Vine, darnel, cowslip, hemlock, fumitory, burnet, clover, dock, thistle, kecksy

Henry the Fifth, [5.2.33-59]. Burgundy. “…Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace,/ Should not, in this best garden of the world,/ our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?/ Alas, she hath from France too long been chased!/ And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,/ Corrupting in it own fertitlity./ Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart/ Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleached, like prisoners wildly overgown with hair,/ Put forth disordered twigs; her fallow leas/ The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory/ Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts/ That should deracinate such savagery;/ The even mead, that erst brough sweetly forth/ The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,/ Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,/ Conceives by idleness and nothing teems/ but hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burrs,/ Losing both beauty and utility./ And all our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges, Defective in their natures, grow to wildness,/ Even so our houses, and ourselves, and children,/ Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,/ The sciences that should become our country; But grow like savages…”

France is again referred to as “the world’s best garden” in the epilogue, line seven.


One Response to “Vine, darnel, cowslip, hemlock, fumitory, burnet, clover, dock, thistle, kecksy”

  1. Shakespeare’s Plants (alphabetical) « PLANTS Says:

    […] Burnet: Henry the Fifth [5.2.33-59]. […]

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