Late Autumnal Rose

May 12th, 2014, 10am

All was dewy in the garden this morning including this very late blooming “Oklahoma” rose. After admiring its tiny drops gradually coalescing into little pools, I decided to take a picture for my ‘Today’s Quote” series on Hi. Surely Bartleby or Wikiquotes, or some such source on the webs, will offer an abundance of poetic references to dewy rose buds. Well, yes and no. Lots of dew (from dew-bespangled to dew-pearled) and lots of roses but only a few with the dew actually still on the roses. (BTW any one who, like me, remembers that wonderful old gospel song should probably just let it go.)

On a slightly different note: until I was about seventy, I never dreamed of using a book of quotations, except perhaps to relocate something I had already read in the original. Of course, by the time you reach my age you realize that you have indeed already read everything that matters! Chuckle icon here. (By force of habit I do read a book or two a week.)

Alas, virtually every ‘dewy rose’ verse I could find (in the 45 minutes I gave myself) seemed utterly saccherine. One puzzling observation though, with a couple of exceptions, all were from the 19th century. Anyhow, for better or worse, I list them all just below my own feeble attempt. If you read these, you’ll never need to look another dewy rose petal in the face!

The old man saw a rose/ on that autumnal morn,/ forlorn, forlorn, he watched/ dew glistening on the thorn. Wade Chambers, 2014

I have heard the mavis singing/ Its love-song to the morn;/ I’ve seen the dew-drop clinging/ To the rose just newly born./ Mary of Argyle, 1850 Charles Jefferies

The rose is sweetest wash’d with morning dew/ Walter Scott, 1810

We bring roses, beautiful fresh roses,/ Dewy as the morning and colored like the dawn./ The New Pastoral Book. Thomas Buchanan Read (1822–1872)

like summer rose,/ That brighter in the dew-drop glows,/ The bashful maiden’s cheek appear’d,/ Walter Scott, 1810

Say that she rail, why then I’ll tell her plain/ She sings as sweetly as a nightingale./ Say that she frown, I’ll say she looks as clear/ As morning roses newly wash’d with dew./
Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, 1593

Dawn, like a wild-rose in the fields of heaven/ Washed grey with dew, awoke/ Alfred Noyes, 1908

Sweet shadows of twilight how calm their repose,/ While the dewdrops fall soft in the breast of the rose!/ Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1829

Lorraine, So-Shan, Adrian, Shu and 2 others said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (

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