A Life in a Year–The Garden–Noon, from "Picture Poesies"

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Houghton's image depicts a young woman bending over a rose. The print first appeared in "A Round of Days" (1866, see 65.629.1), engraved by the Dalziel Brothers and published by Routledge. It was here reissued in "Picture Poesies" (1874), the second of two used to illustrate a poem by Dora Greenwell (see 21.94.1(32) for the other).

"The Bookseller," 1865, p. 810 describes the related series as: "eight pictures representing the young squire at the gate and the girl at the window; the pair in the garden and the Phyllis thoughtfully gathering a rose after he has gone, the farmer's dinner and the girl's walk in the fields; the betrothal, a wood scene in which Phyllis and Corydon sit and breathe vows under a hawthorne hedge, and a walk in the moonlit fields when these two have been made one." English songs and poems from the seventeenth-century forward use Corydon and Phyllis to represent pastoral lovers.

A Life in a Year: 2. The Garden (Noon)

By me the valley-lily blows
Unsung amid its shrouding green,
By me unmourned the violets close
Their dim sweet eyes, and die unseen:
For it was Autumn when I met
Her whom I love: the sunflowers bold
Stood up like guards around her set,
And all the air with mignonette
Was warm within the garden old.
Beside here feet the marigold
Glowed star-like; and the sweet pea sent
A sigh to follow as she went
Slowly adorn the terrrace--there
A saw thee, O my love! and thou wert fair.

She stood in the full noon-day unafraid,
As one beloved of sunlight; for awhile
She lent upon the time-worn balustrade,
The white clematis wooed her, and the clove
Hung all its burning heart upon her smile;
And on her cheek and in her eye was love;
Seemed parting some sweet story to disclose,
The soul of all the Summer lingered-- there
I saw thee, O my love! and though wert fair.

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