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officer who carried it for the Pope. The Rose, in its intrinsic value, was, however, sometimes worth double that sum.
We have thus given all the information we have been able to collect respecting the history of the Rose.
We shall feel abundantly gratified if the facts and anecdotes we have cited shall tend to enhance the already growing interest in this flower; and by thus connecting it with the lore of antiquity, cast around it a bright halo of pleasant associations.
Among the various riches of the garden, there are many flowers of great attractions: some we admire for their beautiful forms, others for their brilliant colors, and others again for their delightful fragrance; and we scarcely know which to pronounce the most pleasing. But whatever may be our feelings of admiration for these beautiful flowers, a desire for something still more beautiful draws us to the Rose, and compels us to pronounce it superior to all its rivals. It is the Rose alone that never fatigues, that always exhibits some new beauty, and that is never affected by fashion; for while Dahlias and other flowers have had their hour of favor, and have passed out of notice, the Rose has been a favorite for some three thousand years, and is still the first and most beautiful,—the chef cPceuvre of the vegetable kingdom.
The Rose is rendered a favorite by many pleasant associations. It has been the cherished flower of the ancient poets, and with modern poets it has lost none of its charms, but is still apostrophized and made an object of frequent comparison. With the ancients, it was, as we havfce seen, the ornament of their festivals, their altars, and their tombs: it was the emblem of beauty, youth, modesty, and innocence, and was full of tender sentiment and pleasant images. A French writer, in a somewhat more extravagant vein of laudation, says, "Its name alone gives birth in all sensible minds to a crowd of pleasant thoughts, while, at the same time, it excites a sensation of the most delightful pleasures, and the most sweet enjoyments." The name of "Queen of Flowers," has been given to the Rose, almost from time immemorial; but this name is particularly applicable to the JR. centifolia and the hybrids from it. Yet the little, modest wild rose, found only in woods and hedges, adorns the solitude where it grows, and possesses for many a charm not surpassed by that of any of the cultivated varieties: its regularly formed corolla, of a soft and delicate color, combines in its simplicity many an attraction not found in the most beautiful flowers of the garden; and late in the season, when the fields are stripped of their verdure, the landscape is enlivened by the bright appearance of its red, coral-like fruit.
The beauty of the Rose has preserved it and its reputation for many ages. The most populous nations, the largest cities, the most wealthy and powerful kingdoms, have disappeared from the earth, or have been involved in the revolutions and subversions of empires, while a simple flower has escaped them all, and still remains to tell its story. It has seen a hundred generations succeed each other, and pass away; it has traveled through ages without changing its destiny or losing its character: the homage rendered and the love borne it have been always the same: now, as in the earliest periods of the world's history, it is decreed the first place in the floral kingdom. In these days, as in those of antiquity, it is par excellence, the Queen of Flowers, because it is always the most beautiful, and because no other flower can furnish half its charms. To elegance. and beauty of form it unites - the freshness and brilliance of the, most agreeable colors, and, as if nature had showered upon it all her most precious gifts, it adds to its other qualities a delightful perfume, which alone would suffice to entitle it to a distinguished place among the beautiful and pleasant things of the vegetable kingdom.
When Flora, from her azure home,
Quick flew the sprites o'er land and sea,
Camellia, with its lustrous white
Verbena, with its brilliant red,
And Heath just touched with mountain dew;
Azalea, whose aerial form
Seems scarcely of terrestrial birth;
And Cinerara's purple star,
Gracing full well its mother earth;
And many a flower from tropic skies
Strove mingled there to gain the prize.
But not the richest tropic blooms,
Though many a flower has graced the lay
That all the flowers must yield their seat,
And lay their beauty at its feet.
Anacreon sang its primal birth,
Old Homer praised its form of grace,
Catullus boasted of its charms,
Horace, its richly tinted face:
In fair Italia's glowing words,
Tasso and Metastasio sang;
And 'mong the groves of far Cathay
The Persian Hafiz' accents rang.
The flowing tones of old Castile,
From Camoens and Sannazar,
And in our own pure English tongue
It was the signal note of war;
In many a poet's verse its beauty shone,—
Milton, the Bard of Avon, and the Great Unknown.
High valued were its flowers bright
By Helle's maids of yore;
It graced their scenes of festive glee
In the classic vales of Arcady,
And all the honors bore;
And shed its fragrance on the breeze
That swept through academic grove,
Where sages with their scholars rove—
The land of Pericles.
In the sunny clime of Suristan,
On India's burning shore,
Amid the Brahmin's sacred shades,
Or in the wreaths that Persian maids,
Sporting in bright and sunny glades
In graceful beauty wore;
Upon the banks of Jordan's stream
Still flowing softly on,
Where Judah's maidens once did lave,
Or where the lofty cedars wave,
On time-worn Lebanon;