'He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart.'
‘Roses in his heart!’
‘Roses in his heart!’
A heart full of delicate fragrance and full of many-tinted loveliness, a heart littered only with silky petals and haunted only by exquisite perfumes.
‘He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart!’ I want beautiful roses in my garden. And to get them I must grow beautiful roses in my heart! But how am I to achieve this floriculture of the soul? Who will teach me how to turn the wilderness of my heart into a garden of sweetly scented roses?
I turned wistfully back to my book, and I find that if I would grow beautiful roses in my garden and beautiful roses in my heart, I must cultivate an eye for roses. I must learn intelligently to admire them. I must know a really lovely blossom when I see it. I must have too much artistic appreciation to be tricked by garish gaudiness or deceived by vulgar display. I must not mistake the flaunting for the fair. But then, how am I to acquire this highly educated taste, this nicely cultured eye? How am I to learn to love a really choice blossom, and to scorn a merely showy bloom? How shall I learn to distinguish a dainty princess from a shameless pretender? There is only one thing for it. I must go where good roses are! I must secure the friendship of people who think roses, talk roses, read roses, write roses, dream roses, and who do all this because they love roses! I must attend the great rose shows, where only the very choicest varieties are exhibited. I must visit the most successful rosariums, where the most exquisite kinds are fondly treasured by hearts in which roses are flourishing, and where every bush is tended by fingers so soft and tender that not a dew-drop is needlessly disturbed. Yes, I must go where good roses are if I would learn to know a good rose when I see it. I must go where good roses are if I would grow good roses in my garden, and grow good roses in my heart. Now I know people whose hearts are perfect gardens of roses. You cannot spend ten minutes in their company without detecting the subtle and delicious aroma. Their very presence is like perfume. Their influence is fragrant!
F W Boreham, ‘Roses’ The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 99-101.
Image: “If I would grow beautiful roses in my garden and beautiful roses in my heart…”