Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Flowers (Unclassified)
Sweet letters of the angel tongue,
  I’ve loved ye long and well,
And never have failed in your fragrance sweet
  To find some secret spell,—
A charm that has bound me with witching power,
  For mine is the old belief,
That midst your sweets and midst your bloom,
  There’s a soul in every leaf!
        M. M. Ballou—Flowers.
Take the flower from my breast, I pray thee,
Take the flower, too, from out my tresses;
And then go hence; for, see, the night is fair,
The stars rejoice to watch thee on thy way.
        Third Poem in Bard of the Dimbovitza; Rumanian Folksongs. Collected by Hélène Vacaresco. English by Carmen Sylva and Alma Strettell. (Quoted by Galsworthy, on fly leaf of The Dark Flower.)
  As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them, both for their own sake, and for the sake of old-fashioned folks, who used to love them.
        Henry Ward Beecher—Star Papers. A Discourse of Flowers.
  Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.
        Henry Ward Beecher—Star Papers. A Discourse of Flowers.
Flowers are Love’s truest language; they betray,
  Like the divining rods of Magi old,
  Where precious wealth lies buried, not of gold,
But love—strong love, that never can decay!
        Park Benjamin—Sonnet. Flowers, Love’s Truest Language.
Thick on the woodland floor
Gay company shall be,
Primrose and Hyacinth
And frail Anemone,
Perennial Strawberry-bloom,
Woodsorrel’s pencilled veil,
Dishevel’d Willow-weed
And Orchis purple and pale.
        Robert Bridges—Idle Flowers.
I have loved flowers that fade,
Within whose magic tents
Rich hues have marriage made
With sweet unmemoried scents.
        Robert Bridges—Shorter Poems. Bk. II. 13.
Brazen helm of daffodillies,
  With a glitter toward the light.
  Purple violets for the mouth,
  Breathing perfumes west and south;
And a sword of flashing lilies,
  Holden ready for the fight.
        E. B. Browning—Hector in the Garden.
Ah, ah, Cytherea! Adonis is dead.
She wept tear after tear, with the blood which was shed,—
And both turned into flowers for the earth’s garden-close;
Her tears, to the wind-flower,—his blood, to the rose.
        E. B. Browning—Lament for Adonis. St. 6.
The flower-girl’s prayer to buy roses and pinks,
Held out in the smoke, like stars by day.
        E. B. Browning—The Soul’s Travelling.
          Yet here’s eglantine,
Here’s ivy!—take them as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
And tell thy soul their roots are left in mine.
        E. B. Browning—Trans. from the Portuguese. XLIV.
The windflower and the violet, they perished long ago,
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland glade and glen.
        Bryant—Death of the Flowers.
Where fall the tears of love the rose appears,
And where the ground is bright with friendship’s tears,
Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
Spring glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.
        Bryant—Trans. of N. Müller’s Paradise of Tears.
Who that has loved knows not the tender tale
Which flowers reveal, when lips are coy to tell?
        Bulwer-Lytton—Corn Flowers. The First Violets. Bk. I. St. 1.
Mourn, little harebells, o’er the lea;
Ye stately foxgloves fair to see!
Ye woodbines, hanging bonnilie
          In scented bowers!
Ye roses on your thorny tree
          The first o’ flow’rs.
        BurnsElegy on Capt. Matthew Henderson.
Now blooms the lily by the bank,
  The primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn’s budding in the glen,
  And milkwhite is the slae.
        BurnsLament of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.
        BurnsMy Nannie’s Awa.
Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue?
And where is the violet’s beautiful blue?
Does aught of its sweetness the blossom beguile?
That meadow, those daisies, why do they not smile?
        John Byrom—A Pastoral. St. 8.
Ye field flowers! the gardens eclipse you ’tis true:
Yet wildings of nature, I dote upon you,
  For ye waft me to summers of old,
When the earth teem’d around me with fairy delight,
And when daisies and buttercups gladden’d my sight,
  Like treasures of silver and gold.
        Campbell—Field Flowers.
The berries of the brier rose
  Have lost their rounded pride:
The bitter-sweet chrysanthemums
  Are drooping heavy-eyed.
        Alice Cary—Faded Leaves.
I know not which I love the most,
  Nor which the comeliest shows,
The timid, bashful violet
  Or the royal-hearted rose:

The pansy in her purple dress,
  The pink with cheek of red,
Or the faint, fair heliotrope, who hangs,
  Like a bashful maid her head.
        Phebe Cary—Spring Flowers.
They know the time to go!
  The fairy clocks strike their inaudible hour
  In field and woodland, and each punctual flower
Bows at the signal an obedient head
          And hastes to bed.
        Susan Coolidge—Time to Go.
                Not a flower
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak or stain,
Of his unrivall’d pencil.
        Cowper—The Task. Bk. VI. L. 241.
          Flowers are words
Which even a babe may understand.
        Bishop Coxe—The Singing of Birds.
And all the meadows, wide unrolled,
Were green and silver, green and gold,
Where buttercups and daisies spun
Their shining tissues in the sun.
        Julia C. R. Dorr—Unanswered.
The harebells nod as she passes by,
The violet lifts its tender eye,
The ferns bend her steps to greet,
And the mosses creep to her dancing feet.
        Julia C. R. Dorr—Over the Wall.
Up from the gardens floated the perfume
Of roses and myrtle, in their perfect bloom.
        Julia C. R. Dorr—Vashti’s Scroll. L. 91.
The rose is fragrant, but it fades in time:
The violet sweet, but quickly past the prime:
White lilies hang their heads, and soon decay,
And white snow in minutes melts away.
        Dryden—Trans. from Theocritus. The Despairing Lover. L. 57.
The flowers of the forest are a’ wede away.
        Jane Elliott—The Flowers of the Forest.
Why does the rose her grateful fragrance yield,
And yellow cowslips paint the smiling field?
        Gay—Panthea. L. 71.
They speak of hope to the fainting heart,
With a voice of promise they come and part,
They sleep in dust through the wintry hours,
They break forth in glory—bring flowers, bright flowers!
        Felicia D. Hemans—Bring Flowers.
Through the laburnum’s dropping gold
Rose the light shaft of orient mould,
And Europe’s violets, faintly sweet,
Purpled the moss-beds at its feet.
        Felicia D. Hemans—Palm-Tree.
Faire pledges of a fruitful tree
  Why do yee fall so fast?
  Your date is not so past
But you may stay yet here awhile
  To blush and gently smile
  And go at last.
        Herrick—To Blossoms.
The daisy is fair, the day-lily rare,
The bud o’ the rose as sweet as it’s bonnie.
        Hogg—Auld Joe Nicolson’s Nannie.
What are the flowers of Scotland,
  All others that excel?
The lovely flowers of Scotland,
  All others that excel!
The thistle’s purple bonnet,
  And bonny heather bell,
Oh, they’re the flowers of Scotland.
  All others that excel!
        Hogg—The Flowers of Scotland.
  Yellow japanned buttercups and star-disked dandelions,—just as we see them lying in the grass, like sparks that have leaped from the kindling sun of summer.
        Holmes—The Professor at the Breakfast Table. X.
I remember, I remember
  The roses, red and white,
The violets, and the lily-cups,
  Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs, where the robin built,
  And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
  The tree is living yet.
        Hood—I Remember, I Remember.
I may not to the world impart
  The secret of its power,
But treasured in my inmost heart
  I keep my faded flower.
        Ellen C. Howarth—’Tis but a Little Faded Flower.
’Tis but a little faded flower,
  But oh, how fondly dear!
’Twill bring me back one golden hour,
  Through many a weary year.
        Ellen C. Howarth—’Tis but a Little Faded Flower.
Growing one’s own choice words and fancies
In orange tubs, and beds of pansies;
One’s sighs and passionate declarations,
In odorous rhetoric of carnations.
        Leigh Hunt—Love-Letters Made of Flowers.
Roses, and pinks, and violets, to adorn
The shrine of Flora in her early May.
        Keats—Dedication to Leigh Hunt.
                Above his head
Four lily stalks did their white honours wed
To make a coronal; and round him grew
All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue,
Together intertwined and trammell’d fresh;
The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh,
Shading its Ethiop berries.
        Keats—Endymion. Bk. II. L. 413.
Young playmates of the rose and daffodil,
Be careful ere ye enter in, to fill
  Your baskets high
With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines
Savory latter-mint, and columbines.
        Keats—Endymion. Bk. IV. L. 575.
          *  *  *  the rose
Blendeth its odor with the violet,—
Solution sweet.
        Keats—Eve of St. Agnes. St. 36.
    And O and O,
    The daisies blow,
And the primroses are waken’d;
    And the violets white
    Sit in silver plight,
And the green bud’s as long as the spike end.
        Keats—In a Letter to Haydon.
Underneath large blue-bells tented
Where the daisies are rose-scented,
And the rose herself has got
Perfume which on earth is not.
        Keats—Ode. Bards of Passion and of Mirth.
The loveliest flowers the closest cling to earth,
And they first feel the sun: so violets blue;
So the soft star-like primrose—drenched in dew—
The happiest of Spring’s happy, fragrant birth.
        Keble—Miscellaneous Poems. Spring Showers.
Spake full well, in language quaint and olden,
  One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
When he called the flowers, so blue and golden,
  Stars, that in the earth’s firmament do shine.
        Longfellow—Flowers. St. 1.
Gorgeous flowerets in the sunlight shining,
  Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day,
Tremulous leaves, with soft and silver lining,
  Buds that open only to decay.
        Longfellow—Flowers. St. 6.
The flaming rose gloomed swarthy red;
  The borage gleams more blue;
And low white flowers, with starry head,
  Glimmer the rich dusk through.
        George MacDonald—Songs of the Summer Night. Pt. III.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.
        Marlowe—The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.
        MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 256.
A wilderness of sweets.
        MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. V. L. 294.
The bright consummate flower.
        MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. V. L. 481.
And touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew.
        MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. VIII. L. 47.
*  *  *  at shut of evening flowers.
        MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. IX. L. 278.
The foxglove, with its stately bells
Of purple, shall adorn thy dells;
The wallflower, on each rifted rock,
From liberal blossoms shall breathe down,
(Gold blossoms frecked with iron-brown,)
Its fragrance; while the hollyhock,
The pink, and the carnation vie
With lupin and with lavender,
To decorate the fading year;
And larkspurs, many-hued, shall drive
Gloom from the groves, where red leaves lie,
And Nature seems but half alive.
        D. M. Moir—The Birth of the Flowers. St. 14.
Anemones and seas of gold,
  And new-blown lilies of the river,
And those sweet flow’rets that unfold
  Their buds on Camadera’s quiver.
        Moore—Lalla Rookh. Light of the Harem.
Yet, no—not words, for they
  But half can tell love’s feeling;
Sweet flowers alone can say
  What passion fears revealing:
A once bright rose’s wither’d leaf,
  A tow’ring lily broken,—
Oh, these may paint a grief
  No words could e’er have spoken.
        Moore—The Language of Flowers.
The Wreath’s of brightest myrtle wove
With brilliant tears of bliss among it,
And many a rose leaf cull’d by Love
To heal his lips when bees have stung it.
        Moore—The Wreath and the Chain.
Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
Spring, glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.
        N. Müller—The Paradise of Tears. Trans. by Bryant.
“A milkweed, and a buttercup, and cowslip,” said sweet Mary,
“Are growing in my garden-plot, and this I call my dairy.”
        Peter Newell—Her Dairy.
“Of what are you afraid, my child?” inquired the kindly teacher.
“Oh, sir! the flowers, they are wild,” replied the timid creature.
        Peter Newell—Wild Flowers.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Cæsar bled;
  That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.
        Omar Khayyam—Rubaiyat. St. 19. FitzGerald’s Trans.
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
        Omar Khayyam—Rubaiyat. St. 63. FitzGerald’s Trans.
He bore a simple wild-flower wreath:
  Narcissus, and the sweet brier rose;
Vervain, and flexile thyme, that breathe
  Rich fragrance; modest heath, that glows
With purple bells; the amaranth bright,
  That no decay, nor fading knows,
Like true love’s holiest, rarest light;
  And every purest flower, that blows
In that sweet time, which Love most blesses,
  When spring on summer’s confines presses.
        Thomas Love Peacock—Rhododaphne. Canto I. L. 107.
In Eastern lands they talk in flowers,
  And they tell in a garland their loves and cares;
Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers,
  On its leaves a mystic language bears.
        Percival—The Language of Flowers.
Here blushing Flora paints th’ enamell’d ground.
        Pope—Windsor Forest.
Here eglantine embalm’d the air,
Hawthorne and hazel mingled there;
The primrose pale, and violet flower,
Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
Fox-glove and nightshade, side by side,
Emblems of punishment and pride,
Group’d their dark hues with every stain
The weather-beaten crags retain.
        Scott—The Lady of the Lake. Canto I. St. 12.
            Thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azur’d harebell, like thy veins.
        Cymbeline. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 220.
These flowers are like the pleasures of the world.
        Cymbeline. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 296.
When daisies pied, and violets blue,
  And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight.
        Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 904.
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
Lake sapphire, pearl and rich embroidery.
        Merry Wives of Windsor. Act V. Sc. 5. L. 74.
I know a bank, where the wild thyme blows
Where ox-lips, and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.
        Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 251. Changed by Steevens to “whereon the wild thyme blows,” and “luscious woodbine” to “lush woodbine.”
To strew thy green with flowers; the yellows, blues,
The purple violets, and marigolds.
        Pericles. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 15.
          The fairest flowers o’ the season
Are our carnations and streak’d gillyvors.
        Winter’s Tale. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 81.
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
  Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth,
The constellated flower that never sets.
        Shelley—The Question.
Day stars! that ope your frownless eyes to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth’s creation,
And dew-drops on her lonely altars sprinkle
    As a libation.
        Horace Smith—Hymn to the Flowers.
Ye bright Mosaics! that with storied beauty,
  The floor of Nature’s temple tesselate,
What numerous emblems of instructive duty
    Your forms create!
        Horace Smith—Hymn to the Flowers.
Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a brere;
Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough;
Sweet is the eglantine, but sticketh nere;
Sweet is the firbloome, but its braunches rough;
Sweet is the cypress, but its rynd is tough;
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
Sweet is the broome-flowre, but yet sowre enough;
And sweet is moly, but his root is ill.
        Spenser—Amoretti. Sonnet XXVI.
          Roses red and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres that in the forrest grew.
        Spenser—Faerie Queene. Bk. III. Canto VI. St. 6.
The violets ope their purple heads;
The roses blow, the cowslip springs.
        Swift—Answer to a Scandalous Poem. L. 150.
Primrose-eyes each morning ope
In their cool, deep beds of grass;
Violets make the air that pass
Tell-tales of their fragrant slope.
        Bayard Taylor—Home and Travel. Ariel in the Cloven Pine. L. 57.
The aquilegia sprinkled on the rocks
  A scarlet rain; the yellow violet
Sat in the chariot of its leaves; the phlox
  Held spikes of purple flame in meadows wet,
And all the streams with vernal-scented reed
Were fringed, and streaky bells of miskodeed.
        Bayard Taylor—Home and Travel. Mon-Da-Min. St. 17.
With roses musky-breathed,
  And drooping daffodilly,
  And silver-leaved lily.
And ivy darkly-wreathed,
I wove a crown before her,
For her I love so dearly.
The gold-eyed kingcups fine,
The frail bluebell peereth over
Rare broidery of the purple clover.
        Tennyson—A Dirge. St. 6.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro’ the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
        Tennyson—The Lotos-Eaters. Choric Song. Pt. I.
The slender acacia would not shake
  One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
  As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
  Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
  They sighed for the dawn and thee.
        Tennyson—Maud. Pt. XXII. St. 8.
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue;
And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes.
        Thomson—The Seasons. Spring. L. 529.
Along the river’s summer walk,
  The withered tufts of asters nod;
And trembles on its arid stalk
  The hoar plume of the golden-rod.
And on a ground of sombre fir,
And azure-studded juniper,
The silver birch its buds of purple shows,
And scarlet berries tell where bloomed the sweet wild-rose!
        Whittier—The Last Walk in Autumn.
But when they had unloosed the linen band,
  Which swathed the Egyptian’s body,—lo! was found,
Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand,
  A little seed, which, sown in English ground,
Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms bear,
And spread rich odours through our springtide air.
        Oscar Wilde—Athanasia. St. 2.
The very flowers are sacred to the poor.
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
        WordsworthIntimations of Immortality.
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
        WordsworthLines Written in Early Spring.
The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.
        WordsworthSonnet. Not Love, Not War, Nor, etc.
Hope smiled when your nativity was cast,
Children of Summer!
        WordsworthStaffa Sonnets. Flowers on the Top of the Pillars at the Entrance of the Cave.
The mysteries that cups of flowers infold
And all the gorgeous sights which fairies do behold.
        WordsworthStanzas written in Thomson’s Castle of Indolence.
There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue,
The thyme her purple, like the blush of Even;
And if the breath of some to no caress
Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,
All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.
        WordsworthThe River Duddon. Flowers. VI.
Pansies, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
Let them live upon their praises.
        WordsworthTo the Small Celandine.

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