Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hazel Blossoms

  The summer warmth has left the sky, 
The summer songs have died away; 
And, withered, in the footpaths lie 
The fallen leaves, but yesterday 
With ruby and with topaz gay.

  The grass is browning on the hills;
No pale, belated flowers recall
The astral fringes of the rills,
And drearily the dead vines fall,
Frost-blackened, from the roadside wall.     

Yet through the gray and sombre wood,
  Against the dusk of fir and pine,
Last of their floral sisterhood,
  The hazel’s yellow blossoms shine,
  The tawny gold of Afric’s mine!         

Small beauty hath my unsung flower,
  For spring to own or summer hail;
But, in the season’s saddest hour,
  To skies that weep and winds that wail,
Its glad surprisals never fail.

  O days grown cold! O life grown old!
  No rose of June may bloom again;
But, like the hazel’s twisted gold,
  Through early frost and latter rain
Shall hints of summer-time remain.
And as within the hazel’s bough
  A gift of mystic virtue dwells,
That points to golden ores below,
And in dry desert places tells
     Where flow unseen the cool, sweet wells,—         

   So, in the wise Diviner’s hand,
  Be mine the hazel’s grateful part
  To feel, beneath a thirsty land,
The living waters thrill and start,
            The beating of the rivulet’s heart!         

Sufficeth me the gift to light
With latest bloom the dark, cold days;
To call some hidden spring to sight
That, in these dry and dusty ways,
Shall sing its pleasant song of praise.  

O Love! the hazel-wand may fail,
But thou canst lend the surer spell,
That, passing over Baca’s vale,
Repeats the old-time miracle,
And makes the desert-land a well.
                                           ~John Greenleaf Whittier


  1. Sweet! Great pix to go with the poem, Joanna. I haven't noticed any witch hazel blooming yet, but perhaps I ought to look a bit closer!

    1. I was down in PA this past week which is where all but one of these pictures was taken. It was the first time I've seen witch hazel in bloom so I was thrilled! :) I've never seen any around here and according to the range map it looks like we're just north of its range.

  2. Is that Rhododendron or Mountain Laurel I see in some pics? Beautiful photography.

    1. That's Rhododendron...all but one of these pics (the brown field) were taken on my recent trip to PA. :)

  3. Beautiful photography, love how you captured the witch-hazels.

    1. Thanks! It took me a while to get some good pictures of the flowers as they are quite small, often out of reach, and it was breezy!