Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Thomas Hood 1799–1845



I WILL not have the mad Clytie,

Whose head is turn’d by the sun;

The tulip is a courtly quean,

Whom, therefore I will shun;

The cowslip is a country wench,

The violet is a nun;

But I will woo the dainty rose,

The queen of every one.

The pea is but a wanton witch,

In too much haste to wed,

And clasps her rings on every hand;

The wolfsbane I should dread;

Nor will I dreary rosemarye,

That always mourns the dead;

But I will woo the dainty rose,

With her cheeks of tender red.

The lily is all in white, like a saint,

And so is no mate for me,

And the daisy’s cheek is tipp’d with a blush,

She is of such low degree;

Jasmine is sweet, and has many loves,

And the broom’s betroth’d to the bee;

But I will plight with the dainty rose,

For fairest of all is she.