Sunday, 31 May 2015

Which ones are weeds?

There is a sad human frailty which must needs split everything into the 'good ones' and the 'bad ones'.
So, please, take joy in the dandelion, which is not a weed, but the the most beautiful of flowers

The Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)

The First Dandelion
Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics,
      had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass—
      innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful
Walt Whitman

To the Dandelion
    Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
    Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,
    First pledge of blithesome May,
    Which children pluck, and, full of pride, uphold,
    High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoyed that they
    An Eldorado in the grass have found,
    Which not the rich earth's ample round
    May match in wealth, thou art more dear to me
    Than all the prouder summer-blooms may be.

    Gold such as thine ne'er drew the Spanish prow
    Through the primeval hush of Indian seas,
    Nor wrinkled the lean brow
    Of age, to rob the lover's heart of ease;
    'Tis the Spring's largess, which she scatters now
    To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand,
    Though most hearts never understand
    To take it at God's value, but pass by
    The offered wealth with unrewarded eye.

    Thou art my tropics and mine Italy;
    To look at thee unlocks a warmer clime;
    The eyes thou givest me
    Are in the heart, and heed not space or time:
    Not in mid June the golden-cuirassed bee
    Feels a more summer-like warm ravishment
    In the white lily's breezy tent,
    His fragrant Sybaris, than I, when first
    From the dark green thy yellow circles burst.

    Then think I of deep shadows on the grass,
    Of meadows where in sun the cattle graze,
    Where, as the breezes pass,
    The gleaming rushes lean a thousand ways,
    Of leaves that slumber in a cloudy mass,
    Or whiten in the wind, of waters blue
    That from the distance sparkle through
    Some woodland gap, and of a sky above,
    Where one white cloud like a stray lamb doth move.

    My childhood's earliest thoughts are linked with thee;
    The sight of thee calls back the robin's song,
    Who, from the dark old tree
    Beside the door, sang clearly all day long,
    And I, secure in childish piety,
    Listened as if I heard an angel sing
    With news from heaven, which he could bring
    Fresh every day to my untainted ears
    When birds and flowers and I were happy peers.

    How like a prodigal doth nature seem,
    When thou, for all thy gold, so common art!
    Thou teachest me to deem
    More sacredly of every human heart,
    Since each reflects in joy its scanty gleam
    Of heaven, and could some wondrous secret show,
    Did we but pay the love we owe,
    And with a child's undoubting wisdom look
    On all these living pages of God's book.
    James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]
    Source: "The Home Book of Verse," by Burton Stevenson