Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Land where the Wild Orange Blooms

Hardy Croom wrote this poem in 1836, the year before his death.  He enclosed it in a letter to the famed botanist Dr. John Torrey.  Earlier, as evidence of their friendship, Hardy had named the Torreya tree in his honor.

Knowest thou the land where the wild orange booms
And famed magnolia sheds its rich perfumes.
Mid crystal springs where St. Johns flows
And many a flower in wild profusion blows
Where the soft breeze from Cuba's spicy land
Woos Tampa's beauteous bay and Santa Rosa strand.
The land which first romantic Leon sought
The bootless quest of youth's renewing draught.
No lingering winter here in long delay
Chills with her icy breath the lap of May
Nor spread her bleak and desolating frost
Over Appalachia's wild and palmy coast.

Hardy Croom, 1836
Dr. John Torrey

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