VERY charming and interesting method of communicating thought is by the aid of flowers, their language and sentiment being understood by the parties who present them. Although the following list is very complete, this vocabulary may be still enlarged by the addition of other definitions, the parties having an understanding as to what language the flower shall represent. Thus an extended and sometimes important correspondence may be carried on by the presentation of bouquets, single flowers and even leaves; the charm of this interchange of thought largely consisting in the romance attendant upon an expression of sentiment in a partially disguised and hidden language.
Of course much of the facility with which a conversation may be conducted, thus, will depend upon the intimate knowledge possessed of the language of flowers and the variety from which to select.
Twas a lovely thought to mark the hours
As they floated in light away,
By the opening and the folding flowers
That laugh to the summer's day.
— Felicia Hemans.
Flowers linked to complete list.
ALMOND — HOPE
The hope, in dreams of a happier hour,
That alights upon misery's brow,
Springs out of the silvery Almond flower,
That blooms on a leafless bough.
BRAMBLE — LOWLINESS
Thy fruit full well the schoolboy knows,
Wild Bramble of the brake —
So put thou forth, thy small white rose,
I love it for his sake.
Though woodbines flower and roses glow
O'er all the fragrant bowers,
Thou need'st not be ashamed to show
Thy satin-threaded flowers.
COWSLIP — WINNING GRACE
I love the Cowslip, with its yellow cup;
And there the honey-bee delights to dwell
Athirst, still lingering for the last sweet sup
Till daylight fade;
Humming her merry airs o'er twilight dell
And dewy glade.
T. L. Merritt.
DAFFODIL — REGARD
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attained his noon;
Until the hastening day
But to even song,
And, having prayed together we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay as ye,
We have as fleet a spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you or anything:
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
EGLANTINE — (SWEETBRIERS)
POETRY. I WOUND TO HEAL.
There's odour in the very name which,
to the thoughtful brain,
Comes with refreshing influence,
like April's pleasant rain.
The rose that to the sun's warm kiss
uplifts its blushing cheek,
Is but a rainbow-type of life
departing while we speak.
W. H. Prideaux.
FORGET ME NOT — TRUE LOVE
And oh! be sure ye bring me this,
The love-link 'tis of pure and precious thought,
Memento blest of love-engendered bliss!
Balm of the soul!
Yes, bring the pale blue-eyed Forget Me Not.
T. L. Merritt.
WILD GERANIUM — STEADFAST PIETY
Though nursed by field, and brook, and wood,
And wild in every feature,
Spring ne'er unsealed a fairer bud,
Nor found a blossom sweeter.
Of all the flowers the Spring hath met,
And it hath met with many,
Thou art to me the fairest yet,
And loveliest of any.
HAREBELL — SUBMISSION
The azure Harebell, that doth ceaseless ring
Her wildering chimes to vagrant butterflies,
As they in dalliance fan her with their wings,
Hath charms for me:
Those flower-like creatures know no fairer prize
To woo than she.
IVY — FIDELITY
Ivy we twine of changeless green,
Constant for ever in leaf and bough.
L. E. L.
JASMINE — AMIABILITY
My slight and slender Jasmine-tree,
That bloomest on my border tower,
Thou art more dearly loved by me
Than all the wealth of fairy bower.
I ask not while I near thee dwell,
Arabia's spice, or Syria's rose;
Thy light festoons more freshly smell –
Thy virgin white more freshly glows.
My mild and winsome Jasmine-tree,
That climbest on the dark grey wall,
Thy tiny flowerets seem in glee
Like silver spray-drops down to fall.
KING-CUPS — DESIRE OF RICHES
Nor all-forgotten be those humbler flowers –
Daisies and Buttercups -- the child's first love,
Which lent their magic to our guileless hours,
Ere cares were known.
Oh, joyous time!
through verdant meads to rove,
With wild flowers strewn.
T. L. Merritt.
LILY OF THE VALLEY — RETURN OF HAPPINESS
The virgin Lily of the Vale I love,
Laden with sweets Arabia cannot give;
Distilled from liquid-music of the grove
Poured out as emulous to please, they strive
In love-fraught tales.
MIMOSA (SENSITIVE PLANT)— SENSIBILITY.
A Sensitive Plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew;
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
And closed them beneath the kisses of night.
NARCISSUS — EGOTISM
Narcissi, the fairest of them all,
Who gaze on their eyes in the stream's recess,
Till they die of their own dear loveliness.
ORANGE FLOWERS — CHASTITY.
Youths and enamoured maidens vie to wear
This flower, their bosom's grace,
or curled amid their hair.
POPPY — CONSOLATION
From a Poppy I have taken
Mortars balm and mortal's bane,
Juice that, creeping through the heart,
Deadens every sense of smart;
Doomed to heal, or doomed to kill,
Fraught with good, or fraught with ill.
QUAKING–GRASS — AGITATION
What my delight in childhood's days to find
Thy thread-like stems trembling in every wind!
Thy spikes of graceful form still cheer my room,
Recalling Spring in Winter's darkest gloom,
Like the kind friend responsive to each sigh,
And faithful still when summer glories fly.
ROSE — LOVE.
How much of memory dwells amidst thy bloom,
Rose! ever wearing beauty for thy dower.
The bridal day, the festival, the tomb,
Thou hast thy part in each,
thou stateliest flower!
Therefore with thy soft breath come floating by
A thousand images of love and grief,
Dreams, filled with tokens of mortality,
Deep thought of all things beautiful and brief.
SNOWDROP — HOPE
First-born of the year's delight,
Pride of the dewy glade,
In vernal green and virgin white,
Thy vestal robes, arrayed.
TULIP — FAME
Not one of Flora's brilliant race
A form more perfect can display;
Art could not feign more simple grace,
Nor Nature take a line away.
Yet, rich as morn of many hue,
When flashing clouds through darkness strike,
The Tulip's petals shine in dew,
All beautiful, yet none alike.
ULEX — HUMILITY.
Ulex! that dost crown with gold
All the wild and breezy heath,
Forming many a gorgeous wreath
Fragrant with thy odorous breath,
Be my emblem — bright and bold,
Happy in an humble station,
Lending smiles to desolation;
Blooming gaily, though so lowly,
Raising aspirations holy;
Thorny spines surrounding thee,
Yet kindly sheltering bird and bee;
Lustre and joy diffusing round
O'er the rough and desert ground;
Firm and useful, cheerful, free, —
Let me then resemble thee.
VIOLET — MODESTY
The Violet in her greenwood bower,
Where birchen boughs with hazels mingle,
May boast herself the fairest flower,
In glen, or copse, or forest dingle.
Sir W. Scott.
WATER LILY — PURITY OP HEART.
Know that the Lilies have spread their bells
O'er all the pools of our forest dells;
Stilly and lightly their bases rest
On the quivering sleep of the water's breast,
Catching the sunshine through
leaves that throw
To their scented bosoms an emerald glow;
And a star from the depth of each pearly cup,
A golden star unto Heaven looks up,
As if seeking its kindred, where bright they lie,
Set in the blue of the summer sky.
XERANTHEMUM — CHEERFULNESS
If such the soothing precepts taught by you,
Beautiful blossoms! well may ye appear
As silent preachers in the Christian's view.
YEW — SORROW
Weep no more, nor sigh nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that's gone;
Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh, nor grow again.
Trim your locks, look cheerfully,
Fate's hidden ends no eye can see;
Joys as winged dreams fly fast,
Why should sorrows longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe;
Gentle fair, mourn, mourn no more.
ZEPHYR FLOWER — EXPECTATION
The winds forbid the flowers to flourish long
Which owe to winds their name in Grecian song.
Eusden, from Ovid.
Flowers are the bright remembrances of youth;
Illustrated Language of Flowers. 1856
——Compiled and Edited by Mrs. L. Burke
Language of Flowers, Illustrated by Kate Greenaway.
Page graphics by AVictorian.com
They waft us back, with their bland odorous breath,
The joyous hours that only young life knows,
Ere we have learnt that this fair earth hides graves.
They bring the cheek that's mouldering in the dust
Again before us, tinged with health's own rose;
They bring the voices we shall hear no more,
Whose tones were sweetest music to our ears;
They bring the hopes that faded one by one,
Till nought was left to light our path but faith,
That we too, like the flowers, should spring to life,
But not, like them, again e'er fade or die.
Countess of Blessinqton.
|Oh! were I spiritual as the wafting wind|
That breathes its sighing music through the woods,
Sports with the dancing hours, and crisps the flood,
Then would I glide away from cares which bind
Me down to haunts that taint the healthful mind;
And I would sport with many a bloom and bud,
Happiest the farthest from the neighbourhood,
And from the crimes and miseries of mankind!
Then would I waft me to the cowslip's bell,
And to the wild rose should my voyage be;
Unto the lily, vestal of the dell,
Or daisy, the pet child of poesy,
Or lie beside some mossy forest-well
Companion to the wood anemone.
Young Love, rambling through the wood,|
Found me in my solitude,
Bright with dew and freshly blown.
And trembling to the zephyr's sighs;
But, as he stooped to gaze upon
The living gem with raptured eyes,
It chanced a bee was busy there,
Searching for its fragrant fare;
And Cupid, stooping too to sip,
The angry insect stung his lip;
And, gushing from the ambrosial cell,
One bright drop on my bosom fell.
Weeping, to his mother he
Told the tale of treachery;
And she, her vengeful boy to please,
Strung his bow with captive bees,
But placed upon my slender stem
The poisoned stings she plucked from them:
And none, since that eventful morn,
Save found the flower without a thorn.
Legend of the R.
Have ye ever heard, in the twilight dim,|
A soft low strain
That ye fancied a distant vesper hymn,
Borne o'er the plain,
By the zephyrs that rise on perfumed wing
When the sun's last glances are glimmering?
Have ye heard that music with cadence sweet
And merry peal,
Ring out like the echoes of Fairy feet
O'er flowers that steal?
And did you deem that each breathing tone
Was the distant vesper-chime alone?
The source of that whispering strain I'll tell —
For I've listened oft
To the music faint of the blue Harebell
In the gloaming soft:
'Tis the gay Fairy-folk that peal who ring
At even-time for their banqueting.
Louisa Anne Twamley
|I found the flower in a greeny nook|
Where crept a clear and laughing brook,
The young boughs through;
And king-cups spangled all the ground,
And the pale wind-flower there was found,
And harebells blue.
Countess of Blessington.
By the soft green light in the woody glade,|
On the banks of moss where thy childhood played;
By the household tree through which thine eye
First looked in love to the summer sky;
By the dewy gleam, by the very breath
Of the Primrose tufts in the grass beneath,
Upon thy heart there is laid a spell,
Holy and precious — oh! guard it well!
Yes, when thy heart in its pride would stray
From the pure first loves of its youth away;
When the sullying breath of the world would come
O'er the flowers it brought from its native home;
Think thou again of the woody glade,
Of the sound by rustling ivy made;
Think of the tree at thy father's door,
And the kindly spell shall have power once more.
— Mrs. Hemans.
Once a white Rose-bud reared her head,|
And peevishly to Flora said,
"Look at my sister's blushing hue —
Pray, mother, let me have it too."
"Nay, child", was Flora's mild reply,
"Be thankful for such gifts as I
Have deemed befitting to dispense —
Thy dower's the hue of innocence."
When did Persuasion's voice impart
Content and peace to female heart
Where baleful Jealousy bears sway,
And scares each gentler guest away?
The Rose still grumbled and complained,
Her mother's bounties still disdained.
"Well, then," said angered Flora, "take!" —
She breathed upon her as she spake —
"Henceforth, no more in simple vest
Of innocence shalt thou be dressed;
Take that which better suits thy mind —
The hue for Jealousy designed!"
The Yellow Rose has, from that hour,
Borne evidence of Envy's power.
—Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel
In gardens of a beauteous flower there grows,|
By vulgar eyes unnoticed and unseen;
In sweet security it humbly blows,
And rears its purple head to deck the green.
This flower, as Nature's poet sweetly sings,
Was once milk-white, and Hearts-ease was its name,
Till wanton Cupid poised his roseate wings,
A vestal's sacred bosom to inflame.
With treacherous aim the god his arrow drew,
Which she with icy coldness did repel;
Rebounding thence with feathery speed it flew,
Till on this lovely flower at last it fell.
Hearts-ease no more the wandering shepherds found,
No more the nymphs its snowy form possess;
Its white now changed to purple by Love's wound,
Hearts-ease no more, 'tis Love-in-idleness.
It is not gloomy, brightly play|
The sunbeams on its glossy green;
And softly on it sleeps the ray
Of moonlight, all serene.
It changes not as seasons flow,
In changeful, silent course along;
Spring finds it verdant, leaves it so,
It outlives summer's song.
Autumn no wan or russet stain
Upon its fadeless glory flings;
And winter o'er it sweeps in vain,
With tempest on his wings.
"The flowers in silence seem to breathe
Such thoughts as language cannot tell."
Queen Victoria's Era