Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rockport Beach Roses

When the Scots poet Robert Burns wrote “My Love is Like a Red, Red, Rose” in 1794, he likely did not envision something as common and prosaic as wild beach roses growing off the rocky coast of Rockport, Massachusetts, pink and white, thriving in the sandy soil, stung by salty breezes.

But, he did mention June, and the seas, and rocks melting with the sun. Close enough.


O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

2 comments:

Linn said...

I enjoy your posts :)
The rose you refer to is rosa rugosa- so beautiful in its simplicity, but with killer prickers. It grows well up and down our eastern, granite coast; is impervious to salt air and sandy soil.
The hips from rosa rugosa are used in beach plum jelly- no plums involved- but yummy.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thank you so much, Linn.

Years ago I planted a few spindly specimens in my yard, which has quite sandy soil. Today they are a fine, thick hedge of pink and white roses, with the most beautiful sweet scent. Killer prickers, yes.

One wonders why maximum security prisons use a perimeter of fencing with barbed wire on tip to deter escape of inmates. A hedge of beach roses would do just as well. Pretty, beautiful scent, and nobody getting past those prickers.

I've never tried to make beach plum jelly, but I'm going to have to start looking for a recipe. I didn't know the rose hips were the "plum".

Thanks for adding more info on this beautiful, wild, killer pricker monster.