Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Lent Lily.

The Lent Lily.

by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

'Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.

And there's the windflower chilly
With all the winds at play,
And there's the Lenten lily
That has not long to stay
And dies on Easter day.

And since till girls go maying
You find the primrose still,
And find the windflower playing
With every wind at will,
But not the daffodil,

Bring baskets now, and sally
Upon the spring's array,
And bear from hill and valley
The daffodil away
That dies on Easter day.



'King Alfred'
Narcissus poetics recurvus.

Narcissus poetics recurvus, still to look forward to in the garden.

The wild daffodil, the National flower of Wales and the county flower in our neighbouring Gloucestershire, is smaller than the garden cultivars and often referred to as the Lent lily because of when it flowers.  They flower from around mid-March through to April.
Wild daffodils, or Narcissus pseudonarcissus, were once a common sight in England, but the ploughing of meadow land during the war years and use of chemicals has led to them becoming less common. In Gloucestershire, around the villages of Dymock, Kempley and Oxenhall close to the Herefordshire border, wild daffodils once carpeted the meadows, orchards and woods. 
Walks along The Daffodil Way and other events are organised by these villages to celebrate the Daffodil.
This area is known as the Golden Triangle.

 In the words of Lascelles Abercrombie:

From Marcle Way,
From Dymock, Kempley, Newent, Bromesberrow,
Redmarley, all the meadowland daffodils seem
Running in golden tide to Ryton Firs,
To make the knot of steep little wooded hills
Their brightest show

The local people use to pick the daffodils and send them by train to sell in the London flower markets.

The Ledbury poet John Masefield wrote:

And there the pickers come, picking for town
Those dancing daffodils; all day they pick;
Hard-featured women, weather-beaten brown,
Or swarthy-red, the colour of old brick.

I hope you have enjoyed the Lent Lily wherever you have seen it growing.
Happy Easter.

Please click on any photo to create a slide show.


  1. Happy Easter to you and your family Brian. Enjoy the holiday weekend.
    Lovely words and images.

  2. Happy Easter Brian.
    Should be better weather later in the weekend? Enjoy the daffodils.

  3. Lovely photos which complement some lovely poetry! happy Easter!

    1. Thank you Jane, I wish I could write poetry like that!

  4. Happy Easter. Hoping that the weather improves and the ground dries up a bit.

    1. Thank you, If the weather dries up I imagine you will be busy on the farm with all the spring field work?

  5. Great stuff, hmm, I have just planted a number of wild daffs (Tenby) in our little woodland walk. Looks like I got it wrong again as I thought I was planting the lent lily.

    1. Thank you. Any 'Wild Type' of daffodil will give a good display in your woodland walk. I really should plant some Tenby daffs this autumn.

  6. A great post. What could be lovelier for Easter than this poem and all your daffodil pictures! Happy Easter.

  7. Lovely post for Easter weekend Brian. I love the choice of poetry and your great daffodil photos. Happy Easter!

    1. Thank you Cathy,
      I hope your Easter is a clover one rather than a snowy one.
      ( See WordsandHerbs)

  8. A beautiful post in every way :) The poet's narcissus is perhaps the most lovely of all, to my eyes... happy Easter :)

    1. Thank you, I agree and it is still to flower here. (Easter is to early!)

  9. Daffodils are the one flower I always associate with Easter Brian. I enjoyed your post. Thank you :)

    1. Thanks Anna, I agree, when ever Easter is there are some Daffs that are going to be in flower.


  10. I love reading, I love blogging, and I love comments! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a wonderful day!



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