Tuesday Poem – A Contemplation upon Flowers – Henry King

BRAVE flowers–that I could gallant it like you,
And be as little vain!
You come abroad, and make a harmless show,
And to your beds of earth again.
You are not proud: you know your birth:
For your embroider’d garments are from earth.

You do obey your months and times, but I
Would have it ever Spring:
My fate would know no Winter, never die,
Nor think of such a thing.
O that I could my bed of earth but view
And smile, and look as cheerfully as you!

O teach me to see Death and not to fear,
But rather to take truce!
How often have I seen you at a bier,
And there look fresh and spruce!
You fragrant flowers! then teach me, that my breath
Like yours may sweeten and perfume my death.

 Henry King (1592 – 1669) was an English poet and bishop.
Henry King (1592 – 1669) was an English poet and bishop.

Henry King was the son of a Bishop of London and himself became Bishop of Chichester. To read more about him go here.  This is a charming poem in which the poet expresses his  envy for the cheerful regard the flowers bear for the earth but watch this space next Tuesday for a surprising modern day flower poem from the opposite end of the UK. And before you leave, please return to the Tuesday Poem Hub, where T.Clear has a beautiful post and commentary. The poet is Sean Lysaght from Ireland.

free flower photo
And if the lack of flowers and winter’s approach is casting a shadow click here and let your soul dance to the beautiful music of a Dvorak waltz