A Flower of Paradise


It’s the mid-point of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. However, in the Southern Hemisphere it’s the mid-point of Summer.

Regardless of North or South flowers are on many minds this month. February is the month of romance, especially around the 14th: Valentine’s Day.

Spanish has such flair with language: “el día de los enamorados”. The day of love is for lovers world over.

'Ohi'a blossoming on the floor of Kilauea Iki crater, Hawai'i / M.Vassey photo
‘Ohi’a blossoming on the floor of Kilauea Iki crater, Hawai’i / M.Vassey photo

In my research on Queen Liliuokalani, the Last Queen of Hawaii, I discovered this beautiful poem she wrote in 1860. If one is acquainted with the Canticles or Song of Solomon, one is reminded of this song as you read Queen Liliuokalani’s poem.

Since her education was at the hands of missionaries, it would not be too far-fetched to imagine that a young school girl would be attracted to the poetic passages in the Old Testament. Here’s her elegant poem:

The flowers of Ko’olau in their beauty
Fill the vale, fill with golden gleam
I cull and wreathe them for my loved one
At morn and night she fills my waking dream
Where are you, fairest of all fair ones
Where are you sweetest of all sweets
You are a flower of Paradise
That the morning breeze ever kindly greets

I praise your beauty, my fair one
You are the flower of all flowers to me
The lehua flower whose ardent sweetness
Overpowers the wanderer over the lea
And I cry “where are you, my loved one”
My spirit wants to be with you
To taste hours of tranquil pleasure
And wander neath Koiahi’s tree

The trilling notes of hidden songsters
As they sport around the jasmine bower
The scent yet in my memory lingers
Reminds me of you, the fairest flowers
Of Viliau, the sweetest blossom
Without you, my life is lonely
Come fill my hours with bliss, I pray thee
My flower, my bird, my chief and chosen one

Queen Liliuokalani during her life wrote over 160 songs/poems. One can tell by reading the poem that she was touched by love.

This February, may you be touched like a flower of Paradise by the gentle morning breezes of love. May love thrive in your life from morning to night.

May it be bathed in the starlight of ages passed. As the argentous rays of the moon touch the earth, may they encircle you and your beloved.

G. D. Williams © 2016

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M Vassey