The Lent Lily
'Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.
And there's the windflower chilly
With all the winds at play,
And there's the Lenten lily
That has not long to stay
And dies on Easter day.
And since till girls go maying
You find the primrose still,
And find the windflower playing
With every wind at will,
But not the daffodil.
Bring baskets now, and sally
Upon the spring's array,
And bear from hill and valley
The daffodil away
That dies on Easter day.
~Author A E Housman~
The Easter Lily
The world of art and literature are full of stories and images
that speak of the beauty and majesty of the Easter lily.
One of the most famous biblical references is the Sermon on the
Mount, when Christ told his listeners:
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not,
neither do they spin;
and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of
Often called the "white-robed apostles of hope," lilies were
in the garden of Gethsemane after Christ's agony. Tradition has
it that the beautiful white lilies
spring up where drops of Christ's sweat fell to the ground in
his final hours of sorrow and distress.
Christian churches continue this tradition at Easter by banking
their altars and surrounding their crosses
with masses of Easter lilies to commemorate the Resurrection and
hope of life everlasting.
The pure white lily has long been closely associated with the
In early paintings, the Angel Gabriel is pictured extending to
Mary a branch of pure white lilies,
announcing that she is to be the Mother of the Christ child. In
saints are pictured bringing vases full of white lilies to Mary
and the Infant Jesus.
The legend is told that when Mary's tomb was visited three days
after her burial, it was found empty
save for bunches of majestic white lilies. Early writers and
artists made the lily the emblem of the Annunciation,
the Resurrection of the Virgin: the pure white petals signifying
her spotless body
and the golden anthers her soul glowing with heavenly light.
In yet another expression of womanhood, lilies had a significant
presence in the paradise of Adam and Eve.
Tradition has it that when Eve left the Garden of Eden she shed
real tears of repentance,
and from those remorseful tears sprung up lilies.
Thoughts on the Easter Lily
Rightly the lily is the flower of Easter.
It lies buried in the ooze of pond or stream. There is nothing
in the grave of the dead lily
that appeals to nostril or eye. But silently the forces of life
are working in the dark and the damp
to prepare a glorious resurrection. A shaft of green shoots
upward toward the sun.
This is followed by a cluster of tiny buds. One day the sun
smiles with special warmth
upon the dank, black ooze, and there leaps into the light a
creature of light and beauty;
it is the lily, an angel of the earth, whose look is light.