“Who does not love a
Its hues are taken from the light
Which summer’s suns fling, pure and bright,
In scatter’d and prismatic hues,
That smile and shine in drooping dews;
Its fragrance from the sweetest air—
Its form from all that’s light and fair—
Who does not love a flower?”
In the two great floral kingdoms of nature, the botanical and the human, if we must yield the palm to that which is alike transcendent in the beauty of form and motion, and in the higher attributes of intelligence, innocence, and rural perfection, yet it can be no derogation to admire, with a rapture bordering upon enthusiasm, the splendid products of the garden; and especially when their beauties are combined and arranged with an exquisite and refined taste. What is the heart made of which can find no sentiment in flowers! In the dahlia, for example, we see what can be done by human skill and art, in educating and training a simple and despised plant, scarcely thought worthy of cultivation, to the highest rank of gayety and glory in the aristocracy of flowers. We may learn, from such success, a lesson of encouragement, in the education and training of flowers, of an infinitely higher value and perfection.
The vast creation of God—the centre and source of good—is every where radiant with beauty. From the shell that lies buried in the depths of the ocean, to the twinkling star that floats in the more profound depths of the firmament—through all the forms of material and animated existence, beauty, beauty, beauty prevails! In the floral kingdom, it appears in an infinite variety—in an unstinted and even a richer profusion than in other departments of nature. While these contributions are thrown out so lavishly at our feet, and a taste for flowers seems almost an instinct of nature, and is one of the most innocent and refined sentiments which we can cultivate, let us indulge and gratify it to the utmost extent, whenever leisure, opportunity, and fortune give us the means. There is no danger of an excess, under those reasonable restrictions which all our sentiments demand.
“But,” says some cynical objector, “flowers are only to please the eye.” And why should not the eye be pleased? What sense may be more innocently gratified? They are among the most simple and cheapest luxuries in which we ever indulge.
The taste for flowers—every where increasing among us—is an omen of good. Let us adorn our parlors, door-ways, yards, and road-sides with trees, and shrubs, and flowers. What a delight do they give to the passer-by! What favorable impressions do they, at once, excite towards those who cultivate them for their own gratification, and find, after all, their chief pleasure in the gratification which they afford to others! What an affecting charm—associated as it is with some of the best sentiments of our nature—do they give to the sad dwelling-places of the departed and beloved!