Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mr. Weaver and the rose

When we first moved to the country, we had a wonderful neighbor who taught me about gardening, farming and country ways. He was an old man, born in the century before last , whose wife had died and who lived alone in a big fieldstone house. The house was just as old-fashioned as he was; the first thing you smelled when you walked in was wood smoke, even in summer, and I think electricity was still a new-fangled innovation for Mr. Weaver in 1970.

I saw Mr. Weaver almost every day and each time I said good-bye after a visit, he would say " What can I give you ? " He would produce a basket of blueberries or a bucket of green beans he had picked from his garden or sometimes it would be something from his house - an oil lamp, a hackle for flax which had belonged to his mother or a 3 volume set on farming , ordered from Sears, Roebuck in 1890. I still have all those treasures, of course, but my fondest memory of a present is a gift he would invariably give me at this time of year.

After his customary " What can I give you ? ", he would cut a perfect rose from the bush blooming next to his door and present it with a gallant flourish while reciting

’TIS the last rose of summer

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,

No rosebud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes,

To give sigh for sigh.

Thank you, Mr. Weaver !!


Emlyn said...

Ohhhhhh! That reminds me od Mr. Weaver and childhood and his dark little kitchen and walking to his house - I loved it all! I especially remember the smell of his kitchen when you first walked in. Amazing how those things never fade. Thank you for that post!!

Terry said...

Lovely poem. It must have meant a lot to him to give you that rose. Perhaps the "sigh for sigh"?

4 Ranges, RKC said...