Flower Poetry Fridays: The Snow-Drop

Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.

A Dedication for an Annual with that title.

A Snow Drop in Bloom
A Snow Drop in Bloom

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

By the way guerdon means reward. I agree that friendship IS a great reward. When is the last time you gave a handful of flowers to a friend, offering nothing more than the reward of friendship?

This Snow Drop Poem is very timely as we’re in an infant spring right now in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring officially started one week ago today.

From this poem we learn the tulips, dahlias, and violets are not early Spring bloomers, but the Snow Drop sure is.

Snow drops have the most appropriate name as they can often be seen coming up through the snow, even in late winter. The blooms hang in such a way that they appear to be drooping their heads toward the ground or dropping toward the snow.

Being the first flower to show itself in Spring gives the Snow Drop special awakening powers to all who see it bloom.

Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “The Cactus Speciosissimus”.

First Flower of the Spring Season

The day before Spring announced itself on our calendars I spied the first flower of the season. After the winter we just had — it was refreshing to see new life!

The 3-inch snowfall that came on the first day of Spring was melted by the next day, except for a few snow banks and places in the shade. The melting snow contributed to the mountain streams already flowing downhill. Low lying areas are full of this really cold water.

Driving on a back road I could slow down enough to see the skunk cabbage hoods sticking out of the mud a couple of inches.

Skunk Cabbage in a Mountain Stream
Skunk Cabbage in a Mountain Stream

Skunk cabbage seems to like water so much that it has no problem coming up right in the mountain stream. Just don’t look for it in dry areas. Without a large amount of water to draw upon, the huge leaves of skunk cabbage would have difficulty attaining their full size.

The hood that surrounds the flowers are variously mottled with yellow and maroon. Some hoods are maroon with yellow spots while others are mostly yellow with maroon spots.

Maroon-spotted Yellow Hoods of Skunk Cabbage
Maroon-spotted Yellow Hoods of Skunk Cabbage

For another few weeks the skunk cabbage will be growing in the marshy and wet areas. At first you’ll be able to see the hoods surrounding the actual flowers. On closer inspection the flowers can be observed inside the hood. Later on the leaves will be much more visible. Right now, the leaves are rolled up and starting to point out of the ground next to the flower.

Flower Poetry Fridays: The Blossom and the Beautiful

Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.


Youthful Blossoms of Rue Anemone
Youthful Blossoms of Rue Anemone

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

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

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

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

This poem seems to be about the seasonal nature of life and about death that eventually overcomes us all.

Or is it a more subtle message about losing virginity? I don’t know about you, but it kinda sounds like Mrs. Sigourney is talking about sex or perhaps how losing one’s “youth” is like the seasons advancing. Using words like bosom, ‘lifted dart’, and shaft could have something to do with flowers, but we’re not sure what she was thinking.

Perhaps it’s a message about how our lives can be viewed as seasons. We all have our time in the sun as youthful, exuberant ones. Energy of youth finds love, life is lived, and finally the angel of the seasons brings us to our Autumn and Wintertime.

I’d love to hear how you view or interpret this poem. Leave a comment below!

Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “The Snow Drop”.

Flower Poetry Fridays: The Tulip and Eglantine

Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.


Purple Robed Tulip
Purple Robed Tulip

THE Tulip called to the Eglantine ;
"Good neighbor, I hope you see
How the throngs that visit the garden come
To pay their respects to me.

"The florist admires my elegant robe,
And praises its rainbow ray,
Till it seems as if, through his raptured eyes
He was gazing his soul away."

"It may be so," said the Eglantine ;
"In a humble nook I dwell,
And what is passing among the great,
I cannot know so well.

Pink Pasture Rose
Pink Pasture Rose

But they speak of me, as the flower of love,
And that low, whispered name,
Is dearer to me, and my infant buds,
Than the loudest breath of fame."

So, I had to look up what an eglantine is. It’s commonly known as Sweet Briar and also as Eglantine rose, Rosa rubiginosa. Being native to Europe and western Asia, Eglantine has become an invasive species in parts of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

In North America we have a similar simple rose called the Pasture Rose, Rosa carolina.

Eglantine flowers are in hard-to-reach and thorny, out-of-the-way places so throngs of people don’t visit them in the fence rows. The Eglantine rose flower is happy to be a flower of love. It shuns the fame that the Proud Tulip adores for himself.

The Tulip is so full of himself he has to talk down to the lowly rose. Yet, the rose replies that he’s blessed with his family of buds and a place to call home.

The world would be a happier place if more people could be pleased with a simple eglantine life. Don’t you think?

Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “The Blossom and the Beautiful”.

Flower Poetry Fridays: Flora’s Party

Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.


Dozens of Flowers came to Flora's Party
Dozens of Flowers came to Flora’s Party

LADY FLORA gave cards for a party at tea,
To flowers, buds, and blossoms of ev’ry degree ;
So from town and from country they thronged at the call,
And strove, by their charms, to embellish the hall.
First flock’d the exotics, with ornaments rare,
The tall Oleander and Heliotrope fair ;
Camella, resplendent with jewels new set,
And changeful Hydrangia, the heartless co-
The Tulips came flaunting in gaudy array,
With Hyacinths, bright as the eye of the day ;
Dandy Coxcombs and Daffodils, proudly polite,
With their dazzling red vests, and their corsets
laced tight ;
While the Soldiers in Green, cavalierly at-
Were all by the ladies extremely admired ;
But the beautiful Lily, with bosom of snow,
Complain’d that those officers star’d at her so,
She was strangely confus’d, and would like to
be told
What they saw in her manners that made them
so bold.

There were Myrtles and Roses from garden
and plain,
And Venus’s Fly Trap, they brought in their
train ;
So the beaux cluster’d round them, they hardly
knew why,
At each smile of the lip, or each glance of the
Madame Damask a robe had from Paris brought
The envy of all who attended the rout ;
Its drapery was folded, her form to adorn,
And clasp’d at the breast with a diamond-set
Yet she, quite unconscious, ‘t would seem, of
the grace
That enchanted all groups who frequented the
Introduced, with the sweetest of words in her
The young Multiflora, — her guest from the
Neighbor Cinnamon prated of household and
How she seldom went out, even to breathe the
fresh air ;

Rose Bouquet
Rose Bouquet

There were so many young ones and servants to stray,
And the thorns grew so fast if her eye was away :
"Cousin Moss-Rose," she said, "you who live like a queen,
And ne’er wet your fingers, scarce know what I mean."
So that notable lady went on with her lay,
‘Till the auditors yawned, and stole softly away.

The sweet Misses Woodbine, from country
and town,
With their brother-in-law, Colonel Trumpet,
came down ;
And Lupine, whose azure eye sparkled with
On Amaranth leaned, the unchanging and
true ;
While modest Clematis appeared as a bride,
And her husband, the Lilac, ne’er moved from
her side—
Tho’ the Dahlias all giggled, and said, "’Twas
a shame
For a young married chit, such attention to
claim ;

They had travell’d enough, in all conscience,
to tell
What the ton was abroad, where the great
people dwell,
But were ne’er at a ball, or soiree in their life,
Where a city-bred gentleman spoke to his

Mrs. Piony came in, quite late, in a heat,
With the Ice-plant, new-spangled from fore-
head to feet,
Lobelia, attired like a queen in her pride,
And the Larkspurs, with trimmings new fur-
bished and dyed,
And the Blue-bells and Hare-bells in simple
With all their Scotch cousins, from highland
and brae.
Acacias and Marigolds clustered together,
And gossiped of scandal, the news, and wea-
What dresses were worn at the wedding so
Of Counsellor Thistle, and fair Columbine ;
Of the loves of Sweet-William, and Lily, the
‘Till the clamors of Babel again seem’d re-

In a little snug nook sate the Jessamine pale,
And that pure, fragrant Lily, the gem of the
vale ;
The meek Mountain-Daisy, with delicate
And the Violet, whose eye told the Heaven in
her breast ;
While allur’d to their side, were the wise ones,
who bow’d
To that virtue which seeks not the praise of
the crowd.
But the proud Crown Imperial, who wept in
her heart
That modesty gained of such homage a part,
Looked haughtily down on their innocent
And spread out her gown, that they might not
be seen.

Pink flower or pouch of the Pink Lady's Slipper.
Pink flower or pouch of the Pink Lady’s Slipper.

The bright Lady-slippers, and Sweet-briars agreed
With their slim cousin Aspens a measure to lead;
And sweet ‘t was to see their light footsteps advance,
Like the wing of the breeze, thro’ the maze of the dance ;

But the Monk’s-hood scowl’d dark, and in
utterance low,
Declared "’t was high time for good Christians
to go;"
He’d heard from the pulpit a sermon sublime,
Where ‘t was proved from the Vulgate—"To
dance was a crime.
So, wrapping a cowl round his cynical head,
He snatch’d from the side-board a bumper,
and fled.

A song was desired, but each musical flower
Had "taken a cold, and ‘t was out of her
‘Till sufficiently urged, they burst forth in a
Of quavers and trills, that astonished the train.
Mimosa sat shrinking, and said, with a sigh,
"’T was so fine, she was ready with rapture,
to die;"
And Cactus, the grammar-school tutor, de-
"It might be with the gamut of Orpheus com-
But Night-shade, the metaphysician, com-
That "the nerves of his ears were excessively
pained ;

‘T was but seldom he crept from the college,"
he said,
"And he wished himself safe in his study, or

Lady Flora, ‘t was thought, had a taste for
And her skill in embroidery all felt to be fine ;
So the best of her pictures, for tinting and
Were all on this pleasant occasion displayed.
Her visitors vied in expressions of praise,
And exhausted the store-house of elegant
phrase ;
Tho’ some grave connoisseurs in a circle must
Their acuteness to show by detecting a flaw.

Miss Carnation took her eye-glass from her
And pronounc’d they were scarce in good-
keeping, or taste,
While prim Fleur de lis in her robe of French
And magnificent Calla, with mantle like milk,
Of the Louvre recited a wonderful tale,
And how "Guido’s rich tints made dame Na-
ture look pale."

Signor Snow-Ball assented, and ventured to
An opinion, that "all Nature’s coloring was
He had thought so, e’er since a short period he
To muse on the paintings of Rome, as he
To visit his friend Rhododendron, who chose
An abode on the Alps, in a palace of snows.
But he took, on Mont Blanc, a most terrible
And since his return had been pallid and ill.

Half-wither’d Miss Hackmetack studied her
And hop’d with her cousins, the Spruces, to
pass ;
But Ivy, the sage antiquarian, who knew
Every cycle, ’twas said, that Chronology drew,
Thro’ his near-sighted optics, descrying her
Discompos’d her, by asking some aid in a date ;
So she pouted her lips, and said, tartly, with
She "could not remember before she was

Old Jonquil, the crooked-back’d beau, had been
That a tax would be laid on old bachelors’
So he lac’d down his hump, pre-determined to
The long disus’d weapons of Cupid, so sly,
Sought out half open’d buds in their infantine
And ogled them all, till they blushed to their

Philosopher Sage, on a sofa was prosing,
With good Dr. Chamomile quietly dozing,
Though the Laurel descanted, with eloquent
Of heroes and battles, of victory and death ;
Of the conquests of Greece, and Bozzaris, the
"He had trod in his footsteps, and sigh’d o’er
his grave."

The Farmer's Sunflowers
The Farmer’s Sunflowers

Farmer Sunflower stood near, entertaining a guest,
With the crops he had rais’d, and the cheeses he prest ;
For the true-hearted soul deem’d a weather-stained face,
Or a toil-harden’d hand, were no marks of dis-grace.
Then he beckon’d his nieces to rise from their seat,
The plump Dandelion, and Butter-cup neat,
And bade them to "pack up their duds, and
He believ’d in his heart ’twas the break of
the day.
"And high time it is, for good people," said
"At home, and in bed, with their households
to be."

‘Twas indeed very late,—and the coaches
were brought,
For the grave matron flowers of their nur-
series thought ;
The lustre was dimmed of each drapery rare,
And the lucid young brows looked beclouded
with care ;
All, save the bright Cereus,—that nymph so
Who preferr’d through the curtains of midnight
to shine :

Now with congees, and curtseys, they moved
to the door,
But the White Poppy nodded ere parting was
For Night her last candle was snuffing away,
And Flora grew tired, though she begged them
to stay ;
Exclaimed, "all the watches and clocks were
too fast,
And old Time fled in spite, lest her pleasure
should last."
Yet when the last guest went, with daugh-
ter and wife,
She vowed she "was never so glad in her
life ;"
Called out to her maids, who with weariness
To "wash all the glasses and cups ere they
For Aurora, that pimp, with her broad staring
Would be pleas’d, in her house, some disorder
to spy."—
Then drank some pure honey-dew, fresh from
the lawn,
And with Zephyrons hastened to sleep until

Wow, Flora’s Party sounds like a magical one that I’d like to attend. I couldn’t help thinking of Alice in Wonderland as I read Flora’s Party. My mind was picturing all kinds of animated flowers coming from far and wide to attend such a gala.

I liked how the different flowers were given characteristics they have in real life, like “Dr. Chamomile quietly dozing”. We all know that Chamomile tea is taken for relaxation and its calming effect, so having the chamomile character asleep at the party was very fitting.

Miss Carnation, Cactus the grammar-school tutor, and Farmer Sunflower are my other favorite characters.

Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “The Tulip and Eglantine”.