Works in the Herald 1935

Recently, a delighted visitor from England, after having travelled miles about the garden-lined streets of our suburbs where roses bloomed all along the way, declared enthusiastically that Melbourne should be known as "The City of Roses".

Here in my garden at the long day's close
I sing again her Majesty the Rose.
   The Rose who can with magic most complete
   Bring worshippers again about her feet
Forsaking other loves, who, thro' the year
Had won them by sheer beauty, shining clear.
   Now, where the Queen beside the trellis grows,
   Courtiers acclaim, "Her Majesty the Rose!"

The Rhododendron by her side appears
With all that magic quality of tears;
   Patrician truly, yet still lacking, she,
   That touch of rare imperial majesty.
Viola, violet worship at her feet;
Proudly the flaunting poppy would compete,
   Yet fails, for all her striving, to disclose
   The grace that guards her Majesty the Rose.

Oh, we have walked 'mid many lovely things
In lovely gardens -- walked where Lilac swings
   Her jewelled censers, wreathed in wondrous scent;
   Where Gladiolus, giving great content,
Holds up her prideful head to so outshine
The meeker charm of Phlox and Columbine.
   And yet, how soon, how swift their threldom goes
   When once we greet her Majesty the Rose.

City of Roses, herein lies your wealth --
This beauty, stealing in, almost by stealth
   As garden after garden springs from earth
   To bless the gardener with fresh beauty's birth.
A gift most grand, a miracle to see
Of rich content and meet prosperity
   Wealth dwells in beauty, as each liegeman knows
   Who bows before her Majesty the Rose.

Herald, 21 November 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005