Habit—of a Laureate—

by Emily Dickinson.

In Time Of Grief

Dark, thinned, beside the wall of stone,
The box dripped in the air;
Its odor through my house was blown
Into the chamber there.

Remote and yet distinct the scent,
The sole thing of the kind,
As though one spoke a word half meant
That left a sting behind.

I knew not Grief would go from me,
And naught of it be plain,
Except how keen the box can be
After a fall of rain.

by Lizette Woodworth Reese.

Shake out your hair about me, so,
That I may feel the stir and scent
Of those vague odours come and go
The way our kisses went.
Night gave this priceless hour of love,
But now the dawn steals in apace,
And amorously bends above
The wonder of your face.

'Farewell' between our kisses creeps,
You fade, a ghost, upon the air;
Yet ah! the vacant place still keeps
The odour of your hair.

by Arthur Symons.

Bathed In War's Perfume

BATHED in war's perfume--delicate flag!
(Should the days needing armies, needing fleets, come again,)
O to hear you call the sailors and the soldiers! flag like a
beautiful woman!
O to hear the tramp, tramp, of a million answering men! O the ships
they arm with joy!
O to see you leap and beckon from the tall masts of ships!
O to see you peering down on the sailors on the decks!
Flag like the eyes of women.

by Walt Whitman.

See how the Rainbow in the skie
Seems gaudy through the Suns bright eye;
Harke how an Eccho answere makes,
Feele how a board is smooth'd with waxe,
Smell how a glove putts on perfume,
Tast how theyr sweetnesse pills assume:
So by imputed Justice, Clay
Seemes faire, well spoke, smooth, sweet, each way.
The eye doth gaze on robes appearing,
The prompted Eccho takes our hearing,
The board our touch, the sent our smell,
The pill our tast: Man, God as well.

by William Strode.

Walnut—leaf Scent

In the high leaves of a walnut,
On the very topmost boughs,
A boy that climbed the branching bole
His cradled limbs would house.

On the airy bed that rocked him
Long, idle hours he'd lie
Alone with white clouds sailing
The warm blue of the sky.

I remember not what his dreams were;
But the scent of a leaf's enough
To house me higher than those high boughs
In a youth he knew not of,

In a light that no day brings now
But none can spoil or smutch,
A magic that I felt not then
And only now I touch.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

Farewell, Life! My Senses Swim

Farewell, Life! My senses swim,
And the world is growing dim;
Thronging shadows cloud the light,
Like the advent of the night,—
Colder, colder, colder still,
Upward steals a vapor chill—
Strong the earthy odor grows—
I smell the mould above the rose!

Welcome, Life! the Spirit strives!
Strength returns, and hope revives;
Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn
Fly like shadows at the morn,—
O'er the earth there comes a bloom—
Sunny light for sullen gloom,
Warm perfume for vapor cold—
I smell the rose above the mould!

by Thomas Hood.

As a perfume doth remain
In the folds where it hath lain,
So the thought of you, remaining
Deeply folded in my brain,
Will not leave me: all things leave me:
You remain.

Other thoughts may come and go,
Other moments I may know
That shall waft me, in their going,
As a breath blown to and fro,
Fragrant memories: fragrant memories
Come and go.

Only thoughts of you remain
In my heart where they have lain,
Perfumed thoughts of you, remaining,
A hid sweetness, in my brain.
Others leave me: all things leave me:
You remain.

by Arthur Symons.

Thoughts At Ajaccio

Kind Earth, upon whose mother breast
The fruitful trees in time of spring,
Put forth their endless blossoming
From North to South, from East to West,
Whose sweet deep-furrowed soil is blest
With striving seeds and budding flowers,
And all the potent toil of hours.
From sunrise until even's rest—

Stretch forth thy leafy arms at dawn,
And touch me, compass me around.
Fill me with scent of upturned ground.
Soft perfume from thy bosom drawn.
The gifts I bring thou wilt not scorn,
Poor though they must be while I live,
For in my hour of death I give
My heart, that one rose may be bom !

by Radclyffe Hall.

To My Class: On Certain Fruits And Flowers Sent Me In Sickness

If spicy-fringed pinks that blush and pale
With passions of perfume, -- if violets blue
That hint of heaven with odor more than hue, --
If perfect roses, each a holy Grail
Wherefrom the blood of beauty doth exhale
Grave raptures round, -- if leaves of green as new
As those fresh chaplets wove in dawn and dew
By Emily when down the Athenian vale
She paced, to do observance to the May,
Nor dreamed of Arcite nor of Palamon, --
If fruits that riped in some more riotous play
Of wind and beam that stirs our temperate sun, --
If these the products be of love and pain,
Oft may I suffer, and you love, again.

by Sidney Lanier.

A Little Budding Rose

It was a little budding rose,
Round like a fairy globe,
And shyly did its leaves unclose
Hid in their mossy robe,
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
It breathed from its heart invisible.

The rose is blasted, withered, blighted,
Its root has felt a worm,
And like a heart beloved and slighted,
Failed, faded, shrunk its form.
Bud of beauty, bonnie flower,
I stole thee from thy natal bower.

I was the worm that withered thee,
Thy tears of dew all fell for me;
Leaf and stalk and rose are gone,
Exile earth they died upon.
Yes, that last breath of balmy scent
With alien breezes sadly blent!

by Emily Jane Brontë.

I am the land of their fathers,
In me the virtue stays.
I will bring back my children,
After certain days.

Under their feet in the grasses
My clinging magic runs.
They shall return as strangers.
They shall remain as sons.

Over their heads in the branches
Of their new-bought, ancient trees,
I weave an incantation
And draw them to my knees.

Scent of smoke in the evening,
Smell of rain in the night--
The hours, the days and the seasons,
Order their souls aright,

Till I make plain the meaning
Of all my thousand years--
Till I fill their hearts with knowledge,
While I fill their eyes with tears.

by Rudyard Kipling.

Under the shadow of a hawthorn brake,
Where bluebells draw the sky down to the wood,
Where, 'mid brown leaves, the primroses awake
And hidden violets smell of solitude;
Beneath green leaves bright-fluttered by the wing
Of fleeting, beautiful, immortal Spring,
I should have said, 'I love you,' and your eyes
Have said, 'I, too . . . ' The gods saw otherwise.

For this is winter, and the London streets
Are full of soldiers from that far, fierce fray
Where life knows death, and where poor glory meets
Full-face with shame, and weeps and turns away.
And in the broken, trampled foreign wood
Is horror, and the terrible scent of blood,
And love shines tremulous, like a drowning star,
Under the shadow of the wings of war.

by Edith Nesbit.

Unprofitableness

How rich, O Lord! how fresh thy visits are!
'Twas but just now my bleak leaves hopeless hung
Sullied with dust and mud;
Each snarling blast shot through me, and did share
Their youth, and beauty, cold showers nipt, and wrung
Their spiciness and blood;
But since thou didst in one sweet glance survey
Their sad decays, I flourish, and once more
Breath all perfumes, and spice;
I smell a dew like myrrh, and all the day
Wear in my bosom a full sun; such store
Hath one beam from thy eyes.
But, ah, my God! what fruit hast thou of this?
What one poor leaf did ever I yet fall
To wait upon thy wreath?
Thus thou all day a thankless weed dost dress,
And when th'hast done, a stench or fog is all
The odor I bequeath.

by Henry Vaughan.

Swallows Travel To And Fro

SWALLOWS travel to and fro,
And the great winds come and go,
And the steady breezes blow,
Bearing perfume, bearing love.
Breezes hasten, swallows fly,
Towered clouds forever ply,
And at noonday, you and I
See the same sunshine above.

Dew and rain fall everywhere,
Harvests ripen, flowers are fair,
And the whole round earth is bare
To the moonshine and the sun;
And the live air, fanned with wings,
Bright with breeze and sunshine, brings
Into contact distant things,
And makes all the countries one.

Let us wander where we will,
Something kindred greets us still;
Something seen on vale or hill
Falls familiar on the heart;
So, at scent or sound or sight,
Severed souls by day and night
Tremble with the same delight -
Tremble, half the world apart.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Down the quiet eve,
Thro' my window with the sunset
Pipes to me a distant organ
Foolish ditties;

And, as when you change
Pictures in a magic lantern,
Books, beds, bottles, floor, and ceiling
Fade and vanish,

And I'm well once more . . .
August flares adust and torrid,
But my heart is full of April
Sap and sweetness.

In the quiet eve
I am loitering, longing, dreaming . . .
Dreaming, and a distant organ
Pipes me ditties.

I can see the shop,
I can smell the sprinkled pavement,
Where she serves-her chestnut chignon
Thrills my senses!

O, the sight and scent,
Wistful eve and perfumed pavement!
In the distance pipes an organ . . .
The sensation

Comes to me anew,
And my spirit for a moment
Thro' the music breathes the blessed
Airs of London.

by William Ernest Henley.

The scent of dittany was hot.
Its smell intensified the heat:
Into his brain it seemed to beat
With memories of a day forgot,
When she walked with him through the wheat,
And noon was heavy with the heat.

Again her eyes gazed into his
With all their maiden tenderness;
Again the fragrance of her dress
Swooned on his senses; and, with bliss,
Again he felt her heart's caress
Full of a timid tenderness.

What of that spray she plucked and gave?
The spray of this wild dittany,
Whose scent brought back to memory
A something lost, beyond the grave.
He knew now what it meant, ah me!
That spray of withered dittany.

How many things he had forgot!
Far, lovely things Life flings away!
And where was she now? Who could say?
The dittany, whose scent was hot,
Spoke to his heart; and, old and gray,
Through the lone land he went his way.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Gushing from the mouths of stone men
To spread at ease under the sky
In granite-lipped basins,
Where iris dabble their feet
And rustle to a passing wind,
The water fills the garden with its rushing,
In the midst of the quiet of close-clipped lawns.

Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,
Where trickle and plash the fountains,
Marble fountains, yellowed with much water.

Splashing down moss-tarnished steps
It falls, the water;
And the air is throbbing with it.
With its gurgling and running.
With its leaping, and deep, cool murmur.

And I wished for night and you.
I wanted to see you in the swimming-pool,
White and shining in the silver-flecked water.
While the moon rode over the garden,
High in the arch of night,
And the scent of the lilacs was heavy with stillness.

Night, and the water, and you in your whiteness, bathing!

by Amy Lowell.

The Song Of Quoodle

They haven't got no noses,
The fallen sons of Eve;
Even the smell of roses
Is not what they supposes;
But more than mind discloses
And more than men believe.

They haven't got no noses,
They cannot even tell
When door and darkness closes
The park a Jew encloses,
Where even the law of Moses
Will let you steal a smell.

The brilliant smell of water,
The brave smell of a stone,
The smell of dew and thunder,
The old bones buried under,
Are things in which they blunder
And err, if left alone.

The wind from winter forests,
The scent of scentless flowers,
The breath of brides' adorning,
The smell of snare and warning,
The smell of Sunday morning,
God gave to us for ours

*

And Quoodle here discloses
All things that Quoodle can,
They haven't got no noses,
They haven't got no noses,
And goodness only knowses
The Noselessness of Man.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

By Wood And Wold

Lightly the breath of the spring wind blows,
Though laden with faint perfume,
'Tis the fragrance rare that the bushman knows,
The scent of the wattle bloom.
Two-thirds of our journey at least are done,
Old horse ! let us take a spell
In the shade from the glare of the noon-day sun,
Thus far we have travell'd well ;
Your bridle I'll slip, your saddle ungirth,
And lay them beside this log,
For you'll roll in that track of reddish earth,
And shake like a water-dog.

Upon yonder rise there's a clump of trees—
Their shadows look cool and broad—
You can crop the grass as fast as you please,
While I stretch my limbs on the sward ;
'Tis pleasant, I ween, with a leafy screen
O'er the weary head, to lie
On the mossy carpet of emerald green,
'Neath the vault of the azure sky ;
Thus all alone by the wood and wold,
I yield myself once again
To the memories old that, like tales fresh told,
Come flitting across the brain.

by Adam Lindsay Gordon.

In The Shadow Of The Beeches

In the shadow of the beeches,
Where the fragile wildflowers bloom;
Where the pensive silence pleaches
Green a roof of cool perfume,
Have you felt an awe imperious
As when, in a church, mysterious
Windows paint with God the gloom?

In the shadow of the beeches,
Where the rock-ledged waters flow;
Where the sun's slant splendor bleaches
Every wave to foaming snow,
Have you felt a music solemn
As when minster arch and column
Echo organ worship low?

In the shadow of the beeches,
Where the light and shade are blent;
Where the forest bird beseeches,
And the breeze is brimmed with scent,-
Is it joy or melancholy
That o'erwhelms us partly, wholly,
To our spirit's betterment?

In the shadow of the beeches
Lay me where no eye perceives;
Where,-like some great arm that reaches
Gently as a love that grieves,-
One gnarled root may clasp me kindly,
While the long years, working blindly,
Slowly change my dust to leaves.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

June 29th


Beneath the lime trees in the garden
High above the town,
The scent of whose suspended bloom
Entranced the air with warm perfume
I stood, and watched the river flowing,
Flowing smooth and brown.

The heat of all the summer sunshine
Centred in the skies,
Beneath its spell the city's towers
Grew dreamy, and the climbing flowers
Upon the balconies hung limply
Down, with closing eyes.

Some drowsy pigeons cooed together
On the nearer eaves,
Gnats danced, and one big foolish bee
Grown honey-drunk, bumped into me,
And ere he buzzed a lazy protest
Fell amid the leaves.

A bell began to chime, I watched it
Swinging to and fro,
It made a solemn, pious sound,
While flippant swallows, darting round
To peer within the ancient belfrey
Soared now high, now low.

Time passed, and still I stayed to ponder
Through the afternoon,
Within my brain the golden haze
Wrought magic musings, and my gaze
Bent inward could behold no image
Save the form of June.

by Radclyffe Hall.

Trailing Arbutus

In spring when branches of woodbine
Hung leafless over the rocks,
And fleecy snow in the hollows
Lay in unshepherded flocks,

By the road where dead leaves rustled,
Or damply matted the ground,
While over me lifted the robin
His honey'd passion of sound,

I came upon trailing arbùtus
Blooming in modesty sweet,
And gathered store of its riches
Offered and spread at my feet.

It grew under leaves, as if seeking
No hint of itself to disclose,
And out of its pink-white petals
A delicate perfume rose.

As faint as the fond remembrance
Of joy that was only dreamed,
And like a divine suggestion
The scent of the flower seemed.

I sought for love on the highway,
For love unselfish and pure,
And found it in good deeds blooming,
Tho' often in haunts obscure.

Often in leaves by the wayside,
But touched with a heavenly glow,
And with self-sacrifice fragrant
The flowers of great love grow.

O lovely and lowly arbutus!
As year unto year succeeds,
Be thou the laurel and emblem
Of noble, unselfish deeds!

by Henry Abbey.

Wild Flowers Of Australia

Oh say not that no perfume dwells;
The wilding flowers among,
Say not that in the forest dells
Is heard no voice of song.

The air is laden with the scent
Borne from the clustering flower,
With which the wattle is besprent;
Like Danae’s golden shower.

And silv’ry wattles bending low,
Sweet incense scatter far—
When night-winds kiss the pensile bough,
Beneath the evening star.

And there are flowers of varying dye;
Now white, now blushing red,
Their beauteous blossoms charm the eye,
And fragrant odours shed.

There’s perfume breath’d from Austral flowers,—
And melody is there
Not such as in far Albion’s bowers
Falls on th’ accustom’d ear.

But thrilling snatches of wild song,
Pour’d forth from lonely glen—
Where winds the hidden creek along
Far from the haunts of men.

And hoarser notes in wild woods heard
Sound like strange harmonies,
As flashes past the bright-winged bird
Gleaming in azure skies.

Then say not that no perfume dwells,
The wilding flowers among;
Say not that in the forest dells
Is heard no voice of song!

by Caroline Carleton.

SENT IN A LITTLE BOX.

LET them lie, yes, let them lie,
They'll be dead to-morrow:
Lift the lid up quietly
As you'd lift the mystery
Of a shrouded sorrow.

Let them lie, the fragrant things,
Their sweet souls thus giving:
Let no breezes' ambient wings,
And no useless water-springs
Lure them into living.

They have lived--they live no more:
Nothing can requite them
For the gentle life they bore
And up-yielded in full store
While it did delight them.

Yet, poor flowers, not sad to die
In the hand that slew ye,
Did ye leave the open sky,
And the winds that wandered by,
And the bees that knew ye.

Giving up a small earth place,
And a day of blooming,
Here to lie in narrow space,
Smiling in this sickly face,
This dull air perfuming?

O my pretty violets dead,
Coffined from all gazes,
We will also smiling shed
Out of our flowers witherèd,
Perfume of sweet praises.

And as ye, for this poor sake,
Love with life are buying,
So, I doubt not, ONE will make
All our gathered flowers to take
Richer scent through dying.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

The Parting Day

I.

SOME busy hands have brought to light,
And laid beneath my eye,
The dress I wore that afternoon
You came to say good-by.


About it still there seems to cling
Some fragrance unexpressed,
The ghostly odor of the rose
I wore upon my breast;


And, subtler than all flower-scent,
The sacred garment holds
The memory of that parting day
Close hidden in its folds.


The rose is dead, and you are gone,
But to the dress I wore
The rose's smell, the thought of you,
Are wed forevermore.

II.

That day you came to say good-by
(A month ago! It seems a year!)
How calm I was! I met your eye,
And in my own you saw no tear.


You heard me laugh and talk and jest,
And lightly grieve that you should go;
You saw the rose upon my breast,
But not the breaking heart below.


And when you came and took my hand,
It scarcely fluttered in your hold.
Alas, you did not understand!
For you were blind, and I was cold.


And now you cannot see my tears,
And now you cannot hear my cry.
A month ago? Nay, years and years
Have aged my heart since that good-by.

by Edith Wharton.

Some Busy Hands…

I.

SOME busy hands have brought to light,
And laid beneath my eye,
The dress I wore that afternoon
You came to say good-by.

About it still there seems to cling
Some fragrance unexpressed,
The ghostly odor of the rose
I wore upon my breast;

And, subtler than all flower-scent,
The sacred garment holds
The memory of that parting day
Close hidden in its folds.

The rose is dead, and you are gone,
But to the dress I wore
The rose's smell, the thought of you,
Are wed forevermore.


II.

That day you came to say good-by
(A month ago! It seems a year!)
How calm I was! I met your eye,
And in my own you saw no tear.

You heard me laugh and talk and jest,
And lightly grieve that you should go;
You saw the rose upon my breast,
But not the breaking heart below.

And when you came and took my hand,
It scarcely fluttered in your hold.
Alas, you did not understand!
For you were blind, and I was cold.

And now you cannot see my tears,
And now you cannot hear my cry.
A month ago? Nay, years and years
Have aged my heart since that good-by.

by Edith Wharton.

See Aaron, God's anointed priest,
Within the veil appear;
In robes of mystic meaning dressed,
Presenting Israel's prayer.

The plate of gold which crowns his brows,
His holiness describes;
His breast displays, in shining rows,
The names of all the tribes.

With the atoning blood he stands,
Before the mercy-seat;
And clouds of incense from his hands,
Arise with odor sweet.

Urim and Thummim near his heart,
In rich engravings worn;
The sacred light of truth impart,
To teach and to adorn.

Through him the eye of faith descries,
A greater Priest than he;
Thus Jesus pleads above the skies,
For you, my friends, and me.

He bears the names of all his saints,
Deep on his heart engraved;
Attentive to the state and wants
Of all his love has saved.

In him a holiness complete,
Light and perfections shine;
And wisdom, grace, and glory meet;
A Saviour all divine.

The blood, which as a Priest he bears
For sinners, is his own
The incense of his prayers and tears
Perfume the holy throne.

In him my weary soul has rest,
Though I am weak and vile
I read my name upon his breast,
And see the Father smile.

by John Newton.

Queen Oriana's Dream

On a bank with roses shaded,
Whose sweet scent the violets aided,
Violets whose breath alone
Yields but feeble smell or none,
(Sweeter bed Jove ne'er repos'd on
When his eyes Olympus closed on,)
While o'er head six slaves did hold
Canopy of cloth o' gold,
And two more did music keep,
Which might Juno lull to sleep,
Oriana who was queen
To the mighty Tamerlane,
That was lord of all the land
Between Thrace and Samarchand,
While the noon-tide fervor beam'd,
Mused herself to sleep, and dream'd.


Thus far, in magnific strain,
A young poet sooth'd his vein,
But he had nor prose nor numbers
To express a princess' slumbers.-
Youthful Richard had strange fancies,
Was deep versed in old romances,
And could talk whole hours upon
The great Cham and Prester John,-
Tell the field in which the Sophi
From the Tartar won a trophy-
What he read with such delight of,
Thought he could as eas'ly write of-
But his over-young invention
Kept not pace with brave intention.
Twenty suns did rise and set,
And he could no further get;
But, unable to proceed,
Made a virtue out of need,
And, his labours wiselier deem'd of,
Did omit what the queen dream'd of.

by Charles Lamb.

Gardeners Grouch

There's a looper caterpillar in my lupins,
There are weevils weaving strands about my stocks,
There are throngs of thieving thrips
On my seedlings and my slips,
And the hoppers hop around my hollyhocks.
While the aphis eats my early antirrhinums,
All oblivious to the dreadful damage done,
And the jassids, jazzing gaily
Round dead jonquils, jar me daily ....
Yet I'd thought to take up gardening 'just for fun.'

I have blown 'em with a bellows filled with sulphur;
I've assaulted 'em with arsenate of lead;
I have prayed a vengeful prayer
As I sprayed 'em with a sprayer;
But the cross-grained little cuses won't stay dead!
I have bathed 'em with enough benzole emulsion
And deadly drugs to dropp them in their tracks;
Then I vainly sought their slaughter
With a stong tobacco water ....
And I'd thought to take up gardening 'to relax.'

Now the strange, unlovely scent of lime-and-sulphur
Outvies the sweet bouquet of bud and bloom.
And the smell of Bordeaux mixture
On my person is a fixture;
So my wife won't let me in our drawing room.
Dark odors hang about herbaceous borders
Where I seek the stealthy sluglet after dark.
But my garden has undone me:
Even little children shun me ....
And I'd thought to take up gardening 'for a lark.'

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Dog And His Master

NO better Dog e'er kept his Master's Door
Than honest Snarl, who spar'd nor Rich nor Poor;
But gave the Alarm, when any one drew nigh,
Nor let pretended Friends pass fearless by:
For which reprov'd, as better Fed than Taught,
He rightly thus expostulates the Fault.

To keep the House from Rascals was my Charge;
The Task was great, and the Commission large.
Nor did your Worship e'er declare your Mind,
That to the begging Crew it was confin'd;
Who shrink an Arm, or prop an able Knee,
Or turn up Eyes, till they're not seen, nor see.
To Thieves, who know the Penalty of Stealth,
And fairly stake their Necks against your Wealth,
These are the known Delinquents of the Times,
And Whips and Tyburn. testify their Crimes.

But since to Me there was by Nature lent
An exquisite Discerning by the Scent;
I trace a Flatt'rer, when he fawns and leers,
A rallying Wit, when he commends and jeers:
The greedy Parasite I grudging note,
Who praises the good Bits, that oil his Throat;
I mark the Lady, you so fondly toast,
That plays your Gold, when all her own is lost:
The Knave, who fences your Estate by Law,
Yet still reserves an undermining Flaw.
These and a thousand more, which I cou'd tell,
Provoke my Growling, and offend my Smell.

by Anne Kingsmill Finch.

The church the garden of Christ.

SS 4:12-15; 5:1.

We are a garden walled around,
Chosen and made peculiar ground;
A little spot enclosed by grace
Out of the world's wide wilderness.

Like trees of myrrh and spice we stand,
Planted by God the Father's hand;
And all his springs in Zion flow,
To make the young plantation grow.

Awake, O, heav'nly wind! and come,
Blow on this garden of perfume;
Spirit divine! descend and breathe
A gracious gale on plants beneath.

Make our best spices flow abroad,
To entertain our Savior God
And faith, and love, and joy appear,
And every grace be active here.

[Let my Beloved come and taste
His pleasant fruits at his own feast:
"I come, my spouse, I come!" he cries,
With love and pleasure in his eyes.

Our Lord into his garden comes,
Well pleased to smell our poor perfumes,
And calls us to a feast divine,
Sweeter than honey, milk, or wine.

"Eat of the tree of life, my friends,
The blessings that my Father sends;
Your taste shall all my dainties prove,
And drink abundance of my love:"

Jesus, we will frequent thy board,
And sing the bounties of our Lord;
But the rich food on which we live
Demands more praise than tongues can give.]

by Isaac Watts.

I am a part of all you see
In Nature; part of all you feel:
I am the impact of the bee
Upon the blossom; in the tree
I am the sap,-that shall reveal
The leaf, the bloom,-that flows and flutes
Up from the darkness through its roots.

I am the vermeil of the rose,
The perfume breathing in its veins;
The gold within the mist that glows
Along the west and overflows
With light the heaven; the dew that rains
Its freshness down and strings with spheres
Of wet the webs and oaten ears.

I am the egg that folds the bird;
The song that beaks and breaks its shell;
The laughter and the wandering word
The water says; and, dimly heard,
The music of the blossom's bell
When soft winds swing it; and the sound
Of grass slow-creeping o'er the ground.

I am the warmth, the honey-scent
That throats with spice each lily-bud
That opens, white with wonderment,
Beneath the moon; or, downward bent,
Sleeps with a moth beneath its hood:
I am the dream that haunts it too,
That crystallizes into dew.

I am the seed within the pod;
The worm within its closed cocoon:
The wings within the circling clod,
The germ, that gropes through soil and sod
To beauty, radiant in the noon:
I am all these, behold! and more-
I am the love at the world-heart's core.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

My garden aboundeth in pleasant nooks
And fragrance is over it all;
For sweet is the smell of my old, old books
In their places against the wall.

Here is a folio that's grim with age
And yellow and green with mould;
There's the breath of the sea on every page
And the hint of a stanch ship's hold.

And here is a treasure from France la belle
Exhaleth a faint perfume
Of wedded lily and asphodel
In a garden of song abloom.

And this wee little book of Puritan mien
And rude, conspicuous print
Hath the Yankee flavor of wintergreen,
Or, may be, of peppermint.

In Walton the brooks a-babbling tell
Where the cheery daisy grows,
And where in meadow or woodland dwell
The buttercup and the rose.

But best beloved of books, I ween,
Are those which one perceives
Are hallowed by ashes dropped between
The yellow, well-thumbed leaves.

For it's here a laugh and it's there a tear,
Till the treasured book is read;
And the ashes betwixt the pages here
Tell us of one long dead.

But the gracious presence reappears
As we read the book again,
And the fragrance of precious, distant years
Filleth the hearts of men.

Come, pluck with me in my garden nooks
The posies that bloom for all;
Oh, sweet is the smell of my old, old books
In their places against the wall!

by Eugene Field.

Pensive On Her Dead Gazing, I Heard The Mother Of All


PENSIVE, on her dead gazing, I heard the Mother of All,
Desperate, on the torn bodies, on the forms covering the battle-
fields gazing;
(As the last gun ceased--but the scent of the powder-smoke linger'd;)
As she call'd to her earth with mournful voice while she stalk'd:
Absorb them well, O my earth, she cried--I charge you, lose not my
sons! lose not an atom;
And you streams, absorb them well, taking their dear blood;
And you local spots, and you airs that swim above lightly,
And all you essences of soil and growth--and you, my rivers' depths;
And you, mountain sides--and the woods where my dear children's
blood, trickling, redden'd;
And you trees, down in your roots, to bequeath to all future
trees, 10
My dead absorb--my young men's beautiful bodies absorb--and their
precious, precious, precious blood;
Which holding in trust for me, faithfully back again give me, many a
year hence,
In unseen essence and odor of surface and grass, centuries hence;
In blowing airs from the fields, back again give me my darlings--give
my immortal heroes;
Exhale me them centuries hence--breathe me their breath--let not an
atom be lost;
O years and graves! O air and soil! O my dead, an aroma sweet!
Exhale them perennial, sweet death, years, centuries hence.

by Walt Whitman.

The Old Gate Made Of Pickets

There was moonlight in the garden and the chirr and chirp of crickets;
There was scent of pink and peony and deep syringa thickets,
When adown the pathway whitely, where the firefly glimmered brightly,
She came stepping, oh, so lightly,
To the old gate made of pickets.

II.

There were dew and musk and murmur and a voice that hummed odd snatches
Of a song while there she hurried, through the moonlight's silvery patches,
To the rose-grown gate, above her and her softly-singing lover,
With its blossom-tangled cover
And its weight and wooden latches.

III.

Whom she met there, whom she kissed there, mid the moonlight and the roses,
With his arms who there enclosed her, as a tiger-lily encloses
Some white moth that frailly settles on its gold and crimson petals,
Where the garden runs to nettles,
No one knows now or supposes.

IV.

Years have passed since that last meeting; loves have come and loves departed:
Still the garden blooms unchanging; there is nothing broken-hearted
In its beauty, where the hours lounge with sun and moon and showers,
Mid the perfume and the flowers
As in days when those two parted.

V.

Yet the garden and the flowers and the cheerily chirring crickets,
And the moonlight and the fragrance, and the wind that waves the thickets,
They remember what was spoken, and the rose that was a token,
And the gentle heart there broken
By the old gate made of pickets.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The subtle power in perfume found
Nor priest nor sibyl vainly learned;
On Grecian shrine or Aztec mound
No censer idly burned.

That power the old-time worships knew,
The Corybantes' frenzied dance,
The Pythian priestess swooning through
The wonderland of trance.

And Nature holds, in wood and field,
Her thousand sunlit censers still;
To spells of flower and shrub we yield
Against or with our will.

I climbed a hill path strange and new
With slow feet, pausing at each turn;
A sudden waft of west wind blew
The breath of the sweet fern.

That fragrance from my vision swept
The alien landscape; in its stead,
Up fairer hills of youth I stepped,
As light of heart as tread.

I saw my boyhood's lakelet shine
Once more through rifts of woodland shade;
I knew my river's winding line
By morning mist betrayed.

With me June's freshness, lapsing brook,
Murmurs of leaf and bee, the call
Of birds, and one in voice and look
In keeping with them all.

A fern beside the way we went
She plucked, and, smiling, held it up,
While from her hand the wild, sweet scent
I drank as from a cup.

O potent witchery of smell!
The dust-dry leaves to life return,
And she who plucked them owns the spell
And lifts her ghostly fern.

Or sense or spirit? Who shall say
What touch the chord of memory thrills?
It passed, and left the August day
Ablaze on lonely hills.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

A Birthday Song. To S. G.

For ever wave, for ever float and shine
Before my yearning eyes, oh! dream of mine
Wherein I dreamed that time was like a vine,

A creeping rose, that clomb a height of dread
Out of the sea of Birth, all filled with dead,
Up to the brilliant cloud of Death o'erhead.

This vine bore many blossoms, which were years.
Their petals, red with joy, or bleached by tears,
Waved to and fro i' the winds of hopes and fears.

Here all men clung, each hanging by his spray.
Anon, one dropped; his neighbor 'gan to pray;
And so they clung and dropped and prayed, alway.

But I did mark one lately-opened bloom,
Wherefrom arose a visible perfume
That wrapped me in a cloud of dainty gloom.

And rose -- an odor by a spirit haunted --
And drew me upward with a speed enchanted,
Swift floating, by wild sea or sky undaunted,

Straight through the cloud of death, where men are free.
I gained a height, and stayed and bent my knee.
Then glowed my cloud, and broke and unveiled thee.

"O flower-born and flower-souled!" I said,
"Be the year-bloom that breathed thee ever red,
Nor wither, yellow, down among the dead.

"May all that cling to sprays of time, like me,
Be sweetly wafted over sky and sea
By rose-breaths shrining maidens like to thee!"

Then while we sat upon the height afar
Came twilight, like a lover late from war,
With soft winds fluting to his evening star.

And the shy stars grew bold and scattered gold,
And chanting voices ancient secrets told,
And an acclaim of angels earthward rolled.

by Sidney Lanier.

The blue bell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air;
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit's care.

There is a spell in purple heath
Too wildly, sadly dear;
The violet has a fragrant breath
But fragrance will not cheer.

The trees are bare, the sun is cold;
And seldom, seldom seen;
The heavens have lost their zone of gold
The earth its robe of green;

And ice upon the glancing stream
Has cast its sombre shade
And distant hills and valleys seem
In frozen mist arrayed -


The blue bell cannot charm me now
The heath has lost its bloom,
The violets in the glen below
They yield no sweet perfume.

But though I mourn the heather-bell
'Tis better far, away;
I know how fast my tears would swell
To see it smile today;

And that wood flower that hides so shy
Beneath the mossy stone
Its balmy scent and dewy eye:
'Tis not for them I moan.

It is the slight and stately stem,
The blossom's silvery blue,
The buds hid like a sapphire gem
In sheaths of emerald hue.

'Tis these that breathe upon my heart
A calm and softening spell
That if it makes the tear-drop start
Has power to soothe as well.

For these I weep, so long divided
Through winter's dreary day,
In longing weep--but most when guided
On withered banks to stray.

If chilly then the light should fall
Adown the dreary sky
And gild the dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy,

How do I yearn, how do I pine
For the time of flowers to come,
And turn me from that fading shine
To mourn the fields of home -

by Emily Jane Brontë.

You little friend, your nose is ready; you sniff,
Asking for that expected walk,
(Your nostrils full of the happy rabbit-whiff)
And almost talk.

And so the moment becomes a moving force;
Coats glide down from their pegs in the humble dark;
The sticks grow live to the stride of their vagrant course.
You scamper the stairs,
Your body informed with the scent and the track and the mark
Of stoats and weasels, moles and badgers and hares.

We are going OUT. You know the pitch of the word,
Probing the tone of thought as it comes through fog
And reaches by devious means (half-smelt, half-heard)
The four-legged brain of a walk-ecstatic dog.

Out in the garden your head is already low.
(Can you smell the rose? Ah, no.)
But your limbs can draw
Life from the earth through the touch of your padded paw.

Now, sending a little look to us behind,
Who follow slowly the track of your lovely play,
You carry our bodies forward away from mind
Into the light and fun of your useless day.

* * * * *

Thus, for your walk, we took ourselves, and went
Out by the hedge and the tree to the open ground.
You ran, in delightful strata of wafted scent,
Over the hill without seeing the view;
Beauty is smell upon primitive smell to you:
To you, as to us, it is distant and rarely found.

Home ... and further joy will be surely there:
Supper waiting full of the taste of bone.
You throw up your nose again, and sniff, and stare
For the rapture known
Of the quick wild gorge of food and the still lie-down
While your people talk above you in the light
Of candles, and your dreams will merge and drown
Into the bed-delicious hours of night.

by Harold Monro.

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