Theme and Variations…

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it ware ten thousand mile.

~Robert Burns

I sometimes wonder who that first poet was who, compelled by heart pangs of delicious agony, rested upon the rose as symbol. Symbol for the inscrutable, the mystical, the delirium and fascination…of love. Fragile, complex, fragrant, sweet, dangerous; roses have an ineffable quality that makes them seem like spill-over from a world beyond.

Mine have held me spellbound all week. Joshua and I have cut arm-fulls to bring inside. I can’t walk across the porch without stopping to inhale their scent. I have taken dozens of photographs. The delicate, almost translucent petals, when seen against the sunlight display whole prisms of color. The intensity of their beauty is so precise, so sharp, it pains me. Glorious pain! I can’t stop looking at them.

As I find myself carving moments out of my day to simply sit and ponder them…completely captivated by their extraordinary loveliness…my heart beats with that poet. The one who, completely at a loss for words, said to himself, “I will lead them into the rose garden. I will show them this. Then they will know…”

*Unlike Robert Burns’ Scotland, here in the southern U.S. our “newly sprung” roses enjoy their first flush in May, not June. All roses in the post are David Austin English Roses, a delightful combination of old rose form and fragrance with hardiness and liberal re-bloom.  Of the seven varieties I grow, five are featured. Top of the post: L.D. Braithwaite, Numbers 2 and 7: Mary Magdalene, 3, 5 and 8: Lillian Austin, 4: Mortimer Sackler, 5: Othello