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We seem to liken our best flower to a loved one. Consider this: if you have a lover, to what would you compare her? A Morning rose or a sun flower? Certainly not a bramble. Or a thorn tree.
But there lived women in times past, who were bramble and thorn trees. And they still live today. God deliver thee from their hands. And may good Lord not give me thorns and brambles.
Give me not Samson’s bride who will give my riddles to my detractors. Or a nagging Delilah that would lay bare secret of my success and bring me to an untimely grave. But do give me a woman with tenacity of Juliet and sensibility of Abigail.
Give me not Agememnon’s wife, unfaithful Klytaimestra, who murdered warrior for love of Aigisthos. But give me Penelope, daughter of Ikarios, and tenacious wife of much endearing man, Odysseus.
Give me not a wicked Jezebel exterminator of imaginary foes, or a Marozia, Donna Senatrix of Rome, killer of popes and “holy men.” But give me a godly lady like beautiful Queen Esther of Susa—shapely like a sculptor’s handiwork, skin like cinnamon, eyes like dove’s and feet like gazelle’s. And Minerva grant me power to compose sweet poems for fair maiden.
Give me not Helen or a Lucretia, causes of many fights and sorrows. Rather give me a Queen Elizabeth I, Virgin Queen, a woman hard to woo by men. Or a La Gioconda—the stately Mona Lisa with bewitching smile.
I do not desire a Queen of Sheba, wealthy visitor of wise Solomon, who lacking honor ended up on bed of libidinous king. But give me shepherd boy’s wife, Shulammite, “a garden barred,” “a spring sealed up,” and “a wall,” with “breasts like towers,” shunning “circlets of gold” and “studs of silver.” May her breasts like a cluster of pomegranates, continue to tickle me till my dying day. Let her very bosom delight my soul from summer to spring and from autumn to winter.
May I be in ecstasy when she plants her sweet lips on mine as I look into her dreamy eyes. Let her angelic fingers caress my bones as we lay by fireside in winter confirming our love to each other. May her rich mellifluous voice liven my spirit and make my day.
Let her—my Penelope, my Juliet, my Abigail—be beside me in my sleeping and waking hours. May she—my Esther, my Elizabeth, my Mona Lisa, my Shulammite—be with me in fair and in bad weather.
Let her be majestic flower in fence of my country home.
Let her be flower of all seasons—purveyor of joy, harbinger of happiness. Let her be my forever red and yellow petals— yellow for sun rise, red for sunset— unfailing as sun.
Let her, even she—my love, my life—be pride of paradisaic islands in far away waters.
Let her be my Pride of Barbados!
(GIVE THIS ESSAY AND A BUNCH OF MY PRIDE OF BARBADOS TO THE DEAREST WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE)
Arthur Zulu is an editor, book reviewer, and author of Chasing Shadows!, How to Write a Best-seller, A Letter to Noah, and many others. For his works and free help for writers, goto:
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Arthur Zulu is an editor, book reviewer, and published author.