Saturday, August 19, 2017

Review of The Rose-Garden Husband (1915)

One of the Betties (Betty Amanda, I think?) recommended The Rose-Garden Husband sometime ago and I finally got around to reading it. It was a treasure.

Here is the text of the poem I read from in the video. It's lovely:
HAVE shut my little sister in from life and light 
  (For a rose, for a ribbon, for a wreath across my hair), 
I have made her restless feet still until the night, 
  Locked from sweets of summer and from wild spring air; 
I who ranged the meadowlands, free from sun to sun,         5
  Free to sing and pull the buds and watch the far wings fly, 
I have bound my sister till her playing time was done— 
  Oh, my little sister, was it I? Was it I? 
I have robbed my sister of her day of maidenhood 
  (For a robe, for a feather, for a trinket's restless spark),  10
Shut from love till dusk shall fall, how shall she know good, 
  How shall she go scatheless through the sin-lit dark? 
I who could be innocent, I who could be gay, 
  I who could have love and mirth before the light went by, 
I have put my sister in her mating-time away—  15
  Sister, my young sister, was it I? Was it I? 
I have robbed my sister of the lips against her breast, 
  (For a coin, for the weaving of my children's lace and lawn), 
Feet that pace beside the loom, hands that cannot rest— 
  How can she know motherhood, whose strength is gone?  20
I who took no heed of her, starved and labor-worn, 
  I, against whose placid heart my sleepy gold-heads lie, 
Round my path they cry to me, little souls unborn— 
  God of Life! Creator! It was I! It was I!

*I whiffed the name of the hero. He's Allan Harrington, of course. Not Allan Braithwaite.


  1. Sounds great. Another author that I have been enjoying lately is Elizabeth Caddell. Her books used to be hard to find but they have been released for kindle now. Sweet, gentle books with a lot of humor and romance. "The Corner Shop" even features a grumpy professor!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll be on the lookout for her.

  2. The poem you quoted reminds me a lot of the poems of English poet, Christina Rossetti. She lived 1830-1894. Never married. Many of her poems are about her sorrow of never marrying. --Anonymous Lea in KY. L.E.L. Is one of my favorites:



    "Whose heart was breaking for a little love.”

    Down-stairs I laugh, I sport and jest with all:
    But in my solitary room above
    I turn my face in silence to the wall;
    My heart is breaking for a little love.
    Though winter frosts are done,
    And birds pair every one,
    And leaves peep out, for springtide is begun.

    I feel no spring, while spring is wellnigh blown,
    I find no nest, while nests are in the grove:
    Woe's me for mine own heart that dwells alone,
    My heart that breaketh for a little love.
    While golden in the sun
    Rivulets rise and run,
    While lilies bud, for springtide is begun.

    All love, are loved, save only I; their hearts
    Beat warm with love and joy, beat full thereof:
    They cannot guess, who play the pleasant parts,
    My heart is breaking for a little love.
    While beehives wake and whirr,
    And rabbit thins his fur,
    In living spring that sets the world astir.

    I deck myself with silks and jewelry,
    I plume myself like any mated dove:
    They praise my rustling show, and never see
    My heart is breaking for a little love.
    While sprouts green lavender
    With rosemary and myrrh,
    For in quick spring the sap is all astir.

    Perhaps some saints in glory guess the truth,
    Perhaps some angels read it as they move,
    And cry one to another full of ruth,
    “Her heart is breaking for a little love.”
    Though other things have birth,
    And leap and sing for mirth,
    When spring-time wakes and clothes and feeds the earth.

    Yet saith a saint: “Take patience for thy scathe”;
    Yet saith an angel: “Wait, for thou shalt prove
    True best is last, true life is born of death,
    O thou, heart-broken for a little love!
    Then love shall fill thy girth,
    And love make fat thy dearth,
    When new spring builds new heaven and clean new earth.”

    1. Oh gosh, that's heart-breaking. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. You're welcome, Keira! She has many more poems just as lovely and heart-felt and I appreciate the spiritual / eternal perspective she expresses in her poems, too.

    -- Anonymous Betty Lea in KY

  4. Hi Betty(s) I think this blog is amazing. In the pics you post you seem too young to have been fans for very long. For whatever your reasons, thank you very much. During a recent down period, I picked up the Betty books & they are very centering and comforting for those of us w/ ordinary characteristics.
    I began reading the books, intermittently, some 20 years ago. This means, because of similar plot lines, it is difficult to figure out what has been previously read. Well, I just began " An Unlikely Romance" & recognized at once that this was a different Professor, kind and not tending to sharpness. It is very satisfying. Hopefully, there will be other unread

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I agree with the 'centering' power of Betty Neels. After loving and talking about them for years before, Betty Debbie (The other Founding Betty) and I started these reviews when I was pregnant and parenting my fourth Pledge (The Demon Baby of Bethany who is now 8 and a constant delight but who was just plain hard for several years). Betty kept me interested and grounded and was so soothing and I am thankful for her forever.
      I am hoping you have lots of unread gems left to read! Welcome!