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 ATHEN]AEUM.
 
 
 
  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 and 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!
 
  Buy my English posies!
  Ye that have your own
  Buy them for a brother's sake
  Overseas, alone.
  Weed ye trample underfoot
  Floods his heart abrim --
  Bird ye never heeded,
  Oh, she calls his dead to him!
Far and far our homes are set round the Seven Seas;
Woe for us if we forget, we that hold by these!
Unto each his mother-beach, bloom and bird and land --
Masters of the Seven Seas, oh, love and understand.

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Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

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"The Flowers" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/33434/the-flowers>.

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