The First Jasmines
by Rabindranath Tagore
Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!
I seem to remember the first day when I filled my
hands with these jasmines, these white jasmines.
I have loved the sunlight, the sky and the green
I have heard the liquid murmur of the river
through the darkness of midnight;
Autumn sunsets have come to me at the bend of a
road in the lonely waste, like a bride raising her veil to
accept her lover.
Yet my memory is still sweet with the first white
jasmines that I held in my hands when I was a child.
Many a glad day has come in my life, and I have
laughed with merrymakers on festival nights.
On grey mornings of rain I have crooned many
an idle song.
I have worn round my neck the evening wreath of
bakulas woven by the hand of love.
Yet my heart is sweet with the memory of the
first fresh jasmines that filled my hands when I was
Deaths of Flowers
by Edith Joy Scovell
I would if I could choose
Age and die outwards as a tulip does;
Not as this iris drawing in, in-coiling
Its complex strange taut inflorescence, willing
Itself a bud again – though all achieved is
No more than a clenched sadness,
The tears of gum not flowing.
I would choose the tulip’s reckless way of going;
Whose petals answer light, altering by fractions
From closed to wide, from one through many perfections,
Til wrecked, flamboyant, strayed beyond recall,
Like flakes of fire they piecemeal fall.