Thursday, July 16, 2020

In Bygone Bloom, Bright Picture, or Sweet Song

Wild Roses
July Sixteenth
by John Holland

"The most beautiful specimens of this generous plant we ever beheld, grow in the ruins of Bolton Abbey: it is here the Wild Rose blossoms in all its prodigality of beauty : springing from scanty stores of earth, deposited in narrow crevices of the mouldering walls, each tree spreads out numerous branches, which clinging to the tracery of the windows and shafts of the arches, form festoons like the woodbine."—Mrs. Holland.

Though more than fifty years of changeful Time,
Have check'd in me the tide of living joy;
In love of nature I am still a boy—
And most of all, Hedge-Roses in their prime,
Are fraught with luscious memories! Craft and crime,
Wove into story, readers will decoy;
Ev'n healthiest knowledge, overdrank, may cloy;—
But who can see our summer Queen-Flower climb,
In blushing beauty to salute the sun,
Amid the common thorns, nor feel how strong,
In bygone bloom, bright picture, or sweet song,
The place she in his young affections won?
Yea, how such sight seems yearly to prolong,
A charm caught in green lanes with Friends, now dead and gone!