A Flower and A Poem

Art on Sunday #18 and Random Topic #6

The random topic this time was earth which I used as a search term in The Commons at Flickr, changing the results from relevant to interesting, with the above image one of the early results. The Passion Flower image was sketched and painted by Sophina Gordon in the 1860s, and compiled with others into a book, Flowers, Earth’s Silent Voices,1 with select verses, published in 1865.  The accompanying poem, Flowers Bless Us, was actually part of a longer poem by English poet Mary Howitt, Autumn Wild Flowers,2 which appears below.  The Flowers Bless Us verses used by S. Gordon begin at “Flowers spring up by the highway.”

Autumn Wild Flowers
By Mary Howitt.

  • The autumn sun is shining.
  •    Grey mists are on the hill;
  • A russet tint is on the leaves,
  •   But flowers are blowing still!
  • Still bright, in wood and meadow;
  •   On moorlands dry and brown;
  • By little streams; by rivers broad;
  •   On every breezy down,
  • The little flowers are smiling,
  •   With chilly dew-drops wet,
  • Are saying with a spirit-voice—
  •   “We have not vanished yet!
  • “No, though the spring be over;
  •   Though summer’s strength be gone;
  • Though autumn’s wealth be garnered,
  •   And winter cometh on;
  • “Still we have not departed,
  •   We linger to the last,
  • And even on early winter’s brow
  •   A cheerful ray will cast!”
  • —Go forth, then, youths and maidens,
  •   Be joyful whilst ye may;
  • Go forth, then, child and mother,
  •   And toiling men grown grey!
  • Go forth, though ye be humble,
  •   And wan with toil and care;
  • There are no fields so barren
  •   But some sweet flower is there!
  • Flowers spring up by the highway
  •   Which busy feet have trod;
  • They rise up in the dreariest wood;
  •   They gem the dullest sod.
  • They need no learned gardeners
  •   To nurture them with care;
  • They only need the dews of earth,
  •   The sunshine and the air.
  • And for earth’s lowly children;
  •   For loving hearts and good,
  • They spring up all around us,
  •   They will not be subdued.
  • —Thank God! when forth from Eden
  •   The weeping pair was driven,
  • That unto earth, though cursed with thorns,
  •   The little flowers were given!
  • That Eve, when looking downward,
  •   To face her God afraid,
  • Beheld the scented violet,
  •   The primrose in the shade!
  • Thank God, that with the thistle
  •   That sprang up in his toil,
  • The weary worker, Adam,
  •   Saw roses gem the soil!
  • And still for anxious workers;
  •   For hearts with anguish full,
  • Life, even on its dreariest paths,
  •   Has flowers for them to cull!


  1. Flowers, Earth’s Silent Voices. Sketched and Painted by Sophina Gordan [and accompanied with select verses]; page 65; © 1864 J. B. Lippincott & Co.; Published 1865, Philadelphia; J. B. Lippincott & Co.
  2. The People’s Journal, No.39. September 26, 1846, published by John Sanders and William Howitt Mary’s husband), Compilation Volume 2, page 185, 1847
art, art on sunday, literature, plants, poetry, random topic, vintage images

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hilary Oct 2, 2016

    Hi Mike – I love seeing early botanical drawings … fascinating. I think Sophina must be well and truly hidden to today’s world – I’m glad you found her for us …

    Then the poems too … a good research fully rewarded I’d say … cheers Hilary

    • Mike Oct 2, 2016

      Thanks, Hilary. My random research takes me to some interesting stuff at times…. then I get distracted and spend way more time there than I intended. 😉

  • Rummuser Oct 2, 2016

    This is so completely out of the ordinary for you! Another interesting side to you as it were!

    • Mike Oct 2, 2016

      Thanks, Ramana. Life needs to be somewhat interesting. 😉

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