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

Weeping willow trees in Babylon

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The Weeping willow, however, is at once one of the most elegant, graceful, and interesting trees; elegant in its light and delicate waving foliage; graceful in the soft flowing lines formed by its drooping branches; and interesting by the melancholy, poetical, and scriptural associations connected with it. Every one will call to mind the captivity of the children of Israel, as connected with this tree: "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, O Zion! As for our harps, we hanged them upon the willow trees:" Psalm cxxxvii. And the gentle sigh of the faintest breeze through its light foliage, still recalls to the mind the plaintive murmur of those abandoned harps, which one may fancy to have bequeathed their last tones of music to its pensile branches. Since that period, the willow appears to have been, more or less, consecrated to a tender sentiment of grief, "Trailing low its boughs, to hide The gleaming marble."