A CHAPLET OF FLOWERS POEM by Adelaide Anne Procter

Poetry from A Chaplet of Verses.

Adelaide Anne Procter


DEAR, set the casement open,
The evening breezes blow
Sweet perfumes from the flowers
I cannot see below.

I can but catch the waving
Of chestnut boughs that pass,
Their shadow must have covered
The sun-dial on the grass.

So go and bring the flowers
I love best to my room,
My failing strength no longer
Can bear me where they bloom.

You know I used to love them,
But ah! they come too late—
For see, my hands are trembling
Beneath their dewy weight.

So I will watch you weaving
A chaplet for me, dear,
Of all my favourite flowers,
As I could do last year.

First, take those crimson roses—
How red their petals glow!
Red as the blood of Jesus,
Which heals our sin and woe.

See in each heart of crimson
A deeper crimson shine—
So, in the foldings of our hearts,
Should glow a love divine.

Next place those tender violets,
Look how they still regret
The cell where they were hidden—
The tears are on them yet.

How many souls—His loved ones—
Dwell lonely and apart,
Hiding from all but One above
The fragrance of their heart.

Then take that virgin lily,
How holily she stands—
You know the gentle angels
Bear lilies in their hands.

Yet crowned with purer radiance
A deeper love they claim,
Because their queen-like whiteness
Is linked with Mary’s name.

And now this spray of ivy:
You know its gradual clasp
Uproots strong trees, and towers
Fall crumbling in its grasp.

So God’s dear grace around us
With secret patience clings,
And slow sure power, that loosens
Strong holds on human things.

Then heliotrope, that turneth
Towards her lord the sun,—
Would that our thoughts as fondly
Sought our beloved One.

Nay—if that branch be fading,
Cast not one blossom by,
Its little task is ended
And it does well to die.

And let some field flowers even
Be wreathed among the rest,
I think the infant Jesus
Would love such ones the best.

These flowers are all too brilliant,
So place calm heartsease there,
God’s last and sacred treasure
For all who wait and bear.

Then lemon leaves, whose sweetness
Grows sweeter than before
When bruised, and crushed, and broken,
—Hearts need that lesson more.

Yet stay—one crowning glory,
All His, and yet all ours;
The dearest, tenderest thought of all,
Is still the Passion flower’s.

So take it now—nay, heed not
My tears that on it fall;
I thank Him for the flowers,
As I can do for all.

And place it on the altar,
Where oft in days long flown,
I knelt by His dear Mother,
And knew she was my own.

The bells ring out her praises,
The evening shades grow dim;
Go there and say a prayer for me,
And sing Our Lady’s hymn.

While I lie here, and ask her help
In that last, longed-for day—
When the Beloved of my heart
Will call my soul away.

Adelaide Anne Procter – A Chaplet of Verses

A Chaplet of Verses by Adelaide Anne Procter