The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Associations of English Hawthorn tree

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The English Hawthorn is not only a beautiful small tree, but it is connected in our minds with all the elegant, poetic, and legendary associations which belong to it in England; for scarcely any tree is richer in such than this. With the floral games of May, this plant, from its blooming at that period, and being the favorite of the season, has become so identified, that the blossoms are known in many parts of Britain chiefly by that name. Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, they were dedicated to Flora, whose festival began on the first of that month; and in the olden times of merry England, the May-pole, its top decked with the gayest garlands of these blossoms, was raised amid the shouts of the young and old assembled to celebrate this happy rustic festival. Chaucer alludes to the custom, and describes the hawthorn thus: Marke the faire blooming of the Hawthorne tree, Which finely cloathed in a robe of white, Fills full the wanton eye with May's delight. COURT OF LOVE. And Herrick has left us the following lines to "Corrina going a Maying:" "Come, my Corrina, come; and coming marke How eche field turns a street, eche street a park Made green, and trimmed with trees; see how Devotion gives eche house a bough Or branch; eche porch, eche doore ere this, An arke, a tabernacle is, Made up of Hawthorne, neatly interwove, As if here were those cooler shades of love." The following lines descriptive of the English species, we extract from the " Romance of Nature." "Come let us rest this hawthorn tree beneath, And breathe its luscious fragrance as it flies, And watch the tiny petals as they fall, Circling and winnowing down our sylvan hall."