by William Watson
I made a little song about the rose
And sang it for the rose to hear,
Nor ever marked until the music's close
A lily that was listening near.
The red red rose flushed redder with delight,
And like a queen her head she raised.
The white white lily blanched a paler white,
For anger that she was not praised.
Turning I left the rose unto her pride,
The lily to her enviousness,
And soon upon the grassy ground espied
A daisy all companionless.
Doubtless no flattered flower is this, I deemed;
And not so graciously it grew
As rose or lily: but methought it seemed
More thankful for the sun and dew.
Dear love, my sweet small flower that grew'st among
The grass, from all the flowers apart,—
Forgive me that I gave the rose my song,
Ere thou, the daisy, hadst my heart!
Note: Today is the birthday of the Victorian poet William Watson who is born on this day in 1858.
Watson was overlooked two times for the role of poet laureate because he had included his political views about the government's policy regarding South Africa and Ireland into some of his poetry.
Late in his life, he was invited to write a poem to commemorate the Liverpool cathedral in 1924 to help raise money. He did the job, but the church wasn’t thrilled that Watson had written about the squalid conditions of the cities population - which was in stark contrast to the Grand Cathedral.
Once Watson died, England embraced him. Rudyard Kipling said he was. "someone who had never written a bad line."
Today's poem by William Watson is one that gardeners will appreciate.