Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.
THE WILLOW, POPPY, AND
A CHILD held in his hand a slight, leafless
bough. It was like a supple, green wand. But
it had been newly cut from the parent stock,
and life still stirred in its little heart.
He sought out a sheltered spot, and planted
it in the moist earth. Often did he visit it, and
when the rains of summer were witheld, he
watered it at the cool sunset.
The sap, which is the blood of plants, began
to flow freely through its tender vessels. A
tiny root, like a thread, crept downwards, and
around the head was a bursting forth of faint
Seasons passed over it, and it became a
tree. Its slender branches drooped downward
to the earth. The cheering sun smiled upon
them—the happy birds sang to them—but they
"Tree, why art thou always so sad and
drooping ? Am not I kind unto thee ?" But
it answered not—only as it grew on it drooped
lower and lower, for it was a weeping willow.
The boy cast seed into the soft garden
mould. When the time of flowers came, a
strong, budding stalk stood there, with coarse,
serrated leaves. Soon a full red poppy came
forth, glorying in its gaudy dress. At its feet
grew a purple violet, which no hand had
planted or cherished.
It lived lovingly with the mosses, and with
the frail flowers of the grass, not counting
itself more excellent than they.
" Large poppy, why dost thou spread out thy
scarlet robe so widely, and drink up all the
sunbeams from my lowly violet?"
But the flaunting flower replied not to him
who planted it. It even seemed to open its
rich silk mantle still more broadly, as though
it would have stifled its humble neighbors.
Yet nothing hindered the fragrance of the
The little child was troubled, and at the
hour of sleep he spake to his mother of the
tree that continually wept, and of the plant
that overshadowed its neighbor. So she took
him on her knee, and spake so tenderly in his
ear, that he remembered her words when he
became a man.
" There are some, who, like the willow,
are weepers all their lives long, though they
dwell in pleasant places, and the fair skies
shine upon them in love. And there are
others, who, like the poppy that thou reprov-
edst, are proud at heart, and despise the hum-
ble, whom God regardeth."
" Be thou not like them, my gentle child ;
but keep ever in thy breast the sweet spirit of
the lowly violet, that thou mayest come at last
to that blessed place, which pride cannot enter,
and where the sound of weeping is unknown."
The lowly, meek violet with a sweet spirit is to be admired and imitated. What a lovely thing to teach a child.
Too bad that attitude won’t help you get ahead in this world, but perhaps it will in the Next.
Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “The Early Frost”.