Yellow Jessamine

In tangled wreaths, in clustered gleaming stars, In floating, curling sprays, The golden flower comes shining through the woods These February days; Forth go all hearts, all hands, from out the town, To bring her gayly in, This wild, sweet Princess of far Florida— The yellow jessamine. The live-oaks smile to see her lovely face Peep from the thickets; shy, She hides behind the leaves her golden buds Till, bolder grown, on high She curls a tendril, throws a spray, then flings Herself aloft in glee, And, bursting into thousand blossoms swings In wreaths from tree to tree. The dwarf-palmetto on his knees adores This Princess of the air; The lone pine-barren broods afar and sighs, “Ah! come, lest I despair;” The myrtle-thickets and ill-tempered thorns Quiver and thrill within, As through their leaves they feel the dainty touch Of yellow jessamine. The garden-roses wonder as they see The wreaths of golden bloom, Brought in from the far woods with eager haste To deck the poorest room, The rich man’s house, alike; the loaded hands Give sprays to all they meet, Till, gay with flowers, the people come and go, And all the air is sweet. The Southern land, well weary of its green Which may not fall nor fade, Bestirs itself to greet the lovely flower With leaves of fresher shade; The pine has tassels, and the orange-trees Their fragrant work begin: The spring has come—has come to Florida, With yellow jessamine.

1860

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In tangled wreaths, in clustered gleaming stars, In floating, curling sprays, The golden flower comes shining through the woods These February days; Forth go all hearts, all hands, from out the town, To bring her gayly in, This wild, sweet Princess of far Florida— The yellow...

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