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Naked Ladies

Naked Ladies are appearing – a sure sign that summer is on the wane and that autumn is on its way. These fragrant lilies rise magically from the ground, no leaves for cover, naked. Old Mountain gardens like mine almost always have a clump or two of these slender beauties.

Naked Lady (amaryllis belladonna)
not an Australian native plant

Words to Walk With:
From Godiva by Alfred Lord Tennyson
“The woman of a thousand summers back,
Godiva, wife to that grim Earl, who ruled
In Coventry: for when he laid a tax
Upon his town, and all the mothers brought
Their children, clamoring, "If we pay, we starve!"
She sought her lord, and found him, where he strode
About the hall, among his dogs, alone,
His beard a foot before him and his hair
A yard behind. She told him of their tears,
And pray'd him, "If they pay this tax, they starve."
Whereat he stared, replying, half-amazed,
"You would not let your little finger ache
For such as these?" -- "But I would die," said she.
He laugh'd, and swore by Peter and by Paul;
Then fillip'd at the diamond in her ear;
"Oh ay, ay, ay, you talk!" -- "Alas!" she said,
"But prove me what I would not do."
And from a heart as rough as Esau's hand,
He answer'd, "Ride you naked thro' the town,
And I repeal it;" and nodding, as in scorn,
He parted, with great strides among his dogs.”

Legend says she did it, securing her place in the naked lady hall of fame.