Fragrance Quote for November 10th, 2012-From a Middlesex Garden: A Book of Garden Thoughts By Alfred H. Hyatt


Potpourri



The first fall of snow came to-day with its silent message, so beneficial to the garden, covering with its pure pall the unsightly limp and blackened leaves of the dahlias and nasturtiums. The snow is the manna of the plants and bulbs now hiding beneath the ground, to glorify the garden at Springtime.
In the warmth and glow of my room I sit, the firelight mirroring itself upon the old-world furniture. A fragrance as of spice and cedar is around me. Ah, I remember; a little while ago I lifted the lid of a jar of pot-pourri.
"An old blue jar beneath the old bureau,
Traced with a dragon, quaint in its design,
Wreathed willow leaves and needles of the pine,
Owned once by one in Cathay, long ago.
Whence came the perfume, ling'ring in the room,
Of roses, lavender? The spicy breath
From lifted lid tells of a faith in death,
Love's constancy fills all the twilight gloom!
Sweet old pot-pourri, tales of days gone by—
New tales in old, crisp leaves; though roses die
By thousands, though a hundred summers pass,
Though sands run whole shores through 
Time's measuring glass,
There will not be a tale so sweet, so pure,
As this jar's fragrant spiced leaves immure!"
And as I sit in the rose-leaf fragrance there come to me pictures of gardens where maybe some of the leaves were gathered. Sweet dream-gardens! One of which I dream is a garden of the long ago, whose date I know not, but it is very, very old; the sunlight and shadows are playing among the dipt yews, the wind sings softly among its alleys, heavily ladened with the scent of lilies and lavender. Walking along its paths, I see a maiden in the golden sunlight of life's morning. The dew is still upon the flowers, and she is standing beside the sundial, plucking blooms from its rose-wreathed pedestal, above which is the quaint motto, "Quid celerius umbra?" (What is swifter than a shadow ?)
From a Middlesex Garden: A Book of Garden Thoughts
 By Alfred H. Hyatt