Treasures of Aromatic Literature(Authors)-Richard Le Gallienne

Take the English hawthorn, for instance. As its fragrance is wafted to you from the bushes where it hangs like the fairest of white linen, you will hardly, I think, quarrel with its praises. Yet, though it is, if I am not mistaken, of rare occurrence in America, it is not absolutely necessary to go to England for the hawthorn. Any one who cares to go a-Maying along the banks of the Hudson, in the neighbourhood of Peekskill, will find it there. But for the primrose and the cowslip you must cross the sea; and, if you come upon such a wood as I strayed into, my last visit, you will count it worth the trip. It was literally carpeted with clumps of primroses and violets (violets that smell, too) so thickly massed together in the mossy turf that there was scarcely room to tread. There are no words rich or abundant enough to suggest the sense of innocent luxury brought one by such a natural Persian carpet of soft gold and dewy purple, at once so gorgeous and yet so gentle. In all this lavish loveliness of English wild flowers there is, indeed, a peculiar tenderness. The innocence of children seems to be in them, and the tenderness of lovers.
A lover would not tread
A cowslip on the head—
How appropriately such lines come to mind as one carefully picks one's way down a green hillside yellow with cowslips, and breathing perhaps the most delicate of all flowery fragrances. Yet again, as we pass into another stretch of woodland, another profusion and another fragrance await us, the winey perfume and the spectral blue sheen of the wild hyacinth. As one comes upon stretches of these hyacinths in the woods, they seem at first glance like pools of blue water or fallen pieces of the sky. Here, for once, the poets are left behind, and, of them all, Shakespeare and Milton alone have come near to suggesting the loveliness, at once so spiritual and so warmly and sweetly of the earth, that belongs to English wild flowers. I know not if Sheffield steel still keeps its position among the eternal verities, but in an age when so many of one's cherished beliefs are threatened with the scrap-heap, I count it of no small importance to be able to retain one's faith in the English lark and English wild flowers.

Vanishing Roads, and Other Essays

By Richard Le Gallienne

Such are some of the more august impressions made upon us by the pictures in the cosmic picturebook; but there are also times and places when Nature seems to wear a look less mystic than dramatic in its suggestiveness, as though she were a stage-setting for some portentous human happening past or to come—the fall of kings or the tragic clash of empires. As Whitman says, "Here a great personal deed has room." Some landscapes seem to prophesy, some to commemorate. In some places not marked by monuments, or otherwise definitely connected with history, we have a curious haunted sense of prodigious far-off events once enacted in this quiet grassy solitude—prehistoric battles or terrible sacrifices. About others hangs a fateful atmosphere of impending disaster, as though weighted with a gathering doom. Sometimes we seem conscious of sinister presences, as though veritably in the abode of evil spirits. The place seems somehow not quite friendly to humanity, not quite good to linger in, lest its genius should cast its perilous shadow over the heart. On the other hand, some places breathe an ineffable sense of blessedness, of unearthly promise. We feel as though some hushed and happy secret were about to be whispered to us out of the air, some wonderful piece of good fortune on the edge of happening. Some hand seems to beckon us, some voice to call, to mysterious paradises of inconceivable green freshness and supernaturally beautiful flowers, fairy fastnesses of fragrance and hidden castles of the dew. In such hours the Well at the World's End seems no mere poet's dream. It awaits us yonder in the forest glade, amid the brooding solitudes of silent fern, and the gate of the Earthly Paradise is surely there in yonder vale hidden among the violet hills. Various as are these impressions, it is strange and worth thinking on that the dominant suggestion of Nature through all her changes, whether her mood be stormy or sunny, melancholy or jubilant, is one of presage and promise. She seems to be ever holding out to us an immortal invitation to follow and endure, to endure and to enjoy. She seems to say that what she brings us is but an earnest of what she holds for us out there along the vanishing road. There is nothing, indeed, she will not promise us, and no promise, we feel, she cannot keep. Even in her tragic and bodeful seasons, in her elegiac autumns and stern winters, there is an energy of sorrow and sacrifice that elevates and inspires, and in the darkest hours hints at immortal mornings. She may terrify, but she never deadens, the soul. In earthquake and eclipse she seems to be less busy with destruction than with renewed creation. She is but wrecking the old, that
. . . there shall be Beautiful things made new, for the surprise Of the sky-children.

Vanishing Roads, and Other Essays

By Richard Le Gallienne

Winter, itself so ghostly a thing, so spiritual in its beauty, was indeed the season to catch our ears with this ghost-story of the Invisible and Invincible Love. The other seasons are full of sensuous charm and seductiveness. With endless variety of form and colour and fragrance, they weave "a flowery band to bind us to the earth." They are running over with the pride of sap, the luxury of green leaves, and the intoxicating fulness of life. The summer earth is like some voluptuous enchantress, all ardour and perfume, and soft dazzle of moted sunshine. But the beauty of winter seems a spiritual, almost a supernatural, thing, austere and forbidding at first, but on a nearer approach found to be rich in exquisite exhilaration, in rare and lofty discoveries and satisfactions of the soul. Winter naturally has found less favour with the poets than the other seasons. Praise of it has usually a strained air, as though the poet were making the best of a barren theme, like a portrait-painter reluctantly nattering some unattractive sitter. But one poet has seen and seized the mysterious beauty of winter with unforced sympathy—Coventry Patmore, whose "Odes," in particular, containing as they do some of the most rarely spiritual meditation in English poetry, are all too little known. In one of these he has these beautiful lines, which I quote, I hope correctly, from memory:
I, singularly moved
To love the lovely that are not beloved,
Of all the seasons, most love winter, and to trace
The sense of the Trophonian pallor of her face.
It is not death, but plenitude of peace;
And this dim cloud which doth the earth enfold
Hath less the characters of dark and cold
Than light and warmth asleep,
And intermittent breathing still doth keep
With the infant harvest heaving soft below
Its eider coverlet of snow.

Vanishing Roads, and Other Essays

By Richard Le Gallienne

It is not man that has "poetized" the world, it is the world that has made a poet out of man, by infinite processes of evolution, precisely in the same way that it has shaped a rose and filled it with perfume, or shaped a nightingale and filled it with song. One has often heard it said that man has endowed Nature with his own feelings, that the pathos or grandeur of the evening sky, for instance, are the illusions of his humanizing fancy, and have no real existence. The exact contrary is probably the truth—that man has no feelings of his own that were not Nature's first, and that all that stirs in him at such spectacles is but a translation into his own being of cosmic emotions which he shares in varying degrees with all created things. Into man's strange heart Nature has distilled her essences, as elsewhere she has distilled them in colour and perfume. He is, so to say, one of the nerve-centres of cosmic experience. In the process of the suns he has become a veritable microcosm of the universe. It was not man that placed that tenderness in the evening sky. It has been the evening skies of millions of years that have at length placed tenderness in the heart of man. It has passed into him as that "beauty born of murmuring sound" passed into the face of Wordsworth's maiden.
Perhaps we too seldom reflect how much the life of Nature is one with the life of man, how unimportant, or indeed merely seeming, the difference between them. Who can set a seed in the ground, and watch it put up a green shoot, and blossom and fructify and wither and pass, without reflecting, not as imagery but as fact, that he has come into existence, run his course, and is going out of existence again, by precisely the same process? With so serious a correspondence between their vital experience, the fact of one being a tree and the other a man seems of comparatively small importance. The life process has but used different material for its expression. And as man and Nature are so like in such primal conditions, is it not to be supposed that they are alike too in other and subtler ways, and that, at all events, as it thus clearly appears that man is as much a natural growth as an apple-tree, alike dependent on sun and rain, may not, or rather must not, the thoughts that come to him strangely out of earth and sky, the sap-like stirrings of his spirit, the sudden inner music that streams through him before the beauty of the world, be no less authentically the working of Nature within him than his more obviously physical processes, and, say, a belief in God be as inevitable a blossom of the human tree as apple-blossom of the apple?

Vanishing Roads, and Other Essays

By Richard Le Gallienne



Treasures of Aromatic Literature(Authors) Abram Linwood Urban

How much would be lost if the small and lowly of the garden had been left out! I like to recall the words of a dear old lady who said of her pansies, "I Love the little things best of all. They look up into the face of their Heavenly Father as if they hadn't anything to be ashamed of."
It is not admiration so much as love that these simple flowers command. There must be something very human in the common flowers. There must be a very close relationship, since they appeal to something so very deep in us.
The mignonette has a charm wholly its own. We were drawn to it by its delicately refined scent.
To many persons the odor-giving properties of flowers are their chief charm. A rose is preferred tor its perfume more than tor its color or its form. Scarcely will they have come to a flower before they bend to discover its scent.
To all lovers of flowers this is one of their attractions. An evening in the garden would be much less pleasing but for the subtle fragrance of lilies, mint, lavender, rosemary, roses, and the sweet scent of the cedars as it comes faintly through the twilight.
This fact is instructive. There is a subtle relation between the human soul and the senses. It may be called a unity—in some less perfect than in others, but always marked in the artist. In one the sense of sight most stirs the soul to utterance; in another it is sound that most reaches the deeps of being; but perhaps the least material of things that reach the soul through the senses is perfume.
This, probably more than anything else, suggests the thought that the soul of the flower is expressing itself in its fragrance. Some one has said that "a flower without perfume is like a beautiful woman without piety."
It is true, perfume may be sensuous and coarse, but so may be color and sound. Color may be strengthened to a painful glare, and sound to a torture.
"There are flowers with a scent so powerful as to give an impression almost of intemperance and voluptuousness." But there are also flowers with a scent so delicately refined that it suggests a spiritual quality veiled in mystery. There are odors that you not so much trace like a fact as you accept them as a presence.
Such is our Sweet Mignonette, and in its delicate fragrance is much of the secret of its charm. It has eminently the poetic quality— chaste, moderate, haunting.
We will not indulge in moralizing. It is easy to fall into the dulness of the mere moralist. It is better to let truth speak in its own language in its own way. If this little flower does not tell to you its message, none other can.
And yet, on a bed of sweet odors one is apt to dream dreams.
A sane mind will not "confound a perfume and an orison." An esthetic thrill is not an aspiration. But the sane mind will be wholesomely affected by both.

My garden of dreams

By Abram Linwood Urban

To me the flowers of the night seem to have more of mystery and of poetry than those of the day. The night invests them with a mysterious and untellable charm, and draws from them powerful perfumes of which they are utterly devoid during the day. White petunias lose their common quality and become exquisite at night. The nicotiana, a disconsolate thing by daylight, opens its stars there by the side of the evening primrose, making with its fellow the most perfect blend of silver and gold. How they lure the night moths with their radiance and heavy scents!
There is a giant lily that, by moonlight, has a strangely weird dignity, and the little nightscented stock, whose dull gray leaves and small, dull-colored flowers close and droop during the day, as soon as the sun has set opens its tender flowers and pours upon the still night air the sweetest fragrance. 
There are flowers too fine in their reserve to lay open their heart to the garish light of day. The lotus flower pines in the sunlight, but when the Moon God woos her she unveils her A MIDSUMMER charms and meets his gaze with kindling eyes. Drfam 
The queen of the night is the moon-flower on the lattice, but she needs the breath of the night to lay bare her heart.
"Sweet child of the pale and the passionless Moon,
Thou art but the Dream of the slumbering Night."
Poor, indeed, is the life that has not known some one love, so deep, so fine, so tender, that it lives in the heart of his dream!
The night garden appeals with a peculiar power to the mystic that lives within the soul of each one of us. Why is it that we are sure to look up to the heavens at night, although we may never lift our eyes while the sun gives us day? Is it because at night the things at our feet are less clearly seen and are therefore less insistent?
The wide sunlight helps us to think of the broad, bright, and simple; the night makes us feel what is lofty, mysterious, and dim. Gretry's words come to mind—"God shuts off this world once every twenty-four hours so that we can see the universe."

My garden of dreams

By Abram Linwood Urban

The rosebud that greets me in the morning ing will not remain a bud. It must needs burst,  for the life within it is so abundant that it can no longer contain it all, but in blossomed brightness and swimming fragrance must let forth its joy and gladden all the air. To bloom is the law of its life, and should the bud refuse to expand, it would quickly rot at heart and die. The heart that refuses to give will as surely wither and die.



That which I hold to be the main formative principle of art in the garden—that which uses nature for the expression of human sentiment and so humanizes and spiritualizes nature— may be worked out in many ways. One way to accent this human element in the garden is to place in it accessories of the nature of garden furniture. Of course, unless the garden be spacious, it is a mistake to crowd in such accessories. But no garden, however small, is altogether complete.if it lack a seat or two located in some spot conducive to quiet thought, with some fragrant thing, such as the Sweet Brier, growing near, and some charming bits of the garden to be easily seen. And whatever else is missing in the garden, the sun-dial must not be lacking. The sun-dial has been beautifully called the “garden altar.” Is it not fitting? Nothing so impressively sounds the religious note of the garden. “There is a mystery of eternity in a sun-dial” as it marks the shadows passing. “Amidst ye floweres I tell ye houres” is a very old motto for the dial face, and nothing tells us better of life passing on into eternity. The sun-dial should be placed in the very heart of the garden, that from it we may look in every direction.
Such is what I have ventured to call the beauty of suggestion; but there is another element of beauty of spiritual quality which the garden may have in a high degree. As the garden grows, association touches it more and more with a spiritual beauty. Each plant, as we watch and care for it, acquires a little history of its own,and about many a spot or plant tender memories of those we love are gathered. And so our gardens become rich in poetry and history.

The Voice of the Garden

By Abram Linwood Urban

There is a mystical side of nature which calls to the soul of man and compels the feeling that there is something that comes through material things that is more than material, that is, indeed, spiritual. It carries our thoughts and feelings out of the material to something akin to our own spirits. There is something that comes through eye, ear and imagination, that speaks to the heart and conscience. There are hints and intimations of something more than eye, or ear, or mere intellect discovers.
There is hidden, somewhere, in every one of us, the mystic, and to this hidden man, out of the deep mystery, Nature speaks. It may be only when alone amid Nature’s vast silences that this hidden man wakes to consciousness. There he touches shoulders with strange things. Some realize this mystical relationship with nature most when in touch with nature’s gentleness, but each of us is most conscious of it when most alone with it.
This is what explains the charm of the garden for the dreamer when twilight deepens toward night, and form and color grow less clear to sight, and the sounds of the outside world are stilled. It is then that he knows himself most near to the great Mystery. It is then that he learns most of its meaning, though only a scent with lightest breath touch him, or he hear no more than the rustle of an overturned leaf. The rose of summer, or the leaf of autumn, the perfume evanescent as the dreams of youth or lingering as the memories of childhood, each has for this soul its message, sweet, wholesome, and true.
If only we could find words to tell just what the flowers say to us! But they speak a language not easy to translate into our common speech. The thoughts of the flowers reach into the heart of things, thoughts often too big for words.

The Voice of the Garden

By Abram Linwood Urban


Bergamot Mint(Mentha citrata) Links

Mentha citrata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia








Treasures of Aromatic Literature(authors)-Rosamund Marriot Watson

Rosamund Marriott Watson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


THE WIND OF DREAMs
BY ROSAMUND MARRIOTT WATSON
Wind of the Downs, from upland spaces blowing,
Salt with the fragrance of the southland sea,
Sweet with wild herbs in smoothest greensward growing,
You bring the harvest of my dreams to me.
Wraiths that the scented breath of summer raises,
Ghosts of dead hours and flowers that once were fair. . . .
Sorrel and nodding grass and white moon daisies. . . .
Glimmer and fade upon the fragrant air.
I hear the harvest-wagons homeward driven
Through dusky lanes by hedgerows dark with leaves. .
The low gold moon, hung in a sapphire heaven,
Looks on the wide fields and the gathered sheaves.
Wind of the Downs—from cloud-swept upland spaces,
Moorland and orchard-close and water-lea.
You bring the voices and the vanished faces—
Dreams of old dreams and days long lost to me.

Later on you may hear the dry whit-whit of the robin as he bustles about within the deeper twilight of the shrubbery, preparing for the night as darkness closes down over the garden, and the pale primrose lamps of the tall CEnothera are lighted one by one. The frail night-scented stocks give out almost too heavy a perfume for my unqualified liking; to my mind it smacks over-much of those airs that float over the perfumer's threshold as you pass by. It seems not a little odd to catch nature out in ever so small an error of taste—can it be that she is playing to the gallery? Perish the thought; no, I prefer to hold that she has so over-pampered one with all manner of subtle and exquisite dreams of fragrance that nothing but the best will serve.
Farther down the walk comes a divine breath from a great bush of sweet brier invisible in the blue gloom; and those dim, clustered blots of white and pale rose and lavender that glimmer forth from the mysterious dusk of the broad border, the delicate ten-week stocks: there is fragrance indeed.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

The hoar frost and the snow have been weaving their white magic over the garden, a wonder that never stales, but would seem to hang out fresh signals to the sense at every visitation. When you awake in the clear shining of the sun to discovery of the night's enchanted work, wrought with such swiftness, in such silence, it is as though you walked in a new world, in some strange kingdom of faery with trees of silver and flowers and fruits of diamond and pearl. Every foot's pace bears you on to more revelations in this enchanted pleasaunce. Winter is indeed a rare artificer: there is not a leaf, or a blade, or growing spray or mass of plant-forms that he does not take pains to transfigure almost out of all knowledge. This is surely the apotheosis, the magic hour of every humble unblossomed herb and green thing the garden grows. Spring and summer may bring no largesse for these, autumn no splendid stains and dyes; but here is winter, another King Cophetua, one might say, scattering his jewels broadcast with so royal a bounty that each unconsidered twig, each sober leaf of evergreen, is clothed with glories as great as, or greater, than the rose. Where there is already, as in the clustered ivy or Portugal laurel, a fine grace of outline and of form, it is intensified and made manifest a thousandfold; while, so marvellous is this pure wealth of pearl and crystal set against the sun's clear gold, that it obliterates imperfection and exalts the commonplace. The scentless yellow jasmine trails upon the trellis like frosted amber, the dark leaves of the hellebore gleam all bediamonded about their pale roses. As I pass my herb-plot's bejewelled tangle, forgotten and left to wildness in the press of other work, I cannot find it in my heart to repent my omission, for had it been properly "redd up" and set in due order I must needs have missed this faint, sweet incense, the ghost of a perfume, that breathes from it to-day. How and why I know not, but some mysterious alchemy of sun and snow has drawn forth a fragrance of myrrh and thyme commingled, that sets you thinking of Solomon's Song and the beds of spices when the wind blew from Lebanon.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

The key of it, as it hangs upon the bunch among the other garden keys, looks in no wise different from its neighbours, the same modest regard distinguishes them all; you would hardly imagine that this prosaic little object was the Open Sesame of a veritable treasure house. But climb with me up the steep flight of wooden stairs, pass through the white-walled anteroom, and turn the key in its proper padlock, and I will honestly engage to forfeit the fine flower of my choicest shelves if you pronounce me to have been extravagant of praise.
You would think, as the heavy door turns on its hinges, that the fragrance of many and many a long fine summer must inhabit here, embalmed in this brown gloaming, and not fragrance alone, but the infinite charm of rich and varied colour. Side by side, upon the long and narrow shelves that rise, tier above ghostly tier, through the scented twilight of the fruit gallery, repose the garnered treasures of the orchard—"all March begun with, April's endeavour," and still for all these many years that I have watched the same miracle unfold afresh, it remains for me as full as ever of wonder and rejoicing. From blunt bronze or silvery ruit-bud to faery seas of blossom, and thence to these ruddy and golden globes—believe me, the miracle is a miracle yet. Blown by all the winds that pass, and wet with all the showers, how should this harvest not be impregnated through and through with the very spirit and soul of summer, the divine breath of the open air.
Here, as everywhere, there are differences and distinctions; more, it may be, than the casual purchaser who falls under the easy spell of the fruiterer's gay window-pane may realise.
An apple on the basket's rim, a yellow (or rosy) apple is to him, and it is nothing more. But we know better, you and I, as, basket on arm, we stand in serene contemplation between the laden shelves; this huge primrose-hued pear, for instance, of long and graceful shape, is the famous Marie Louise, and this is the precise period when it is at its best. My friend the Expert will tell you, and rightly, that it is the queen of dessert pears, while the dainty, rosy, little Louise Bonne de Jersey, which plays soubrette, so to speak, to this great lady, comes next in order of merit among those that are ripe now. And, theoretically speaking, I hold him to be absolutely in the right; it is only that I have myself so cowardly a palate as to shrink somewhat from the very slight and delicate acidity which to connoisseurs forms one of Marie Louise's chiefest charms, and to willingly decline upon the softer, more suave attractions of Louise Bonne, and others of humbler degree.
You would say, perhaps, that their hour was not yet come; but sometimes still appearances deceive, and should you take heart to brave the experience, you will seem to be feasting upon a species of ambrosia served through a medium of scented snow. The next tier is full almost to overflowing with slender forms of the nut-brown Calabash, or Beurre Busc, to my way of thinking one of the sweetest pears that grows, and its cousin, the Belle Julie, whose dark rind is flushed with a strain of gold, and whose flavour is, perhaps, of a somewhat fuller quality. Here, again, is the delightful Beurre Hardy, whose honeyed savour touches the imagination to thoughts of imprisoned sunlight and dew, and the breath of late-blowing roses.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

Just opposite are stored the apples, in dull, rich mosaics of amaranth and rose and gold; the old Ribston Pippin, with dusky complexion and golden-tinged crystalline flesh, set by for Christmas; the Claygate Pearmain, with rougher and more russet skin, but otherwise almost the Ribston's twin for form and quality; and the bright-cheeked King of the Pippins, so like the Ribston save in the glossy sheen of its rind and the difFerently modelled apex. Further on shine the little lemon yellow Ingestres, the gorgeously golden Flower of Kent, with many another beside; and, last of all, the homely Rymer, darkly green and streaked with faded red, which is to furnish me with all the pies I may need until next blossom-time.
But, indeed, this pleasant loft is not my only happy hunting-ground; I have another resort for such times when my mind is set upon a wider range of choice. There is a certain ancient high-walled garden neighbouring my own, and in the midst of it is set a long, low building, whose dim and fragrant aisles are filled with all sorts and conditions of fruit, rare and ordinary, new and old. My friend the Expert is custodian here, and it is here that I come to supply a vacancy, to solve a difficulty, to decide the doubtful point. Here is the great reserve of Cox's Orange Pippin, dull-speckled bronze without, golden within, best of all apples for dessert; here, too, lie serried rows of, I can but believe, every apple under the sun, to say nothing of the pears.
My own pride shrinks as I pass between the shelves that rise one above another from floor to ceiling. Here is wealth indeed—wealth and a moral—and the moral of this is, in the formula of Alice's immemorial Duchess, that "handsome is as handsome does," for it is but seldom the comeliest fruit that triumphs through taste and fidelity.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson


There is, as yet, but little change in the general aspect of the garden; the parterre is still gay in gala dress with its many-coloured autumn flowers, the wilderness blossoms in a brilliant rout of blue and gold and purple; but the tits have begun their airy assaults upon the seeding sunflowers, the swallows are holding their restless Parliaments round the high gables, while in every plot, however watched and tended, you will find some symbol of the fall. Here a dry pod, there a casque discrowned, and now again those little mocking brown skulls that lurk behind the antirrhinums' fair flower-faces show themselves, furtively eloquent of the end. I smell the mould above the rose; the year hasreceived its warning. To be sure, in the country the signals of decay are hardly manifest, for here the seasons come belated, and winter makes a tardier approach than in the town. Leaves are not yet discoloured, although the heavier gloom of the great elms forebodes the year's mourning, and the hedgerows are still fresh to the eye, studded with red rose berries and hung with green garlands of that Msenad of the wild, the vine-like briny.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

I do not think that I could set my affections very steadfastly upon any rose that was not what rosarians call " a good autumnal," or, perhaps, remembering the brief glories of those whose sole season is early summer, I should rather say I like the good autumnals best, far best. The Jacqueminot's rich dark beauty and deep fragrance seem to charm more wisely than ever here at the imminent parting of the ways; they set me wondering as to whether that extinct and long-forgotten rose, the Red Glory, was justified of its fine title, which, to my mind at least, would grace my favourite full well. Fit, though few, are the late blossoms of the Gloire Lyonnaise, but Madame Gabriel Luizet makes ample amends for the less lavish givers with her profusion of clearest rose-tendre flowers, so charmingly imbricated, so sound of heart, that, however widely they may open, their widest candour brings no sense of disenchantment. Long trails of Gloire de Dijon climb the pergola and cling about the western wall, and as my eye dwells— somewhat coldly, I admit—upon its portly blooms, I am moved once more to marvel at the great rosarian's choice. It was, if I remember rightly, Dean Hole who decided that, were he condemned to the companionship of but one rose in perpetuity, he would plead to be endowed with a strong plant of this same Gloire de Dijon, and even to this day I cannot fathom why it has been singled out for such high honour. It is enormously prolific, splendidly robust, magnificently generous of—what? For the most part, I maintain, of flowers amorphous as to form and indifferently coloured. It goes sadly against the grain to speak ill of any rose, but indeed I find little save the virtues of surety and quantity to recommend this over-rated tree. Towards the very end of the season, it is true, you may find that it has managed to produce some few elegantly-shaped, richly tinted buds; while all the rest of its time is busily employed in bringing to birth a profusion of large, ill-shapen sallow flowers for which I am profoundly ungrateful. No, rather let me leave that problematical dock with a lusty plant of the fair, pearly-pink Viscountess Folkestone; or, should the nature of my punishment forbid a choice so highly placed, give me the delicate Princesse du Pays de Porcelaine, the dainty Monthly Rose. It is chiefly, I think, as a parent that the Gloire de Dijon is most worthy of respect.
Although I am no great lover of dwarf varieties in any form, there are certain Polyantha roses of dwarf habit that are positively irresistible. I have planted a small oblong bed near the hedge of white Rugosa with alternate trees of Perle d'Or and Ma Paquerette, and the broidery of pure dense white and nankeen yellow clusters, woven, as it were, upon their field of luxuriant tiny green leafage, is very comely and reviving. Of the Bourbon Roses, the Souvenir de la Malmaison is still the one I like best. Its vigorous growth, its faintly blushing colour, and the sweet fragrance that exhales, like the breath of faded romance, from the shell-like petals, all serve to endear to me this placid, fragile survival from a strange and stormy time. The Man of Destiny and the exotic lady of his love are but mere names now—portions and parcels of the dreadful past, while the roses that her garden grew grow in mine to-day.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

There are others beside, but these I believe to be the best; while, in spite of pessimistic prophecies as to the apple yield, I find my dessert shelves not ill-provided, after all. My cooking varieties are somewhat to seek, with the exception of the waxen pink and white Hawthornden, so like the Emperor Alexander; and the great green Alfriston; to say nothing of my faithful Rymers and Cellinis. But the fine flower of all dessert lapples, Cox's Orange Pippin, with its sober bronzed rind and heart of crisp gold and crystal, has been boutiful to me this season; and of the scarce less delectable old Ribstone Pippin, the excellent Claygate Pearmain, and the useful Braddick's Nonpareil, I have no reason for complaint. But the radiant rose and golden King of the Pippins has played me false for once. As the heavy wooden door closes, a strange belated waft of summer comes to trouble the chill air with memories of jasmine, of syringa. No —nor is it of magnolia quite that this faint fragrance is eloquent; one must needs go back and see. Here from this shallow tray of pear-shaped yellow fruit floats the And greatly as I prize the light and elegant effect of the branching sprays and starry blossom-clusters of the decoratively grown, I could not love them near so much but for the aerial setting they offer to my most gorgeous specimen flowers. Save with the exclusively decorative species, it is all a matter of timely deletion; so I have arranged to have grandiose "specimens" of all my favourites, together with examples grown on a slightly less exclusive scheme beside. I could never weary of the perfections of some of these. Custom cannot stale the delicate lilac-rose beauty of Vivian Morel, nor the luxuriant charm of Madame Carnot's wealth of rose or ivory locks; while, apart from their proper excellences, these are two of the most valuable stocks extant: as, for instance, the beautiful Lady Hanham, Charles Davis— whose flakes of apricot and tawny gold would make sunshine in a shady place—and Mrs. J. Kitson, all are sports from Vivian Morel; and other scarce less celebrated beauties, among which we may number Madame Louis Boussillon, claim descent as sports or "seedlings from Madame Carnot. Of a different and more massive type is the splendid Pride of Madford, whose large curving amaranthine petals disclose, as it were, scimitars of pale silver as their reverse; close beside it stands President Borel, of another distinguished parent-stock, with petals like deep-glowing garnets set about with dull gold.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

Past the pleasaunce, and through the wilderness, and so out through a wicket that gives on the coverts is the best of all possible ways to wander on such a day as this. There are no leaves yet, of course, but as you pass through the straight ride that intersects the copse there are glimpses of pale primroses in sheltered shallows of the ground, small havens that harbour this most faithful and persistent flower. While on either hand through the tangle of underwood slips the sun from shining twig to twig, from slender trunk to trunk, turning the limpid moisture which suffuses all to crystalline fires that flash or gleam as the wind comes and goes. The fragrance of the soil, the subtle colour that is neither brown, nor purple, nor grey, but lightly touched to tones of all; the leafless stems and branches—leafless and yet so visibly alive; the implicit leaf-buds that look as though they might unfurl on the instant and reveal their sea-green treasures—is this not spring indeed? A silver shaft of song from the robin strikes its chill sweetness athwart the dream that, after all, is truly better than reality, for this is a stolen, or rather a purely gratuitous happiness. When the spring shall come in due season, who shall say what mood she may be in? Peevish, capricious, harsh, as like as not, for all her pretty promises and pledges; but this waif from her dominions is graciousness itself. We have not begun to draw on our store of legitimate spring days, so grudgingly paid away as one group of blossoms follows another into the abyss. Regret, reluctance, lingering farewells, these have no place in our oasis. To-day is to be devoutly enjoyed; to-morrow still to be expected with all the rainbow glamour of hope. What, indeed, is there more to be desired, and do we not, for the moment, as the old saw says, eat our cake and have it too? The sun goes down in pomp of primrose and saffron behind the dark pines; and, whatever the realities may bring at their appointed time, we have been given at least one illicit and exquisite day before the phantom of false morning died. "I am half convinced," wrote Hawthorne, "that the reflection is indeed the reality, the real thing which nature imperfectly images to our grosser sense. At any rate, the disembodied shadow is nearest to the soul." Never has the true inwardness of all life and art found more explicit and illuminating expression; who shall say, even when this cycle of hours has been long a memory, that the disembodied shadow was not nearer to the soul than armaments of realities.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

Later on you may hear the dry whit-whit of the robin as he bustles about within the deeper twilight of the shrubbery, preparing for the night as darkness closes down over the garden, and the pale primrose lamps of the tall CEnothera are lighted one by one. The frail night-scented stocks give out almost too heavy a perfume for my unqualified liking; to my mind it smacks over-much of those airs that float over the perfumer's threshold as you pass by. It seems not a little odd to catch nature out in ever so small an error of taste—can it be that she is playing to the gallery? Perish the thought; no, I prefer to hold that she has so over-pampered one with all manner of subtle and exquisite dreams of fragrance that nothing but the best will serve.
Farther down the walk comes a divine breath from a great bush of sweet brier invisible in the blue gloom; and those dim, clustered blots of white and pale rose and lavender that glimmer forth from the mysterious dusk of the broad border, the delicate ten-week stocks: there is fragrance indeed.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson

The herbaceous borders have not, of course, come yet into their full inheritance of bloom, but there is in them just so much implicit promise and exquisite performance as touches close upon that golden mean which embraces near hope and present happiness in one. My single anemones glow like jewels in enamelled lines of purple, blue, and vermilion; of amethyst, pearl, and opal, against their curled green field of foliage. Although these have no fragrance, they are informed with so satisfying a beauty that it is only a waft from the almond-scented masses of the gillyflowers that brings to mind the one thing wanting—and, even so, the wallflowers are rich enough in perfume for all. A little farther on, at irregular intervals, between the young starry leafage and dimly purpling spires of the lupins that are to blossom later, glitter innumerable rayed gilt suns of the leopard's-bane, most generous and gay of early flowers, whose ceremonial title is given as doronicum. For my part, I think the old is better, although I have never come at the true inwardness of its original meaning: it is a diversion, say some, from this or that obsolete name, remotely significant of ancient usages; but few of my theorists agree, and I myself am best content with the vague derivation that is propped upon romance. In the shelter of the high western wall that goes to meet the pergola grows a spacious group of those cool grey-green wands set on either side with their double rows of long strangely fashioned leaves, and hung with white waxen bells stained snowdrop-wise with faint white, sulphur, and lilac, some of the well-beloved of the florist's " selfs," which signifies, as you are aware, all of the one colour, together with others that are lightly flushed and stained with various tints, and these last are best liked of me. But all are delightful, and remind one of nothing so much as an airy host of butterflies resting from flight, yet fluttering ready to take wing. Happily, however, this pretty habit is but an idle boast; for both violas and pansies alike are very constant to the places they adorn, and will bud and bloom and wither over and over again with unfailing faithfulness, provided only that there is some one to mark the full-flown blossom directly it begins to flag, and delete it swiftly before it has time to turn itself into a seed-vessel. Had I, as had the ladies of Hogarth's time, a little "woollyheaded blackamoor" for page, this work of excision should be chief among his summer tasks.

The Heart of a Garden

By Rosamund Marriott Watson


Treasures of Aromatic Literature(Authors)- Josephine Preston Peabody


Josephine Preston Peabody - Wikipedia,


The Prophet
 
Josephine Preston Peabody
 
 
ALL day long he kept the sheep:—
  Far and early, from the crowd,
On the hills from steep to steep,
  Where the silence cried aloud;
  And the shadow of the cloud        5
Wrapt him in a noonday sleep.
 
Where he dipped the water’s cool,
  Filling boyish hands from thence,
Something breathed across the pool
  Stir of sweet enlightenments;        10
  And he drank, with thirsty sense,
Till his heart was brimmed and full.
 
Still, the hovering Voice unshed,
  And the Vision unbeheld,
And the mute sky overhead,        15
  And his longing, still withheld!
  —Even when the two tears welled,
Salt, upon that lonely bread.
 
Vaguely bless├Ęd in the leaves,
  Dim-companioned in the sun,        20
Eager mornings, wistful eyes,
  Very hunger drew him on;
  And To-morrow ever shone
With the glow the sunset weaves.
 
Even so, to that young heart,        25
  Words and hands and Men were dear;
And the stir of lane and mart
  After daylong vigil here.
  Sunset called, and he drew near,
Still to find his path apart.        30
 
When the Bell, with gentle tongue,
  Called the herd-bells home again,
Through the purple shades he swung,
  Down the mountain, through the glen;
  Towards the sound of fellow-men,—        35
Even from the light that clung.
 
Dimly too, as cloud on cloud,
  Came that silent flock of his:
Thronging whiteness, in a crowd,
  After homing twos and threes;        40
  With the longing memories
Of all white things dreamed and vowed.
 
Through the fragrances, alone,
  By the sudden-silent brook,
From the open world unknown,        45
  To the close of speech and book;
  There to find the foreign look
In the faces of his own.
 
Sharing was beyond his skill;
  Shyly yet, he made essay:        50
Sought to dip, and share, and fill
  Heart’s-desire, from day to day.
  But their eyes, some foreign way,
Looked at him; and he was still.
 
Last, he reached his arms to sleep,        55
  Where the Vision waited, dim,
Still beyond some deep-on-deep.
  And the darkness folded him,
  Eager heart and weary limb.—
All day long, he kept the sheep.        60


278. The Cedars
 
By Josephine Preston Peabody
 
 
ALL down the years the fragrance came,
The mingled fragrance, with a flame,
Of cedars breathing in the sun,
The cedar-trees of Lebanon.
 
O thirst of song in bitter air,        5
And hope, wing-hurt from iron care,
What balm of myrrh and honey, won
From far-off trees of Lebanon!
 
Not from these eyelids yet have I
Ever beheld that early sky.        10
Why do they call me through the sun?—
Even the trees of Lebanon?



    UMB Mother of all music, let me rest
    On thy great heart while summer days pass by;
    While all the heat up-quivers, let me lie
    Close gathered to the fragrance of thy breast.
    Let not the pipe of birds from some high nest
    Give voice unto a thought of melody,
    Nor dreaming clouds afloat along the sky
    Meet any wind of promise from the west.
    Save for that grassy breath that never mars
    The peace, but seems a musing of thine own,
    Keep thy dear silence. So, embraced, alone,
    Forgetful of relentless prison-bars,
    My soul shall hear all songs, unsung, unknown,
    Uprising with the breath of all the stars.


New Bloom

I heard the lilies growing in the night
When none did hark;
I knew they made a glimmer, dimly white
In the cool dreaming dark.
Nothing the garden knew,—
So soft they grew,—
Until they stood new-risen in the light,
For all to mark.

I heard the dreams still-growing in the night;
Nor was there one
That I saw clear, or, seeing, named aright;
But when the night was done,
The fragrances to be,
Awakened me:
I saw their faces leaning glad and white
Towards thee, their sun.

Dryads

Hush , they were here. I caught the gleam
Of white arms interlacing,
Like tangled lilies, tracing
A garland on a careless stream;
And through the swaying tendrils there
Came startled air,
Stirred to a dance, the wood with joyance gracing.

The young birds ceased the day-long lilt
To watch them so enringing,
Like snow-flakes all a-winging.
The eager, bending branches spilt
A sunlight on their locks, leaf-wound.
And was the sound
I heard, a breath of laughter or of singing?

Sure they were here: for see the grass
Athrill where they danced thither.
But whither fled they, — whither?
Who wist this thing should come to pass?
A step, — a sudden fluttering,
As birds take wing, —
Then but the fragrance of wild grapes blown hither!

The Fir-Tree


The winds have blown more bitter
Each darkening day of fall;
High over all the house-tops
The stars are far and small
I wonder, will my fir-tree
Be green in spite of all?

O grief is colder—colder
Than wind from any part;
And tears of grief are bitter tears,
And doubt’s a sorer smart!
But I promised to my fir-tree
To keep the fragrant heart.

Myrrh-Bearers - Poem by Josephine Preston Peabody

Three women crept at break of day
A-grope along the shadowy way
Where Joseph's tomb and garden lay.

With blanch of woe each face was white,
As the gray Orient's waxing light
Brought back upon their awe-struck sight

The sixth-day scene of anguish. Fast
The starkly standing cross they passed,
And, breathless, neared the gate at last.

Each on her throbbing bosom bore
A burden of such fragrant store
As never there had lain before.

Spices, the purest, richest, best,
That e'er the musky East possessed,
From Ind to Araby-the-Blest,

Had they with sorrow-riven hearts
Searched all Jerusalem's costliest marts
In quest of,--nards whose pungent arts

Should the dead sepulchre imbue
With vital odors through and through:
'T was all their love had leave to do!

Christ did not need their gifts; and yet
Did either Mary once regret
Her offering? Did Salome fret

Over the unused aloes? Nay!
They counted not as waste, that day,
What they had brought their Lord. The way

Home seemed the path to heaven. They bare,
Thenceforth, about the robes they ware
The clinging perfume everywhere.

So, ministering as erst did these,
Go women forth by twos and threes
(Unmindful of their morning ease),

Through tragic darkness, murk and dim,
Where'er they see the faintest rim,
Of promise,--all for sake of him

Who rose from Joseph's tomb. They hold
It just such joy as those of old,
To tell the tale the Marys told.

Myrrh-bearers still,--at home, abroad,
What paths have holy women trod,
Burdened with votive gifts for God,--

Rare gifts whose chiefest worth was priced
By this one thought, that all sufficed:
Their spices had been bruised for Christ! 

Old Broideries

[ To C. H. B. ]

Out of the carven chest of treasured things
That holds them dark and breathless, like a tomb,
I lift these scriptured songs of many a loom
That labors now no longer, — nay, nor sings.
And, one by one, their soft unfolding brings
Along the air some touch of ghostly bloom;
The tacit reminiscence of perfume, —
The uncomplaining dust of mouldered springs.
Whether it be from hues, once richly bled
Of rooted flowers, some magic takes the sense,
Or if it be that meek aroma, wed
To flush and sheen and shadow, shaken thence,
Or clinging touch of aging silken thread,
They hold me with a tongueless eloquence.

I marvel how the broiderers could find
So sweet the summer shapes that never fade,
Though some mere passing race of man and maid
Have paled, and wasted, and gone down the wind!
Yet here the toilful art of one could bind
No dream with tenderer woven light and shade,
Than sovran bloom and fruitage, rare arrayed,
Or listless tendrils idly intertwined.
Ah, bitter-sweet! For caged care to slake
Its thirst with joyance of the weed that grows,
The whim of leaf and leaf, and petal-flake,
Whatever way the breath of April blows.
And poor, wise, withered hands with skill to make
The red, unhuman gladness of the rose!

There is a certain damask here, moon-pale,
With the wan iris of a snow on snow,
Or petal against petal cheek ablow.
It wears its glories bride-like, under veil;
But shadowed, half, the blanched folds exhale
Sweet confidence of color; and there grow —
Entwined and severed by the gloom and glow —
Dim vines to muse upon till fancy fail.
I wonder: was it woven in a dream,
When, for a space, one dreamer had his fill
Of perfectness, — all white desires supreme
That lure and mock the thwarted human will?
The worker's dumb. The web lives on, agleam,
Untroubled as a lily, and as still.
Ah, nameless maker at whose heart I guess
Through the surviving fabric! You were one
With potter and with poet, — you that spun
And you that stitched, unsung for it; no less
A part and pulse of all the want and stress
Of effort without end till time be done, —
The lift of longing wings unto the Sun,
Forever beckoned by far loveliness.
O wistful soul of all men, heart I hear
Close beating for the heart that understands,
Kin I deny so often, — now read clear
Across the foreign years and far-off lands,
Let me but touch and greet you, near and dear,
Cherishing these, with hands that love your hands!