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HE most charming of all gifts is one of flowers. A Queen may (and we rejoice to say our own beloved Sovereign often does) give them to her subjects; and the poorest subject may offer them to a monarch.
They are the representatives of all times and of all nations; the pledges of all feelings. The infant plays with them, and gains his first idea of beauty from their blossoms; the lover gives them to his beloved; the bride wears them. We offer them to our beloved dead d; dynasties are represented by a flower; nations adopt them as their emblems. A leaf is the crown of valour. Wars have been fought, alas! in merry England, under a floral emblem; universal is their hold on human sympathies; universal their language.
Floral Poesy is, therefore, the most appropriate of all presents; and, in giving this title to a language of flowers, and a collection of charming poems on them, we believe we have not been guilty of a misnomer.
Hood, in the following pretty lines, has afforded us an admirable introduction to our poetical Posie :
"Welcome, dear Heart, and a most kind good-morrow;
"Here are red Roses, gathered at thy cheeks,-
"Dost love sweet Hyacinth? Its scented leaf
I plucked the Primrose at night's dewy noon;
"These golden Buttercups are April's seal,-
"Here's Daisies for the morn, Primrose for gloom,
Our readers will perceive that the symbolism and language of flowers were not unknown to the poet. Mrs. Browning says truly and charmingly :
"Love's language may be talked with these;
No blossoms can be meeter;
And, such being used in Eastern bowers,
"And such being strewn before a bride,
Their longer bloom decreeing,
Unless some voice's whispered sound
"And such being scattered on a grave,
"And such being wreathed for worldly feast,
May feel them, with a silent start,
With Nature made,―renewing."
And Leigh Hunt playfully declares :—
"An exquisite invention this,
In buds and odours, and bright hues ;
"How charming in some rural spot,
Growing one's own choice words and fancies