Friday, June 8, 2012

Easter Lilies from the Poets' Garden, 1890

This wonderful little booklet in the shape of a bouquet of lilies belonged to Fannie Moran.  Published in 1890 by L. Prang & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, it was illustrated by Ornithologist and musician F. Schuyler Mathews.  Mathews (1854-1938) later wrote the first field guide to bird songs in 1904, Fieldbook of Wild Birds and Their Music.  Prior to recorded music song bird melodies were handwritten and transcribed.  Mathews continued writing and published many more books about birds and nature.

The book was given to Fannie by an Aunt, unfortunately I can't make out the name of said Aunt.

EASTER LILIES From the Poet's Garden
Illustrated in pen drawings by
F. Schuyler Mathews

L Prang & Co.
Boston USA

The wand-like lily, which lifted up, As a maenad, its moonlight-colour'd cup,
Till the fiery star,
which is it's eye,
Gazed through clear dew on the tender sky.

We are Lilies fair,
The flower of virgin light;
Nature held us
forth, and said,
Lo! my thoughts of 'white!"
Ever since then, angels
Hold us in their hands;
You may see them where they take
In pictures their sweet stands.

I had found out a sweet green spot
Where a lily was blooming fair;
The din of the city disturb'd it not;
But the spirit that shades the quiet cot
With its wings of love was there.
I found that lily's bloom
When the day was dark and chill;
It smiled like a star in a misty gloom
And it sent abroad a sweet perfume,
Which is floating around me still.

Ye lovely flowers, tis yours to preach
Lessons of truth, and humbly teach
The faithless and the proud:
Array'd in garb of sweetest hue,
Our Father's care we trace in you,
And still to Him who made you true,
Ye warn the thoughtless crowd.

Let those of feeble faith, whose breast
With doubts and fears can never rest,
Consider how ye grown.
Ye toil not with perplexing care,
Ye do not spin the coast ye wear,
Nor paint those colors bright and fair,
In which ye sweetly glow.

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