ROSES >> Generosity and freshness of youthful friendship and admiration
Of all the flowering shrubs, perhaps roses present the greatest variety in form, color, and fragrance. Certainly they are unrivaled in the generosity of their blossoming, considering the size, fullness, abundance, durability, and succession of their flowers. They are akin to the great family of fruits that represent the wisdom of social life—the apples, pears, quinces, cherries, plums, peaches, and almonds. And the rose bushes themselves varying in size from a little bush almost to a tree and bearing flowers sweetly simple, or full almost as a cabbage—white, blushing pink, deep crimson, and even yellow—offer variety sufficient to cover a wide range of friendliness.
Swedenborg describes “rosaries” in heaven—one magnificent one arranged like a rainbow, within which sat the angel wives who instructed him in the wisdom of conjugial love (Conjugial Love #293, 294). The delights of such wisdom, they said, the rosaries represented; but from his mention of “roses or flowers,” it appears that they did not consist of roses exclusively. Mr. Murray says that roses were strewn about Cupid, “to symbolize the sweetness and beauty of young love”; and that Hebe, the goddess of youth, was represented with a wreath of roses (Mythology, pp. 202, 208).
The generosity and freshness of youthful friendship and admiration, in all their varieties of modesty and of exuberance, seem to be very fully represented by the roses.
Author: JOHN WORCESTER 1875