And in time it will be as though men had never come to this perfect corner of the world-never called it paradise on earth, never despoiled it with their dream factories; and in the golden hush of the afternoon all that will be heard will be the flittering of dragonflies, and the murmur of hummingbirds as they pass from bower to bower, looking for a place to sup sweetness.
The most interesting inconsistency in thought is connected with the Bower of Bliss. This passage-the twelfth canto of the second Book-is probably the best known in the whole poem and the most frequently cited as an example of Spenser's sensuous beauty. Professor de Selincourt writes: 'Those who blame Spenser for lavishing the resources of his art upon this canto, and filling it with magic beauty, have never been at the heart of the experience it shadows. It is from the ravishing loveliness of all that surrounds and leads to the Bower of Acrasia that she herself draws her almost irresistible power. When Guyon has bound Acrasia and destroyed the Bower of Bliss he has achieved his last and hardest victory.
Nature has taken more care than the fondest parent for the education and refinement of her children. Consider the silent influencewhich flowers exert, no less upon the ditcher in the meadow than the lady in the bower. When I walk in the woods, I am reminded that a wise purveyor has been there before me; my most delicate experience is typified there.
Henry David Thoreau
Happy is the house that shelters a friend! It might well be built, like a festal bower or arch, to entertain him a single day. Happier, if he know the solemnity of that relation, and honor its law! He offers himself a candidate for that covenant comes up, like an Olympian, to the great games, where the first- born of the world are the competitors.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
All the wild sweetness of the flower Tangled against the wall. It was that magic, silent hour.... The branches grew so tall They twined themselves into a bower. The sun shown ... and the fall Of yellow blossom on the grass! You feel that golden rain? Both of you could not hold, alas, (both of you tried, in vain) A memory, stranger. So I pass.... It will not come again.
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.
And John Kearns whispered into my ear: "Do you see it now? You are the nest. You are the hatchling. You are the chrysalis. You are the progeny. You are the rot that falls from the stars. All of us-you and I and poor, dear Pellinore. Behold the face of the magnificum, child. And despair." Though I was sickened by the sight, I looked. In the bower of the beast at the top of the world, I beheld the face of the magnificum, and I did not turn away.
In the forest you may find yourself lost, without companions. You may come to a river which is not on a map. You may lose sight of your quarry, and forget why you are there. You may meet a dwarf, or the living Christ, or an old enemy of yours; or a new enemy, one you do not know until you see his face appear between the rustling leaves, and see the glint of his dagger. You may find a woman asleep in a bower of leaves. For a moment, before you don't recognise her, you will think she is someone you know.
He gave her a smile that wasn't really a smile at all. 'Eh, it wouldn't be so bad. I wouldn't have to study for the SATs or get a summer job or figure out my major. I can drink Elderflower wine all day, dance all through the night, and sleep on a bower of roses.' Hazel made a face. 'I'm pretty sure there are some colleges where you can do that. I bet there are some colleges where you can major in that.
She what was honour knew, And with obsequious majesty approv'd My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower I led her blushing like the morn; all heaven And happy constellations on that hour Shed their selectest influence; the earth Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill; Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub.
There are no green thumbs or black thumbs. There are only gardeners and non-gardeners. Gardeners are the ones who ruin after ruin get on with the high defiance of nature herself, creating, in the very face of her chaos and tornado, the bower of roses and the pride of irises. It sounds very well to garden a 'natural way'. You may see the natural way in any desert, any swamp, any leech-filled laurel hell. Defiance, on the other hand, is what makes gardeners.
I felt that these celestial hues indicated the presence of exquisite creatures who had been pleased to assume vegetable form, who, through the disguise which covered their firm and edible flesh, allowed me to discern in this radiance of earliest dawn, these hinted rainbows, these blue evening shades, that precious quality which I should recognise again when, all night long after a dinner at which I had partaken of them, they played (lyrical and coarse in their jesting as the fairies in Shakespeare's 'Dream') at transforming my humble chamber into a bower of aromatic perfume.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trails its wreath; And 'tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes. The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure; But the least motion which they made, It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can That there was pleasure there. If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man?
Did I live the spring I'd sought? It's true in joy, I walked along, took part in dance, and sang the song. and never tried to bind an hour to my borrowed garden bower; nor did I once entreat a day to slumber at my feet. Yet days aren't lulled by lyric song, like morning birds they pass along, o'er crests of trees, to none belong; o'er crests of trees of drying dew, their larking flight, my hands, eschew Thus I'll say it once and true... From all that I saw, and everywhere I wandered, I learned that time cannot be spent, It only can be squandered.
The Flower Once in a golden hour I cast to earth a seed. Up there came a flower, The people said, a weed. To and fro they went Thro' my garden-bower, And muttering discontent Cur'd me and my flower. Then it grew so tall It wore a crown of light, But thieves from o'er the wall Stole the seed by night. Sow'd it far and wide By every town and tower, Till all the people cried, 'Splendid is the flower.' Read my little fable: He that runs may read. Most can raise the flowers now, For all have got the seed. And some are pretty enough, And some are poor indeed; And now again the people Call it but a weed.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
A thunder-storm!""the eloquence of heaven, When every cloud is from its slumber riven, Who hath not paused beneath its hollow groan, And felt Omnipotence around him thrown? With what a gloom the ush'ring scene appears! The leaves all shiv'ring with instinctive fears, The waters curling with a fellow dread, A veiling fervour round creation spread, And, last, the heavy rain's reluctant shower, With big drops patt'ring on the tree and bower, While wizard shapes the bowing sky deform,"" All mark the coming of the thunder-storm!
Lines Written In Early Spring I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And 'tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes. The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure:- But the least motion which they made It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there. If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man?
The hour of spring was dark at last, sensuous memories of sunlight past, I stood alone in garden bowers and asked the value of my hours. Time was spent or time was tossed, Life was loved and life was lost. I kissed the flesh of tender girls, I heard the songs of vernal birds. I gazed upon the blushing light, aware of day before the night. So let me ask and hear a thought: Did I live the spring I'd sought? It's true in joy, I walked along, took part in dance, and sang the song. and never tried to bind an hour to my borrowed garden bower; nor did I once entreat a day to slumber at my feet. Yet days aren't lulled by lyric song, like morning birds they pass along, o'er crests of trees, to none belong; o'er crests of trees of drying dew, their larking flight, my hands, eschew Thus I'll say it once and true... From all that I saw, and everywhere I wandered, I learned that time cannot be spent, It only can be squandered.