Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Water Lily

The Water Lily

Broad water-lilies lay tremulously,
And starry river-buds glimmered by,
And around them the soft stream did glide and dance
With a motion of sweet sound and radiance.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Those virgin lilies, all the night
Bathing their beauties in the lake,
That they may rise more fresh and bright,
When their beloved sun's awake.
- Thomas Moore

But it chanced the other day that I scented a white water- lily.... It is the emblem of purity.... What confirmation of our hopes is in the fragrance of this flower! I shall not so soon despair of the world for it, notwithstanding slavery, and the cowardice and want of principle of Northern men. It suggests what kinds of laws have prevailed longest and widest, and still prevail, and that the time may come when man’s deeds will smell as sweet. Such is the odor which the plant emits.... It reminds me that Nature has been partner to no Missouri compromise. I scent no compromise in the fragrance of the water-lily.
- Henry David Thoreau

Water Lilies
Claude Monet

Photographs taken on Adirondack ponds - all by Jude Nagurney Camwell