Symbolism of “Flowers”

“Where fancy flows, and runs in bubbling streams, Where flowers grow4 upon the banks of dreams, Whereon the dew of sleepy eyes doth fall, 5 Bathing each leaf, and every flower small. There5 various thoughts as several flowers grow: Some milk-white innocence, as6 lilies, show, Fancies, as painted tulips’7 colors fixt, By Nature’s pencil neatly8 intermixt; 10 Some as sweet roses, which are newly blown, Others as tender buds, not yet full9 grown; Some, as small violets, much10 sweetness bring” (Cavendish) I am curious if Cavendish is referencing flowers as women and femininity. “Some milk-white innocence as lilies show” could be a nod at purity or virginity. “Some as sweet as roses” and “other tender buds” just seems eerily close to depictions in poetry and other written works of femininity, women’s sexuality, purity, and women being compared to flowers. I like how these “flower” parts are applicable to womanhood as a variety of flowers. It almost is a head nod to the absurdity of comparing women to flowers.
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