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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about The Kipling Reader.

THE FLOWERS

To our private taste, there is always something a little exotic, almost artificial, in songs which, under an English aspect and dress, are yet so manifestly the product of other skies.  They affect us like translations; the very fauna and flora are alien, remote; the dog’s-tooth violet is but an ill substitute for the rathe primrose, nor can we ever believe that the wood-robin sings as sweetly in April as the English thrush.—­THE ATHENAEUM.

      Buy my English posies! 
        Kent and Surrey may—­
      Violets of the Undercliff
        Wet with Channel spray;
      Cowslips from a Devon combe—­
        Midland furze afire—­
      Buy my English posies
        And I’ll sell your heart’s desire!

      Buy my English posies! 
        You that scorn the May,
      Won’t you greet a friend from home
        Half the world away? 
      Green against the draggled drift,
        Faint and frail and first—­
      Buy my Northern blood-root
        And I’ll know where you were nursed: 
Robin down the logging-road whistles, Come to me!’
Spring has found the maple-grove, the sap is running free;
All the winds of Canada call the ploughing-rain. 
Take the flower and turn the hour, and kiss your love again!

      Buy my English posies! 
        Here’s to match your need—­
      Buy a tuft of royal heath,
        Buy a bunch of weed
      White as sand of Muysenberg
        Spun before the gale—­
      Buy my heath and lilies
        And I’ll tell you whence you hail! 
Under hot Constantia broad the vineyards lie—­
Throned and thorned the aching berg props the speckless sky—­
Slow below the Wynberg firs trails the tilted wain—­
Take the flower arid turn the hour, and kiss your love again!

      Buy my English posies! 
        You that will not turn—­
      Buy my hot-wood clematis. 
        Buy a frond o’ fern
      Gathered where the Erskine leaps
        Down the road to Lorne—­
      Buy my Christmas creeper
        And I’ll say where you were born! 
West away from Melbourne dust holidays begin—­
They that mock at Paradise woo at Cora Lynn—­
Through the great South Otway gums sings the great South Main—­
Take the flower and turn the hour, and kiss your love again!

      Buy my English posies! 
        Here’s your choice unsold! 
      Buy a blood-red myrtle-bloom,
        Buy the kowhai’s gold
      Flung for gift on Taupo’s face,
        Sign that spring is come—­
      Buy my clinging myrtle
        And I’ll give you back your home! 
Broom behind the windy town; pollen o’ the pine—­
Bell-bird in the leafy deep where the ratas twine—­
Fern above the saddle-bow, flax upon the plain—­
Take the flower and turn the hour, and kiss your love again!

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