In my last sermon, I mentioned Christopher Marlowe’s poem ‘The Passionate Shepherd to his love’:
“Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.”

This poem is credited with creating the phrase ‘a bed of roses’, a phrase which is now used figuratively to mean any easy or pleasant situation. Life is not usually that simple; we live in a fallen world, tainted by sin.

However, on recent travels we visited the Botanic Gardens in Oxford where we saw lots of flowers and other interesting plants, as well as some beautiful roses in Keble:

View from the Botanic Gardens:

We also saw some amazing flowers in the gardens at Nostell Priory recently:

… and some amazing views:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Ps 19:1-4 TNIV)