Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.
KING FROST, AND THE
THE Dahlia call’d to the Mignionette,
And what do you think she said ?
" King Frost has been seen in the vale below,"
And she trembled and shook with dread.
" King Frost has been seen in the vale below,
A marshalling forth his train—
Captain Gladiolus told me so,
And brandish’d his sword in vain."
Then the Snow-Berry knock’d at the Wood-
Affrighted, and out of breath :
" Pray, give me a draught of water," said she;
" I am growing as pale as death."
"Ah me !" the gay Carnation cried,
" The Rose, on her dying day,
Bade me prepare for this solemn hour,
But I’ve trifled my time away."
The Poppy complain’d that her sleep was broke
By her neighbor’s noise and fright ;
And the Coxcomb said " ‘t was a burning shame
To disturb a belle so bright."
Lady Larkspur nodded her graceful head,
And beckon’d the fair Sweet-Pea,—
" Do you credit this terrible news, my dear ?"
" I think ‘t is but gossip," said she.
"Young Zephyr was here," said the Asters
" He made us a morning call,
And if there had been any truth in the tale
He must surely have known it all :
" For the daily papers he always reads,
As soon as they come from the press,
And if King Frost were at any hotel,
‘T would not be forgotten, we guess."
" ‘T is doubtless a hoax," said the Sun-Flower
" Don’t you think that the higher powers
Would have seen that I was appris’d, before
These pert little radical flowers ?"
Yet still, Mimosa was nervous and faint,
And Convolvolus feared to stir,
And the Mourning-Widow wept, though long
The world had been dark to her.
But Amaranth smil’d, with a changeless eye,
And the Constancy rose unbow’d,
For a deathless spirit of hope was theirs,
And their trust was above the cloud.
That night, King Frost to the garden came,
With all his legions dread,
And laid the might of the proudest low,
And left the fairest dead.
One thing I like about this poem is the idea that the flowers all talk amongst themselves. Whether they’re spreading gossip or the news doesn’t matter, it’s kind of neat to think about them communicating with each other.
I would really like to see a garden with all the flowers mentioned, namely the Dahlia, Mignionette, Gladiolus, Snow-Berry, Woodbine, Carnation, Rose, Poppy, Coxcomb, Lady Larkspur, Sweet-Pea, Asters, Sun-Flower, Mimosa, Convolvolus, Mourning-Widow and Amaranth. It must be stunning!
Convolvolus spp. are the bindweeds, like Morning Glory.
Mourning-Widow refers to Geranium phaeum, a perennial with very dark almost black flowers. This plant does well in dry shade, which means it will do well in woodland gardens or planted under trees and shrubs.
A lesson in the poem is that even though we know death is coming for us all…one day, many of us will be caught unaware. Until our day of frost arrives we should try to live our lives to the fullest.
When in doubt, just remember this line:
For a deathless spirit of hope was theirs, And their trust was above the cloud.
Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “Transplanted Flowers”.