|Rosa 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles|
A Red, Red Rose
By Robert Burns
O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.
So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.
My Rosemary was ambivalent of any colour that was not white or blue in our garden. But as we became enamoured with roses, the colour red began to grow on her. Because we tended to like old roses and English Roses red became one of her favourites while she disdained my liking of pink roses.
The redness of a red rose is never a stable given. The red can be all shades of red including those to me indeterminate carmines and vermillion. Red Gallica roses have a lovely way of aging from their original red to purples and even metallic grays.
The scan here is of the English Rose ‘Tess of the d’Urbevilles’. Even if you have read Hardy’s novel (I have) the images your mind might conjure are of Nastassja Kinski in Roman Polanski’s 1979 film by that name.
While I might enjoy the sight of a penstemon it is only the rose (and some of my hostas) that transport me sort of like Emily Dickinson said, “To travel far, there is no better ship than a book.”
This red rose is one that my Rosemary never saw. But like cats, red roses have redness that follows and is integral to their rosiness. She would have understood.