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The Cultivation Of Flowers Post by :twocolor Category :Poems Author :Sarah S. Mower Date :November 2011 Read :1991

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The Cultivation Of Flowers

Where can we find a more healthy and delightful employment, than the cultivation of flowers? Though of less importance than those plants which are necessary for the support of animal life, yet, rightly considered, they yield a pleasant and instructive entertainment for the intellectual powers, and may justly be termed food for the mind.

"Nonsense" some of our readers exclaim, "Nonsense, to talk of feeding the immortal mind, with flowers! For one, I think people may find some more useful employment than that of persuading their fellow beings to spend the precious hours of this short life upon these useless playthings."

But pause, my readers, and consider who gave this finishing touch to the face of nature. Who strewed the fields with flowers? Were they not brought into existence by the same All-wise Being who created the earth upon which we dwell, with its millions of intelligent beings, its vast oceans, its towering mountains, its flaming volcanoes and its majestic rivers with their awe inspiring cataracts; who created the sun, that great fountain of light and heat, and the centre of attraction for those vast globes which revolve around it, and then counterpoised with such precision the different forces which produce and continue their motion, that they continue to perform their appointed revolutions, without the least deviation from that orbit, in which they were placed at creation's dawn; who "made the stars also," that innumerable multitude of fixed stars, or suns with their attending planets which inhabit the boundless regions of space; whose wonderful works are so numerous as to overwhelm the feeble mind of man, and to compel him to conclude at the commencement, by saying that they are infinite? And shall we be so impious as to hush the voice of reason, and disregard the words of holy writ enough to say, that even the little violet was made in vain? I should sooner believe that Washington, the father of our country, while the destiny of our nation was placed, as it were, in his hands, was in the habit of deserting his army while on the battle field, engaged in the most bloody conflict with a mortal foe, for the sole purpose of amusing himself with soap bubbles and firebrand ribbons.

"But," says one, "they were created for a scourge and a snare to fallen man; for while we are compelled to spend much of our time in destroying thorns and thistles from our premises, they are continually tempting the weaker part of our race to spend their strength and time upon that, which at best, can yield no profit." But against this assertion, the scriptures afford us ample proof, for we are there informed, that they were created before the fall, and pronounced very good, while thorns and thistles were brought forth afterwards; for the Lord said, when pronouncing the curse upon Adam, "Cursed be the ground for thy sake, thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee," thus implying that they were not already in existence. And again, flowers are universally spoken of in scripture as blessings, or used as emblems of things valuable or pleasing, while thorns and thistles are always used to represent things hurtful, or afflictive. And if any part of nature's works retain their native purity and remain unchanged, save by the hand of death, is it not flowers? It is true, they neither supply us with food or clothing, and if they possess medical qualities, they might as well be contained in the plant without the appendage of a flower. Nor were they made for the fowls of the air, or the beasts of the field, for they totally disregard them; we never see the ox, the horse, or the sheep, stop to smell their fragrance or gaze upon their beauty. And many of those who are termed the lords of creation, consider them beneath the notice of intellectual beings, and yet they were made for some wise purpose. We will therefore admit the truth of an assertion made by a friend, who remarked that flowers were doubtless created for the sole purpose of gratifying the weak and childish minds of the female sex. Be it so, let us thankfully receive the gift, and think ourselves honored by being thought worthy of the fairest and sweetest part of nature's productions; for which she has reserved her most grateful perfumes, her richest dyes, and the finest strokes of her pencil. Yes, we will cultivate flowers, for we do not profess to be more scrupulous about the manner in which we spend our time than the Lord of the universe was, for he planted flowers in his garden. The scriptures inform us that he planted every tree that was pleasant to the sight. And flowers certainly were pleasant, even to the pure eyes of our Savior; for while speaking of the lilies of the field, he says, "Even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these." And the wisest of men, when searching the world over for comparisons worthy of his beloved, exclaims in the fullness of a heart overflowing with love and gratitude, "He is the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley."

Sweet flowers, there is room enough for you in the female mind. We will take you to our bosoms and cherish you with that affectionate regard, which your lovely qualities deserve. We will admire your spotless purity and innocence. You were thought worthy of a place in the blissful bowers of Eden. And for aught we know, ye were the only part of nature's works which were created solely for the purpose of charming the mind and gratifying the senses of sinless beings. And may we make a profitable use of these lovely relics of paradise! May they continually remind us of the skill, wisdom and goodness of the great Architect of the universe!

Where can we find a more transparent medium through which we may "look through nature up to nature's God," than a veil interwoven with flowers? When fatigued in body, where can we find a more pleasant resting place than beneath the cool shade of an arbor, in the flower garden? When our spirits are depressed or our minds perplexed with distracting care, thither let us repair: it will prove a more effectual remedy than on hour spent in gossipping, or an evening in the ball room. It can but exert a healthful influence over the mind, to inhale such exquisite odors, and gaze upon such beautiful colors and delicate tints, combined with gracefulness and elegance of form. The art of man has long been striving to imitate them, but the simplest flower that blooms still eclipses their best performances. And yet the gorgeous canopy that decks the monarch's throne owes half its splendor to the imperfect miniature of the inhabitants of the flower garden.

And strange as it appears, how often do we see persons, who would blush were they seen contemplating the simple beauties of a delicate flower, pride themselves in embellishing their dwellings and equipage with its coarsely wrought picture. But while they are pleasing themselves with the shadow, we will feast ourselves on the substance.

"I am weary of this lecture upon flowers," the stoical reader exclaims: If so, my friend, you are at liberty to retire to any place of entertainment which your better judgment may suggest; but I will lay aside my pen to walk among the flowers; and see if some of those silent, though eloquent preachers, will not furnish the mind with some new idea, which may serve as a foundation for another discourse.

(The end)
Sarah S. Mower's poem: Cultivation Of Flowers

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