- THE WILD HONEYSUCKLE
- Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
- Hid in this silent, dull retreat,
- Untouched thy honied blossoms blow,
- Unseen thy little branches greet:
- No roving foot shall crush thee here,
- No busy hand provoke a tear.
- By Nature's self in white arrayed,
- She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,
- And planted here the guardian shade,
- And sent soft waters murmuring by;
- Thus quietly thy summer goes,
- Thy days declining to repose,
- I don't know why honeysuckle has been on my mind the last few days - it isn't because I've smelled it recently or even know where any is growing nearby. I think it is because the Jimmie Rodgers song, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine lodged in my mind one day and I was so sure the words "honeysuckle vine" were in those lyrics. They're not. So I tried googling 'songs with honeysuckle in the lyrics' which returned only Honeysuckle Rose. Nope. Not what I was looking for.
- When Kari, Preston and Douglas were young we lived on an acreage northwest of Urbandale. The old farmhouse was up a lane and along the west side of the lane from the road to the house were flowers - flowering trees, flowering shrubs and perennials. Approximately halfway was a redbud tree and growing along the ditch beneath it were the most fragrant flowers I had ever smelled. That may even have been my first cognizant experience with honeysuckle. This picture of the kids was taken where the honeysuckle grew.
- I tried planting honeysuckle years later, but it wasn't the same - the flowers were pink instead of white and they weren't nearly as fragrant. I learned that the white ones (which turn yellow as they fade) were called Hall's Honeysuckle - also known as Japanese Honeysuckle. It surprises me to learn this plant is invasive and even banned in some states - but it is so pretty and smells so good! Perhaps it had choked out other flowers where we used to live and I just didn't know it. It was growing like a well-behaved ground cover.
- I also discovered that the few lines I remembered from a long-ago copied poem were from the poem The Wild Honeysuckle by Philip Freneau 1752-1832. The last two stanzas continue below:
I grieve to see your future doom;
They died--nor were those flowers more gay,
The flowers that did in Eden bloom;
Unpitying frosts, and Autumn's power
- Shall leave no vestige of this flower.
morning suns and evening dews
At first thy little being came:
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
For when you die you are the same;
The space between, is but an hour,
The frail duration of a flower.
It is the last four lines that I remembered - especially the last two. The space between is but an hour, the frail duration of a flower.
- On a less somber note, here is a picture I took at the Wallace Country Life Center Saturday. I think I will label it Quietly the Summer Goes.