The Flowers (Poem by Rudyard Kipling)

Poem Examples

The Flowers
By Rudyard Kipling

"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 Athenæum.

    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 hearts' 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 o' 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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