Hospitable smoke curled from a dozen chimneys; shepherds galloped up on wiry horses and away again; scarlet passion-vines poured over roofs and verandas like cataracts of glory; and there was incessant laughter and chatter of children at play.
In spite of the attempt to prevent the extravagant use of flowers at funerals, we still see on those sad occasions some new and rather poetic ideas expressed by floral emblems. One of these, called the "Gates Ajar," was very beautiful: the "gates" panelled with lilies, and surmounted by doves holding sprays of passion-vines in their beaks.
"What if God wants you to wait first, little daughter?" Polly hid her face in the sofa-cushions and did not answer. Two of Mrs. Oliver's sitting-room windows looked out on the fig-trees, and the third on a cosy piazza corner framed in passion-vines, where at the present moment stood a round table holding a crystal bowl of Gold of Ophir roses, a brown leather portfolio, and a dish of apricots.
Even the Castilian roses, that grew as vines along the east front, the fuchsias, that attained the dignity of trees, in the patio, or the four or five monster passion-vines that bestarred the low western wall, and told over and over again their mystic story paled before the sensuous glory of the south veranda.