WILDFLOWERS AND HOTHOUSE-PLANTS
by: Henrik Ibsen
- "OOD Heavens, man, what a freak
- What blindness to form and feature!
- The girl's no beauty, and might be placed
- As a hoydenish kind of creature."
- No doubt it were more in the current tone
- And the tide today we move in,
- If I could but choose me to make my own
- A type of our average woman.
- Like winter blossoms they all unfold
- Their primly maturing glory;
- Like pot-grown plants in the tepid mould
- Of a window conservatory.
- They sleep by rule and by rule they wake,
- Each tendril is taught its duties;
- Were I worldly-wise, yes, my choice I'd make
- From our stock of average beauties.
- For worldly wisdom what do I care?
- I am sick of its prating mummers;
- She breathes of the field and the open air,
- And the fragrance of sixteen summers.
POEMS BY IBSEN
'Wildflowers and Hothouse-plants'
was originally published in 1858. This English translation is
reprinted from Lyrics & Poems from Ibsen. Trans. Fydell
Edmund Garrett. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1912.