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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 15, 1906)
JUNE 15' -1906 .
"THERE'S PANSIES-THAT'S FOR THOUGHTS"
It was a little pansy faded and crushed be
tween the well creased folds of a letter. But It
came as a message of love from dear ones dead
and gone, as an echo of the long ago; It was a re
minder of boyhood days, a souvenir plucked from
Boil made sacred by memories of the loved and
A Bweet-faced girl of the "seventies," now
the mother of a daughter of her own, Had visited
the old home where many little ones had spent
their happiest days; to several of the now grown
up "boys" she wrote: "I went to Grandma's
now owned by strangers and had a drink out of
the well. Seeing the old -place made me think of
you, so I gathered a few flowers to send to you,
but they are so wilted this morning I will just
enclose a sample."
A very welcome "sample," indeed! And how
appropriate that a little pansy "purple with love's
Tvound" should serve as a messenger to make
the call to Dreamland, prompting the soliloquy;
"This is the place. Stand still, my steed let
me review the scene, and summon from the
'shadowy past the forms- that "once have been."
"pansy" and occasionally as "heart's-ease," but
Miss Deas tolls us that among other names by
which it is known are "The Lady's Flowor," "The
Bird's Eye," "Pink of my John," "Kit-Run-tho-Strcet,"
"Flamy," "Cull-mo" or "Call-mo," "Seed
Pansy," "Horse Pansy" horse signifying as a
prefix simply large. Nursery tradition sees in
the center of the pansy a little woman and in
some parts of England it is known as "Three-Protty-Faces-Undcr-One-Hood."
In tho north of
England i'c is sometimes called "Stepmother."
In Germany it Is frequently styled "Stiofmutter
chen," and in some parts of Germany 'the yellow
species Ib called "Schwagerin," or "Slstor-ln-Law,"
typifying jealousy. In some parts of tho
Rhineland the people give this little floral favor
ite the fond name in Bavaria bestowed upon
the honey-suckle Jelanger-jo-liober, "the longer,
The Pansy! "That's for thoughts."
and tender thoughts they are!
"I send thee pansles while the year is young,
Yellow as sunshine, purple as the night;
Flowers of remembrance, ever fondly sung'
By all the chief est of the Sons of Light;
And if in recollection lives. regret
For wasted days and dreams that were not true,
I tell thee that the 'pansy freaked with jet'
Is still the heart's-ease that the poets know.
Take all the sweetness of a gift unsought,
And for the pansies send me back a thought."
-'It is not a wild guess "chat if one who like
Sam ..Jones, "ddnt care much for theology or
'botany, but lovs religion and flowers," were
-ask'ed to name his favorite blossom, ho wbuld an
8w,er in the words of a woman who knew: ' t
tlrr, -n 11.. 1 . .,. ... L .t - ,
ui an me uonny duos- mat mow
In bright or cloudy weather,
Of all, the flowers that come and go v
The whole twelve moons together,
The little purple pansy brings x
Thoughts of the sweetest, saddest things."
Just how the name of "the heart's-ease," "or
''pansy," happened to be given this little flower
.is a matter for the imagination.
"Heart's-ease! One could look for half a day .. -Upon
this little .flower and shape in fancy out
Full twenty different tales of love and sorrow,
That gave this gentle name."
Miss Deas in her interesting little book called
''Flower Favorites," says: "From old Parson
tHerrick we gather that in his day the pansies
wer among the sweet smelling, old-fashioned
flowers that went to compose the bridal nosegay,
and in his quaint way he relates how once tle
pansies were 'frolic virgins who for want of
sweethearts ran mad and died whereupon -
"'Love in pity of their tears v .
And their loss in blooming years,
For their restless here-spent hours
Gave"them hearb's-ease turned to flowers.' '
A German legend is to the effect that once
upon a time the pansy had a delightful perfume;
that, growing in cultivated fields and sought
after both on account of its scent and supposed
healing properties, the corn and vegetables were
in consequence being, continually trampled and
destroyed. Now this so grieved the tender heart
ed flower that it prayed to tho Holy Trinity to
take away from it its perfume. The prayer was
granted, and from that time the pansy is known
as Dreifaltigkeit's Blunie, or "Flower of the
Primarily the name "heart's-ease" belonged
to the wall flower. That it should have been
transferred as an alias to the pansy is explained
by Miss Deas on the ground that at.pne time
both, these flow.ers were comprehended among
the violet tribes.
The pansy .has a greater variety of names
than auy otherflower. We know it commonly as
Though the simplest of flowers, tho pansy
is famous in song and story. Shakespeare called
it "Love in Idleness." Leigh Hunt styled it "tho
Garden's Gem." Ouseley called it "the Angel of
the Flowers," saying: "The beauteous pansies
rise in purple, gold, and blue, with tints of rain
bow hue. mocking the sunset skies."
In George Chapman's "All Fools" this dia
logue appears: '
Cornelia "What flowers are these?"'
Gazetta"The pansy this."
Cornelia -"Oh, that's for lovdrs' thoughts."
Milton wrote of "tho pansy freaked with Jet,"
aud called it one of the flowers that "sad em
broidery wears," naming it among thbso he would
have the valleys produce in order to cover the
hearde of Lycid.
Tennyson gave the pansy some attention in
his "Gardener's Daughter," and Bret Harte wrote
in "The Mountain Heart's-Ease:"
"By scattered rocks and turbid waters shining,
By furrowed glade and doll, iUll. . ,
To feverish men thy caim,(sw.eet face uplifting,
" Thou stayest them to tell.
' . . The delicate thought that can hot find .ex
pression, For ruder speech too fair,
That, like thy petals, trembles in possession,
And scatters on the air."
Swinburne paid a tribute to this little flower
when ho wrote: "Heart's-ease or pansy, pleasure
or thought, which would the picture give us of
these? Surely the heart that conceived it sought
Bayard Taylor in "Homo and Travel" wrote:
"Pansies in soft April rains fill their stalks with
honeyed 'sap drawn from earth's prolific lap,"
E. B. Browning wrote, "Pansies for ladies all
(I wis that none who wear such brooches miss
a jewel in the mirror)."
Robert Buchanan boasted of "Hugh Suther
land's Pansies," telling how they grew:
"From blue to deeper blue, in midst of each
, A golden dazzle like a glimmering star,
Each broader, bigger than a silver crown;
While here the weaver sat, his labor done,
Watching his azure pets and rearing them,
Until they seemed to know his step and touch,
'And stir beneath his smile like living things;
The very sunshine loved them, and would lie.
Here happy, coming early, lingering late,
, Because they were so fair."
The pansy was not unkndwn to Shakespeare
and in Hamlet ho makes Ophelia, fantastically
dressed with straws and flowers, say: "There's
rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, Love,
remember; and there is pansies, that's for
thoughts;" Laertes remarking, "A document in
madness thoughts and remembrance fitted."
In "Midsummer Night's Dream" Oberon, the
fairy king, sends PUck, his favorite page in search
of "the little western flowor" in order that he
may drop the blossoms' liquor as a love-philtre
on the closed eyes of Tltania, his queen. The
king, addressing his page, says:
."That very time I saw (but thou coulds not),
Flying between the cold moon and the. earth,
Cupid all arm'd: a. certain aim he took
' At at fair vestal, throned by the Vest;
And loosod his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts:
But I might seo young Cupid's fiery shaft
CJuonchod in the chaste beams of tho watr'y
And tho imporial vot'ress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy freo.
Yot marked I whoro tho bolt of Cupid foil;. . .
It fell upon a llttlo western flowor ;?
Before milk-white, now .purple with love's
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thco
Tho juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the noxt livo creature that it sees..
Fetch mo this herb; and bo thou hero again,
Ero tho leviathan can swim a league."
Tho pansy figures oven In Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress Christiana and her children, entering
the Valley of Humiliation, espied a boy feeding
his father's sheep. "Tho boy was in vory moan
clothes, but of a fresh and well favored counte
nance and- as ho sat by himself, ho sung. 'Hnrk,'
said Mr. Groat-Heart, 'to what tho shepherd's
boy saith.' So they hearkened and ho said:
" 'He that is down, needs fear no fall; ho that
is low, no pride; ho that is humble, over ahall
have God to be his guide.
"'I am content with what I have, little be It
or much; and, Lord, contentment still 1 crave,
because thou savest such.
"'Fullness to such a burden is, tha: go on
pilgrimage; here little, and hereafter bliss, is
best from ago to ago.'
"Then said tho guide, 'Do you hsar him? 'I
will dare to say this boy lives a merrier life,
and wears more of that herb called 'heart's-ease'
in his bosom, than ho that id clad in silk and
The pansy omblemlzes the "content that is
our best having." Many of those who were boys
and girls thirty or forty years ago Will femem
bor a littlo story that appeared in one of Mc
Guffey's readers; It, is a story that might woll be
read and re-read to tho children of today. It is
related that one bright Juud morning the king
paid a visit to his garden, and found there many
complaints and great grlof. The kirn made n
quiries of a number of flowers as to tho reason
for their sadness. Discontent was :he lot of all
save one. The rose, ungratoful for Its own great
.beauty and fragrance, was sad because it was
not like one of its neighbors. Another flower
was sad because it was not a rose.
The apple, tree was sad because it could
not bear peaches, the peach tree because
it could not boar pears. After the king had made
his way through tho garden and listened to com-.
plaint alter complaint, he came td the llttlo
pansy, every line of whose calm, sweet facj 'spoke
of contentment. "Why are you so happy while
all tho rest are sad?" asked tho king. Tho pansy
replied: "Dear king, I am happy because I know
you wish me to be only a little pansy; and I am
trying to bo the best little pansy that I can."
" Tho most Important lesson for the children
of today may bo learned beside the pansy beiL
RICHARD L. METCALFE.
Senator Burton has resigned. The attention
of a couple of New Yorkers is called to this
Tho anthracite operators refused to advanco
the wages of tho miners on the ground that
it would increase tho price paid by the con
sumer. The miners agreed to accept the old
wage, and then the operators raised the price
15 cents per Ion. A people that will stand for
that sort of thing get it regularly.
Tho packers are awfully arrald that this
meat investigation business will work an Injury
to the stockmen who raise tho cattle. Their
anxiety to protect the stockmen reminds one of
the extraordinary efforts of the railroad magnates
to protect the interests of the "widows and or
phans", who hold railroad stock. But isn't this
anxiety - dodge rather overworked?
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