Fancy's Images: Contexts, Settings, and Perspectives in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

By Charles R. Forker | Go to book overview

8 Perdita's Distribution of Flowers and the Function of Lyricism in The Winter's Tale

I

Perdita. [To Polixenes and Camillo] Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savor all the winter long.
Grace and remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!

the year growing ancient,
Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest flow'rs o' th' season
Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors,
Which some call nature's bastards. Of that kind
Our rustic garden's barren, and I care not
To get slips of them.

Here's flow'rs for you:
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi' th' sun
And with him rises weeping. These are flow'rs
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.

[To Florizel] Now, my fair'st friend,

I would I had some flow'rs o' th' spring that might
Become your time of day; [To Shepherdesses] and yours, and yours,
That wear upon your virgin branches yet
Your maidenheads growing. O Proserpina,
For the flow'rs now that, frighted, thou let'st fall
From Dis's wagon! Daffodils,

-113-

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