Floriography –
a fancy name for the language of flowers – was coined in the Victorian era, and while its original translations may have shifted over time, the notion that through flower symbolism we can express what we want to say (and may not be able to speak out loud) still holds true.
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VERY charming and interesting method of communicating thought is by the aid of flowers, their language and sentiment being understood by the parties who present them. Although the following list is very complete, this vocabulary may be still enlarged by the addition of other definitions, the parties having an understanding as to what language the flower shall represent. Thus an extended and sometimes important correspondence may be carried on by the presentation of bouquets, single flowers and even leaves; the charm of this interchange of thought largely consisting in the romance attendant upon an expression of sentiment in a partially disguised and hidden language.

Of course much of the facility with which a conversation may be conducted, thus, will depend upon the intimate knowledge possessed of the language of flowers and the variety from which to select.

Twas a lovely thought to mark the hours
As they floated in light away,
By the opening and the folding flowers
That laugh to the summer's day.
— Felicia Hemans.


Oh! were I spiritual as the wafting wind
That breathes its sighing music through the woods,
Sports with the dancing hours, and crisps the flood,
Then would I glide away from cares which bind
Me down to haunts that taint the healthful mind;
And I would sport with many a bloom and bud,
Happiest the farthest from the neighbourhood,
And from the crimes and miseries of mankind!
Then would I waft me to the cowslip's bell,
And to the wild rose should my voyage be;
Unto the lily, vestal of the dell,
Or daisy, the pet child of poesy,
Or lie beside some mossy forest-well
Companion to the wood anemone.
William Howitt.
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Young Love, rambling through the wood,
Found me in my solitude,
Bright with dew and freshly blown.
And trembling to the zephyr's sighs;
But, as he stooped to gaze upon
The living gem with raptured eyes,
It chanced a bee was busy there,
Searching for its fragrant fare;
And Cupid, stooping too to sip,
The angry insect stung his lip;
And, gushing from the ambrosial cell,
One bright drop on my bosom fell.

Weeping, to his mother he
Told the tale of treachery;
And she, her vengeful boy to please,
Strung his bow with captive bees,
But placed upon my slender stem
The poisoned stings she plucked from them:
And none, since that eventful morn,
Save found the flower without a thorn.
Legend of the R.
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Have ye ever heard, in the twilight dim,
A soft low strain
That ye fancied a distant vesper hymn,
Borne o'er the plain,
By the zephyrs that rise on perfumed wing
When the sun's last glances are glimmering?
Have ye heard that music with cadence sweet
And merry peal,
Ring out like the echoes of Fairy feet
O'er flowers that steal?
And did you deem that each breathing tone
Was the distant vesper-chime alone?
The source of that whispering strain I'll tell —
For I've listened oft
To the music faint of the blue Harebell
In the gloaming soft:
'Tis the gay Fairy-folk that peal who ring
At even-time for their banqueting.
Louisa Anne Twamley
#I found the flower in a greeny nook
Where crept a clear and laughing brook,
The young boughs through;
And king-cups spangled all the ground,
And the pale wind-flower there was found,
And harebells blue.
Countess of Blessington.

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By the soft green light in the woody glade,
On the banks of moss where thy childhood played;
By the household tree through which thine eye
First looked in love to the summer sky;
By the dewy gleam, by the very breath
Of the Primrose tufts in the grass beneath,
Upon thy heart there is laid a spell,
Holy and precious — oh! guard it well!

Yes, when thy heart in its pride would stray
From the pure first loves of its youth away;
When the sullying breath of the world would come
O'er the flowers it brought from its native home;
Think thou again of the woody glade,
Of the sound by rustling ivy made;
Think of the tree at thy father's door,
And the kindly spell shall have power once more.
— Mrs. Hemans.


Once a white Rose-bud reared her head,
And peevishly to Flora said,
"Look at my sister's blushing hue —
Pray, mother, let me have it too."
"Nay, child", was Flora's mild reply,
"Be thankful for such gifts as I
Have deemed befitting to dispense —
Thy dower's the hue of innocence."
When did Persuasion's voice impart
Content and peace to female heart
Where baleful Jealousy bears sway,
And scares each gentler guest away?
The Rose still grumbled and complained,
Her mother's bounties still disdained.
"Well, then," said angered Flora, "take!" —
She breathed upon her as she spake —
"Henceforth, no more in simple vest
Of innocence shalt thou be dressed;
Take that which better suits thy mind —
The hue for Jealousy designed!"
The Yellow Rose has, from that hour,
Borne evidence of Envy's power.
—Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel


In gardens of a beauteous flower there grows,
By vulgar eyes unnoticed and unseen;
In sweet security it humbly blows,
And rears its purple head to deck the green.
This flower, as Nature's poet sweetly sings,
Was once milk-white, and Hearts-ease was its name,
Till wanton Cupid poised his roseate wings,
A vestal's sacred bosom to inflame.
With treacherous aim the god his arrow drew,
Which she with icy coldness did repel;
Rebounding thence with feathery speed it flew,
Till on this lovely flower at last it fell.
Hearts-ease no more the wandering shepherds found,
No more the nymphs its snowy form possess;
Its white now changed to purple by Love's wound,
Hearts-ease no more, 'tis Love-in-idleness.


It is not gloomy, brightly play
The sunbeams on its glossy green;
And softly on it sleeps the ray
Of moonlight, all serene.
It changes not as seasons flow,
In changeful, silent course along;
Spring finds it verdant, leaves it so,
It outlives summer's song.
Autumn no wan or russet stain
Upon its fadeless glory flings;
And winter o'er it sweeps in vain,
With tempest on his wings.
—Felicia. Hemans.


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"The flowers in silence seem to breathe
Such thoughts as language cannot tell."

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Queen Victoria's Era
1837-1901


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