A reading of ‘Envy’

Mary Lamb compares an envious person to that of a rose tree, suggesting that a rose wanting to be like a different flower would be blind to its own beauty.

If the rose wished to change its 'natural bent' and grow other flowers, it would be unable to do so. She pictures the rose worrying, and says if it could only appreciate its own red flower and smell its beautiful scent, it would never be unhappy again.

This comparison is used to suggest that, if we too could only appreciate our own strengths, talents and beauty, we would have no need to be jealous of others.

Read the poem here.