HAMLET: Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring? OPHELIA: ’Tis brief, my lord. HAMLET: As woman’s love.
-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1603
This time I have to bring her in an hour a posy of the rarest flowers, and where am I to find them?
-- Andrew Lang, The Orange Fairy Book, 1906
Posy is a variant of the word poesy, meaning "poem, poetry." Sometimes called nosegays or tussie-mussies, posies were popular accessories among fashionable women in Victorian England, and, harkening the word's literary origin, became vehicles for the floral "language of love."