Public Domain Poem for Gardeners: A Very Wild Flower by Mildred Howells


A public domain Victorian children's poem written by Mildred Howells and originally published in 1896. The poem is called "A Very Wild Flower" and this is how it goes:

Within a garden once there grew
A flower that seemed the very pattern
Of all propriety; none knew
She was at heart a wandering slattern.

The gardener old, with care and pain,
Had trained her up as she should grow,
Nor dreamed amid his labor vain
That rank rebellion lurked below.

A name sufficiently high-sounding
He diligently sought for her,
Until he thought that "Rebounding
Elizabeth" he should prefer.

But when grown up the flower began
To show the tastes within her hidden;
At every chance quite wild she ran,
In spite of being sternly chidden.

They told her beds for flowers were best;
But daily greater grew her failings;
Up to the fence she boldly pressed,
And stuck her head between the palings.

Then to the street she struggled through,
Tearing to rags her silken attire,
And all along the road she grew,
Regardless quite of dust and mire.

You'll find her now by country ways,
A tattered tramp, though comely yet,
With rosy cheek and saucy gaze,
And known to all as "Bouncing Bet."

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