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.

Perfume Laden Air

When from the neighbouring garden the perfume-laden air
Saturates my soul with memories,
Rises the thought of the beloved plum-tree
Blooming under the eaves of the house which is gone.

by Sugawara Takesue no Musume.

Long Yearning (Sent Far)

When the beautiful woman was here, the hall was filled with flowers,
Now the beautiful woman's gone, the bed is lying empty.
On the bed, the embroidered quilt is rolled up: no-one sleeps,
Though three years have now gone by, I think I smell that scent.
The scent is finished but not destroyed,
The woman's gone and does not come.
Yearning yellows the falling leaf,
White dew beads the green moss.

by Li Po.

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.

Three Palinodias - 01

"Incense is hut a tribute for the gods,--
To mortals 'tis but poison."

THE smoke that from thine altar blows,

Can it the gods offend?
For I observe thou hold'st thy nose--

Pray what does this portend?
Mankind deem incense to excel

Each other earthly thing,
So he that cannot bear its smell,

No incense e'er should bring.

With unmoved face by thee at least

To dolls is homage given;
If not obstructed by the priest,

The scent mounts up to heaven.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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.

From The Temple

HERE is the perfume of the leaves, the incense of the pines–
The magic scent that hath been pent
Within the tangled vines:
No censer filled with spices rare
E'er swung such sweetness on the air.

And all the golden gloom of it holdeth no haunting fear
For it is blessed, and giveth rest
To those who enter here–
Here in the evening–who can know
But God Himself walks to and fro!

And music past all mastering within the chancel rings;
None could desire a sweeter choir
Than this–that soars and sings,
Till far the scented shadows creep–
And quiet darkness bringeth sleep.

by Virna Sheard.

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.

It is a high, carved sideboard made of oak.
The dark old wood, like old folks, seems kind;
Its drawers are open, and its odours soak
The darkness with the scent of strong old wine.

Its drawers are full, a final resting place
For scented, yellowed linens, scraps of clothes
Foe wives or children, worn and faded bows,
Grandmothers' collars made of figured lace;

There you will find old medals, locks of grey
Or yellow hair, and portraits, and a dried bouquet
Whose perfume mingles with the smell of fruit.

- O sideboard of old, you know a great deal more
And could tell us your tales, yet you stand mute
As we slowly open your old dark door.

by Arthur Rimbaud.

What sort of arrow split the sky and this rock?
It's quivering, spreading like a peacock's fan
Like the mist around the shaft and knot less feathers
Of a comet come to nest at midnight.

How blood surges from the gaping wound,
Lips already silencing murmur and cry.
One solemn finger holds back time, confusing
The witness of the eyes where the deed is written.

Silence? We still know the passwords.
Lost sentinels far from the watch fires
We smell the odor of honeysuckle and surf
Rising in the dark shadows.

Distance, let dawn leap the void at last,
And a single beam of light make a rainbow on the water
Its quiver full of reeds,
Sign of the return of archers and patriotic songs.

by Robert Desnos.

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.

The moon hath said her sad good-bye.
My sleeping queen ;
And all the stars are wondering why
Thou art unseen.
behold ! abashed, they take to flight.
As through the casement breaks thy light.
Arise, my dawn, arise !
Arise, my queen serene !
The field of heaven is all thine own,
My peerless star.
Just as my heart is thine alone,
Be near or far.
So let thy face adorn the night.
And flood it with thy dazzling light.
Arise, my queen, arise !
Arise, to my guitar !
The vaults above all vacant seem,
My sweetest flower ;
And for thy scent, the cherubim
Long at this hour.
A moment from thy sweet dream part.
Though in that dream be wove my heart.
Arise, my queen, arise !
Let fall thy perfume shower.

by Ameen Rihani.

Farewell To Arcady

With sombre mien, the Evening gray
Comes nagging at the heels of Day,
And driven faster and still faster
Before the dusky-mantled Master,
The light fades from her fearful eyes,
She hastens, stumbles, falls, and dies.

Beside me Amaryllis weeps;
The swelling tears obscure the deeps
Of her dark eyes, as, mistily,
The rushing rain conceals the sea.
Here, lay my tuneless reed away,--
I have no heart to tempt a lay.

I scent the perfume of the rose
Which by my crystal fountain grows.
In this sad time, are roses blowing?
And thou, my fountain, art thou flowing,

While I who watched thy waters spring
Am all too sad to smile or sing?
Nay, give me back my pipe again,
It yet shall breathe this single strain:
Farewell to Arcady!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Evening Harmony

The hour has come at last when, trembling to and fro,
Each flower is a censer sifting its perfume;
The scent and sounds all swirl in evening’s gentle fume;
A melancholy waltz, a languid vertigo!

Each flower is a censer sifting its perfume;
A violin’s vibrato wounds the heart of woe;
A melancholy waltz, a languid vertigo!
The sky, a lofty altar, lovely in the gloom,

A violin’s vibrato wounds the heart of woe,
A tender heart detests the black of nullity,
The sky, a lofty altar, lovely in the gloom;
The sun is drowning in the evening’s blood-red glow.

A tender heart detests the black of nullity,
And lovingly preserves each trace of long ago!
The sun is drowning in the evening’s blood-red glow …
Your memory shines through me like an ostensory!

by Charles Baudelaire.

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.

Night-Blooming Jasmine

And the night-blooming flowers open,
open in the same hour I remember those I love.
In the middle of the viburnums
the twilight butterflies have appeared.

After a while all noise will quiet.
There, only a house is whispering.
Nests sleep under wings,
like eyes under eyelashes.

Open goblets exhale
the perfume of strawberries.
A light shines there in the room,
grass sprouts over the graves.

A late bee buzzes at the hive
finding all the cells taken.
The Hen runs through the sky’s blue
yard to the chirping of stars.

The whole night exhales
a scent that disappears in the wind.
A light ascends the stairs;
it shines on the second floor: goes out.

And then dawn: the petals close
a little crumpled. Something soft
and secret is brooding in an urn,
some new happiness I can’t understand yet.

by Giovanni Pascoli.

Infold us with thy peace, dear moon-lit night,
And let thy silver silence wrap us round
Till we forget the city's dazzling light,
The city's ceaseless sound.

Here where the sand lies white upon the shore,
And little velvet-fingered breezes blow,
Dear sea, thy world-old wonder-song once more
Sing to us e'er we go.

Give us thy garnered sweets, short summer hour:
Perfume of rose, and balm of sun-steeped pine;
Scent from the lily's cup and horned flower,
Where bees have drained the wine.

Come, small musicians in the rough sea grass,
Pipe us the serenade we love the best;
And winds of midnight, chant for us a mass,
Our hearts would be at rest.

God of all beauty, though the world is thine,
Our faith grows often faint, oft hope is spent;
Show us Thyself in all things fair and fine,
Teach us the stars' content.

by Virna Sheard.

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.

If I go blind, I will follow you
by the sound of your voice alone,
in your throat there is a sound
more golden and unique among all things.

If I go deaf, my entire being
will converse with your eyes alone,
in your every look I will conjure
all the words you want to say.

If I go deaf and blind and there’s nothing more
in the world for me to see,
I will follow your scent if that’s all that’s left,
I will let my nose do all my loving.

Even if you hide, the wind will deliver to me
your every gesture that overflows with poetry.
In the dried grass I will trace your footprints
like perfume that someone has spilled.

Without perfume or radiance or voice
to whom I can pledge my love
your very presence is enough to make me feel
you will yet draw near.

I may go blind but only come close
to the chords of my heart full of longing,
I know you by your footfall, my love,
and I am filled with so much poetry.

by José Corazón de Jesús.

Novembre/ November

Novembre

Gemmea l’aria, il sole così chiaro
che tu ricerchi gli albicocchi in fiore,
e del prunalbo l’odorino amaro
senti nel cuore

Ma secco è il pruno, e le stecchite piante
di nere trame segnano il sereno,
e vuoto il cielo, e cavo al piè sonante
sembra il terreno.

Silenzio, intorno: solo, alle ventate,
odi lontano, da giardini ed orti,
di foglie un cader fragile. È l’estate,
fredda, dei morti.

November

The jeweled air: the clear sun:
you look for the f lowering apricot tree,
and smell the bitter scent of hawthorn
in your heart.

But the thorn has dried out, and skeletal plants
weave black threads into the clear blue sky,
into the empty vault of heaven, and the hollow earth
rings with every footstep.

Silence, all around: from far away you hear
only the gusting of the wind, and from the orchards
and gardens, the fragile descent of leaves. It is
the cold summer of the dead.

by Giovanni Pascoli.

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.

Ode 1957: An Intellectual

An intellectual is all the time showing off.

Lovers dissolve and become bewildered.

Intellectuals try not to drown,
while the whole purpose of loves
is drowning.

Intellectual invent
ways to rest, and then lie down~
in those beds.

Lovers feel ashamed
of comforting ideas.

You’ve seen a glob
of oil on water? That’s how a lover
sits with intellectuals, there, but alone
in a circle of himself.

Some intellectual
tries to give sound advice to a lover.

All he hears back is, I love you.

I love you.

Love is musk. Don’t deny it
when you smell the scent!

Love is a tree.

Lovers, the shade of the long branches.

To the intellectual mind, a child must learn
to grow up and be adult.

In the station of love,
you see old men getting younger and younger.

Shams chose to live low in the roots
for you. So now, he soars in the air
as you sublimely articulating love!

by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

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.

“I thank my god for brother wind,”
So prayed St. Francis long ago
In words of simple, joyous praise,
That fill my heart with sudden glow
As-braced by winter’s icy draught-
With singing soul, and strengthened mind,
I humbly join the good Saint’s prayer
Thank my God for “Brother Wind.”

For Brother Wind, who, whispering soft
Brings subtlest perfume on his wings,
The violet scent of childhood days,
The lost delight in simple things;
For Brother wind, who whistling keen
O’er open plain and storm-scarred hill,
Cleanses from mind, and heart, and brain,
All thoughts of wrong, and ancient ill.

Who wafts from scarce-stirred lily beds
Incense of early purity,
Or wakes to life our laggard souls
With stinging fragrance of the sea.

Echoes of Heaven, far-off and faint
For weary heart and tired mind,
Sweet long-lost memories, old and quaint-
These are the gifts of Brother Wind.

Ah! Dear St. Francis, let me kneel
Before thy shrine with joyous mind
Joining my humble, grateful prayer,
Thanking our God for Brother Wind.

by Alice Guerin Crist.

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.