R[obin] L[inda] and G[eorge] H[ansen]


Helen Muir


Offered as a "Sweet-smelling savour"to the children of Berkeley from a happy home.

Thanksgiving, 1905.




These paper-bags here, all for you,
For every lass and laddie too;
In them three bulbs so fat and round
As only grow in Holland's ground,
They came to us and want to live
In any soil that you may give,
In wind or shelter, bed or spot,
In sun or shade, in box or pot.
And as you children wish to know
How right to plant, how best to grow,
Just follow what we have to tell:
We've lived with them, and know them well.

Plant each in holes five inches deep,
And ere you think it, there will peep
A bunch of leaves into the light,
First tightly packed, then stretched in might,
And in the centre of its hold
Now forms a stem, alone and bold.
It bears a button for a head
Wrapped tight as if in fear of wet.
But wait, till but the sun is out
Then see, and hear the joyous shout
As now it bursts with whim and will

While still at home the winds do blow
And tell of storms and distant snow.
But louder only blows the horn:
Springtime has come when I am born,
My tender garment, golden dressed
Declares that HOPE is manifest.

The other bulb, its fairest mate,
Doth now unfold, a trifle late,
In purest white with crimson eye
That never questions when or why,
But tells of FAITH in heaven found,
The words of Easter, world-around.
NARCISSUS is its cheery name,
Its soul, a Christ, from Heaven came.

The third--wee thing--of different kind
Of rush-like foliage, modest mind,
Of smaller growth, in darker shade,
Brings tresses many, finely made.
They are but small, yet we are told,
Of heavy texture, purest gold.
And for a message they impart
The incense of a grateful heart.
A voice that all can understand,

From northern clime to southern land,
The voice of everlasting LOVE
From earth beneath to heaven above.
They gave it JONQUIL for a name,
Of worldwide beauty, worldwide fame.

Now, children when these flowers glow
Enjoy them, love them as they grow,
Content to leave them where they stand
Or pluck them for another hand;
But promise that the bulbs alone
Shall rest till all the leaves are gone.
Forget about them, as it were,
As if you did no longer care.
And lo, a year from planting day
A double number makes its way
In HOPE, FAITH, LOVE, to golden bliss

Trot off, you happy gard'ning lot,
Dig up your bed, seek out your spot.
And if a thought of thanks should come
To Mary's heart or lips of Tom,
Remember then the givers' mood:
Be HAPPY, that it is GRATITUDE.


[Berkeley, Calif.]


Original letter dimensions: 15 x 24 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 15, Image 0843

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


2 pages



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.