The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Melody of Earth, by Various

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Title: The Melody of Earth
       An Anthology of Garden and Nature Poems From Present-Day Poets

Author: Various

Release Date: December 30, 2011 [EBook #38438]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Published March 1918



How many of us are conscious of the subtle melodies, "through which the myriad lispings of the earth find perfect speech"?

Our poets are listeners; their ears are tuned to the magic call of secret voices that we who are not singers may never hear. They capture the "Melody" in chalices of song, and their message is: that whosoever will bend his ear to earth, may hear from field and furrow, from the many-bladed grass and the soft-petalled flowers—in the soughing of the pine tree or the rustle of leaves—an immortal music that revivifies the soul.

In the quiet tilled spots of earth, from time immemorial, men have sown rare seeds of poetic thought that have flowered into song. Amiel wrote in his Journal: "All seed-sowing is a mysterious thing whether the seed fall into earth or into souls; man is a husbandman, and his work rightly understood is to develop life, to sow it everywhere." The poets are our seed-sowers, and their work is to develop life and to enrich it. They are never happier than when writing about gardens and the growing things of earth—at once their symbol and their solace. In turn gardens have in the poets their happiest interpreters.

Here I have culled and gathered together songs and poems that reflect the melody and harmony of Nature's forces. In these days of the world's travail, let us seek inspiration and content within the delightful confines of these Gardens of Poetry.

Gertrude Moore Richards

March, 1918

[Pg ix]


Mrs. Richards tenders her sincere thanks to the publishers and poets who have so generously accorded their permission to use copyrighted poems:

To the American Tract Society for "Seeds" and "The Philosopher's Garden," John Oxenham, from Bees in Amber.

To Messrs. D. Appleton & Co. for "The Mocking-Bird," Frank L. Stanton, from Songs of the Soil.

To the Baker & Taylor Co. for "June Rapture" and "The Rose," Angela Morgan, from The Hour has Struck, and Other Poems and Utterance, and Other Poems.

To The Biddle Press for "The Old-fashioned Garden" and "Poppies," John Russell Hayes, from Collected Poems.

To the Bobbs-Merrill Company for "Thoughts fer the Discuraged Farmer," James Whitcomb Riley, from Complete Works.

To Edmund A. Brooks, Minneapolis, for "Daffodils" and "From a Car-Window," Ruth Guthrie Harding, from The Lark went Singing, and Other Poems.

To Messrs. Burns & Oates and to Alice Meynell (Mrs. Wilfrid Meynell) for "To a Daisy" and "The Garden" from Collected Poems; for "Rosa Mystica," Katharine Tynan (Mrs. Henry Albert Hinkson), from The Flower of Peace.

To The Century Co. for "Larkspur," James Oppenheim, from War and Laughter; for "The Tilling," Cale Young Rice, from Trails Sunward; for "The Haunted Garden," Louis Untermeyer, from Challenge.

To Messrs. Constable & Co. for "For These," Edward Thomas (Edward Eastaway), from An Annual of New Poetry.

To Country Life (London) and to Mrs. Gurney personally for "The[Pg x] Lord God planted a Garden" and "A Garden in Venice," by Dorothy Frances Gurney, from Poems.

To Messrs. Thomas Y. Crowell Company for "Love planted a Rose," Katharine Lee Bates, from America, and Other Poems; for "An Exile's Garden," Sophie Jewett, from Collected Poems.

To Messrs. J. M. Dent & Sons for "The Spring Beauties," Helen Gray Cone, from The Chant of Love, and Other Poems.

To Messrs. Dodd, Mead & Co. for "In a Garden," Livingston L. Biddle, from The Understanding Hills.

To Messrs. George H. Doran Company for "The Cricket in the Path," "Herb of Grace," and "Rain in the Night," Amelia Josephine Burr, from In Deep Places and Life and Living; for "A Song in a Garden," "Shade," and "The Poplars," Theodosia Garrison, from The Dreamers, and Other Poems; for "Trees," Joyce Kilmer, from Trees, and Other Poems; for "June," Douglas Malloch, from The Woods; for "Where Love is Life," Duncan Campbell Scott, from "The Three Songs" in Lundy's Lane, and Other Poems.

To Messrs. Doubleday, Page & Co. for "A Prayer," "The Butterfly," and "Before Mary of Magdala came," Edwin Markham, from The Man with the Hoe, and Other Poems and The Shoes of Happiness, and Other Poems.

To Messrs. Duffield & Co. for "The sweet caresses that I gave to you," Elsa Barker, from The Book of Love; for "What heart but fears a fragrance?" ("Zauber Duft"), Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi, from Gabrielle, and Other Poems; for "Spring," Francis Ledwidge, from Songs of the Fields; for "The White Peacock," William Sharp, from Songs and Poems.

To Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Co. for "The South Wind," Siegfried Sassoon, from The Old Huntsman, and Other Poems; for "The Tree," Evelyn Underhill, from Theophanies.

To Messrs. H. W. Fisher & Co. for "A Dream," "The Autumn Rose," "Fireflies," and "An Evening in Old Japan," Antoinette De Coursey Patterson, from Sonnets and Quatrains and The Son of Merope, and Other Poems.[Pg xi]

To Messrs. Harper & Brothers for "Roses in the Subway," Dana Burnet, from Poems; for "The Wild Rose," and "If I were a Fairy," Charles Buxton Going, from Star-Glow and Song; for "The Cardinal-Bird," Arthur Guiterman, from The Laughing Muse; for "Wild Gardens," Ada Foster Murray, from Flowers of the Grass; for "The Message," Helen Hay Whitney, from Sonnets and Songs.

To Hearst's International Library Company for "Stairways and Gardens" and "My Flower-Room," Ella Wheeler Wilcox, from World Voices.

To Mr. William Heinemann for "The Cactus," Laurence Hope, from Stars of the Desert; for "The July Garden," R. E. Vernède, from War Poems, and Other Verses; for "A Garden-Piece," Edmund Gosse, from Collected Poems.

To Messrs. Henry Holt & Co. for "The Cloister Garden at Certosa," Richard Burton, from Poems of Earth's Meaning; for "The Furrow," Padraic Colum, from Wild Earth, and Other Poems; for "The Three Cherry Trees," Walter de la Mare, from The Listeners, and Other Poems; for "A Late Walk," "Asking for Roses," "The Pasture," and "Putting in the Seed," Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will, North of Boston, and A Mountain Interval; for "Joe-Pyeweed," Louis Untermeyer, from These Times.

To Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company for "The Blooming of the Rose" and the selection from "Under the Trees," Anna Hempstead Branch, from The Heart of the Road and The Shoes that Danced, and Other Poems; for "Spring Patchwork" and "The Flowerphone," Abbie Farwell Brown, from A Pocketful of Posies and Songs of Sixpence; for "The Morning-Glory" and "Jewel-Weed," Florence Earle Coates, from Collected Poems; for "Nightingales" and "A Breath of Mint," Grace Hazard Conkling, from Afternoons of April; for "The Golden-Rod," Margaret Deland, from The Old Garden, and Other Verses; for "A Roman Garden," Florence Wilkinson Evans, from The Ride Home; for "Cobwebs," Louise Imogen Guiney, from Happy Ending; for "Planting," Robert Livingston, from Murrer and Me; for "Primavera," George Cabot Lodge, from Poems and Dramas; for[Pg xii] "Ever the Same," "Charm: To be said in the Sun," and "But we did walk in Eden," Josephine Preston Peabody, from The Singing Leaves and The Singing Man; for "At Isola Bella" ("A White Peacock"), Jessie B. Rittenhouse, from The Door of Dreams; for "The Goldfinch," Odell Shepard, from A Lonely Flute; for "Daisies" and "Witchery," Frank Dempster Sherman, from Poems; for "Grandmother's Gathering Boneset," Edith M. Thomas, from In Sunshine Land.

To Mr. B. W. Huebsch for "Song from 'April,'" Irene Rutherford McLeod, from Songs to Save a Soul.

To Messrs. George W. Jacobs & Co. for "Vestured and veiled with twilight," Rosamund Marriott Watson, from The Heart of a Garden.

To Mr. R. U. Johnson (publisher) for "Como in April," Robert Underwood Johnson, from Collected Poems.

To Mr. Mitchell Kennerley for "A Song to Belinda," Theodosia Garrison, from Earth Cry; for "In a Garden," Horace Holley, from Divinations and Creations; for "Afternoon on a Hill," "The End of Summer," and "A Little Ghost," Edna St. Vincent Millay, from Renascence, and Other Poems; for "Welcome," John Curtis Underwood, from Processionals; for "Ære Perennius," Charles Hanson Towne, from A Quiet Singer.

To Mr. Alfred A. Knopf for "The Rain" and "The Ways of Time," William H. Davies, from Collected Poems.

To The John Lane Company (New York) for "Loveliest of Trees," A. E. Housman, from A Shropshire Lad; for "May is building her House," and "I meant to do my work to-day," Richard Le Gallienne, from The Lonely Dancer; for "The Joy of the Springtime," and "The Time of Roses," Sarojini Naidu, from The Bird of Time and The Broken Wing; for "Heart's Garden," Norreys Jephson O'Conor, from Celtic Memories; for "Serenade," Marjorie L. C. Pickthall, from The Lamp of Poor Souls; for "There is Strength in the Soil," Arthur Stringer, from Open Water; for "Midsummer blooms within our quiet garden ways," "It was June in the garden," and "Within the garden there is healthfulness," Emile Verhaeren, from The Sunlit Hours and[Pg xiii] Afternoon; for "In a Garden of Granada," Thomas Walsh, from Gardens Overseas; for "The Garden of Mnemosyne," Rosamund Marriott Watson, from Collected Poems; for "Eden-Hunger," William Watson, from Retrogression, and Other Poems; for "Spring Planting," Helen Hay Whitney, from Herbs and Apples.

To Messrs. Little, Brown & Co. for "To a Weed," Gertrude Hall, from The Age of Fairy Gold; for "The Green o' the Spring," Denis A. McCarthy, from Voices from Erin; for "The Baby's Valentine," Laura E. Richards, from In my Nursery.

To Messrs. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company for "God's Garden," Richard Burton, from Dumb in June.

To Mr. David McKay for "The Blossomy Barrow" and "Da Thief," Thomas Augustine Daly, from Madrigali; for "A Soft Day," W. M. Letts, from Songs from Leinster.

To The Macmillan Company for "Old Homes," Madison Cawein, from Poems; for "Up a Hill and a Hill," Fannie Stearns Davis, from Myself and I; for "In the Womb," A. E. (George William Russell), from Collected Poems; for "To the Sweetwilliam," Norman Gale, from Collected Poems; for "Roses," Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, from Battle, and Other Poems; for "Rest at Noon" and "The Hummingbird," Hermann Hagedorn, from Poems and Ballads; for "The Mystery," Ralph Hodgson, from Poems; for "The Dandelion" and "With a Rose, to Brunhilde," Vachel Lindsay, from General William Booth enters into Heaven, and Other Poems and A Handy Guide for Beggars; for "A Tulip Garden," "Fringed Gentians," and "The Fruit Garden Path," Amy Lowell, from Sword Blades and Poppy Seed and The Dome of Many-coloured Glass; for "It may be so: but let the unknown be" and "Drop me the Seed," John Masefield, from Lollingdon Downs, and Other Poems; for "Samuel Gardner," Edgar Lee Masters, from The Spoon River Anthology; for "Go down to Kew in lilac-time" (selection from "The Barrel-Organ"), Alfred Noyes, from Poems; for "The Messenger," James Stephens, from Songs from the Clay; for "The Champa Flower" and "The Flower-School," Rabindranath Tagore, from The Crescent Moon; for "Indian Summer," "Alchemy,"[Pg xiv] "The Fountain," "Barter," and "Wood Song," Sara Teasdale, from Rivers to the Sea and Love Songs; for "The Message," George Edward Woodberry, from Poems; for "The Song of Wandering Aengus," W. B. Yeats, from Poems.

To Mr. Elkin Mathews and to Mr. Rowland Thirlmere personally for "A Shower," from Polyclitus, and Other Poems.

To the Manas Press, Rochester, N.Y., for "November Night" and "Arbutus," Adelaide Crapsey, from Verses.

To Messrs. John P. Morton & Co., Louisville, Ky., for "Conscience," Margaret Steele Anderson, from The Flame in the Wind.

To Mr. Thomas Bird Mosher for "Beyond," "As in a Rose-Jar," and "My soul is like a garden-close," Thomas S. Jones, Jr., from The Voice in the Silence and The Rose-Jar; for "A Seller of Herbs," "The Garden at Bemerton," and "April Weather," Lizette Woodworth Reese, from A Handful of Lavender; for "Frost To-night," Edith M. Thomas, from The Flower from the Ashes; for "In an Oxford Garden" and "Old Gardens," Arthur Upson, from Octaves in an Oxford Garden and Collected Poems.

To Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons for "In an Old Garden," Madison Cawein, from Moods and Melodies; for "If I could dig like a Rabbit," Rose Strong Hubbell, from If I could Fly; for "The Anxious Farmer," Burges Johnson, from Rhymes of Home; for "In an August Garden," "Amiel's Garden," and "The Garden," Gertrude Huntington McGiffert, from A Florentine Cycle.

To The Reilly & Britton Co. for "Results and Roses," Edgar A. Guest, from Heap o' Livin'.

To Mr. Grant Richards for "Loveliest of Trees," A. E. Housman, from A Shropshire Lad.

To Mr. A. M. Robertson (San Francisco) for "How many flowers are gently met," George Sterling, from The Testimony of the Sun, and Other Poems.

To Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons for "Miracle," L. H. Bailey, from Wind and Weather; for "Four O'Clocks" and "Homesick," Julia C. R. Dorr, from Poems and Last Poems; for "Tell-Tale," Oliver[Pg xv] Herford, from Overheard in a Garden; for "In the Garden" and "The Deserted Garden," Pai Ta-Shun (Frederick Peterson), from Chinese Lyrics (Kelly & Walsh, Hongkong); for "The Child in the Garden," Henry van Dyke, from Collected Poems.

To Messrs. Sherman, French & Co. for "The Trees," Samuel Valentine Cole, from The Great Gray King, and Other Poems; for "Her Garden," Eldredge Denison, from Ballads and Lyrics; for "Moth-Flowers," Jeanne Robert Foster, from Wild Apples; for "The Little God," Katharine Howard, from The Little God, and Other Poems; for "Cloud and Flower," Agnes Lee, from The Sharing, and Other Poems; for "The Dials" and "The Secret," Arthur Wallace Peach, from The Hill Trails; for "A Garden Prayer" and "In Memory's Garden," Thomas Walsh, from The Prison Ships, and Other Poems; for "Prayer" and "With memories and odors," John Hall Wheelock, from Love and Liberation.

To Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson for "A Song of Fairies," by Elizabeth Kirby, from The Bridegroom.

To Messrs. Small, Maynard & Co. for "Trees," "The Garden of Dreams," and "An April Morning," Bliss Carman, from April Airs; for "The Whisper of Earth," Edward J. O'Brien, from White Fountains; for "The Dews" and "Clover," John Banister Tabb, from Lyrics.

To Messrs. Stewart & Kidd Company, Cincinnati, for "The Golden Bowl," Mary McMillan, from The Little Golden Fountain, and Other Poems.

To Messrs. Frederick A. Stokes Company for "A Mocking-Bird" and "The Early Gods," Witter Bynner, from Grenstone Poems; for "The Proud Vegetables" and "Iris Flowers," Mary McNeil Fenollosa, from Blossoms from a Japanese Garden.

To Mr. T. Fisher Unwin for "Autumnal," Richard Middleton, from Poems and Songs.

To Messrs. James T. White & Co. for "Flowers of June," James Terry White, from A Garden of Remembrance; for "Song of the Weary Traveller," Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff, from Narcissus, and Other Poems.[Pg xvi]

To the Atlantic Monthly for "April Rain," Conrad Aiken; for "Yellow Warblers," Katharine Lee Bates; for "Safe," Robert Haven Schauffler; for "The Lilies," George Edward Woodberry.

To the Century Magazine for "Order," Paul Scott Mowrer.

To the Christian Science Monitor for "Family Trees," Douglas Malloch.

To the Churchman for "The Faithless Flowers," Margaret Widdemer.

To Contemporary Verse for "The Road to the Pool," Grace Hazard Conkling; for "The Night-Moth," Marion Couthouy Smith.

To the Craftsman for "The Scissors-Man," Grace Hazard Conkling.

To the Delineator for "In my Mother's Garden," Margaret Widdemer.

To Everybody's Magazine for "Years Afterward," Nancy Byrd Turner.

To Harper's Monthly Magazine for "Progress," Charlotte Becker; for "Oh, tell me how my garden grows," Mildred Howells; for "A Song for Winter," Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer.

To the Independent for "Blind," Harry Kemp; for "The Dusty Hour-Glass," Amy Lowell; for "A Midsummer Garden," Clinton Scollard.

To the Los Angeles Graphic for "A White Iris," Pauline B. Barrington.

To Lyric for "July Midnight," Amy Lowell.

To Munsey's Magazine for "A Puritan Lady's Garden," Sarah N. Cleghorn; for "Spring Song," William Griffith; for "The Fountain," Harry Kemp.

To Mushrooms, published by The John Marshall Company, for "Idealists," Alfred Kreymborg.

To Others: A Magazine of New Verse for "Reflections" ("Chinoiseries"), Amy Lowell; for "Lord, I ask a Garden," R. Arevalo Martinez.

To the New York Sun for "A Colonial Garden," James B. Kenyon.

To the New York Times for "Grace for Gardens," Louise Driscoll; for "The Welcome," Arthur Powell.

To Poetry: A Magazine of Verse for "Spring Song," Hilda Conkling;[Pg xvii] for "A Lady of the Snows," Harriet Monroe; for "The Magnolia," José Santos Chocano, translated by John Pierrepont Rice.

To Punch for "Lavender," W. W. Blair Fish.

To St. Nicholas for "Velvets," Hilda Conkling; for "When Swallows Build," Catherine Parmenter.

To Scribner's Magazine for "Her Garden," Louis Dodge; for "The Path that leads to Nowhere," Corinne Roosevelt Robinson.

To the Touchstone for "Dawn in my Garden," Marguerite Wilkinson.

To the Yale Review and to Mr. Brian Hooker personally for "Ballade of the Dreamland Rose" from Poems; also to the Yale Review for the selection from "Earth," John Hall Wheelock.

Personal acknowledgment is also made to the following poets and individual owners of copyrights:—

To Miss Zoë Akins for "The Snow-Gardens."

To Mr. William Stanley Braithwaite and to Mr. Fletcher personally for "Spring," John Gould Fletcher, printed in the Poetry Review.

To M. G. Brereton for "The Old Brocade" from A Celtic Christmas.

To Miss Abbie Farwell Brown for "The Wall" in manuscript.

To Mrs. Grace Hazard Conkling for "The Rose" in manuscript.

To Mr. Miles M. Dawson for "The Thistle" from Songs of the New Time.

To Violet Fane (Lady Curie) for "To a New Sun-Dial" from Collected Poems.

To Mrs. Mary McNeil Fenollosa for "Birth of the Flowers."

To Mr. Arthur Guiterman for "Tulips" and "Columbines" in manuscript.

To Miss Mary R. Jewett for "Flowers in the Dark," Sarah Orne Jewett, from Verses (privately printed).

To Rev. Arthur Ketchum for "The Spirit of the Birch" in manuscript.

To Miss Hannah Parker Kimball for "Sun, Cardinal, and Corn Flowers" from Soul and Sense.[Pg xviii]

To Mr. William Lindsey for "Two Roses" from Apples of Istakhar.

To Catherine Markham (Mrs. Edwin Markham) for "A Garden Friend."

To Mr. Lloyd Mifflin for "Draw closer, O ye Trees" from The Flying Nymph, and Other Verse.

To Miss Angela Morgan for "The Awakening" in manuscript.

To E. Nesbit (Mrs. Hubert Bland) for "Baby Seed Song."

To Mr. Shaemas O Sheel for "While April Rain went by" from The Light Feet of Goats (The Franklin Press).

To Mr. Clinton Scollard for "The Crocus Flame," and "Sunflowers," from Ballads Patriotic and Romantic; for "In the Garden-Close at Mezra" and "In an Egyptian Garden" from The Lutes of Morn.

To Mrs. Emily Selinger for "Over the Garden Wall."

To Mrs. May Riley Smith for "Sorrow in a Garden" in manuscript.

To the estate of Frank L. Stanton for "Sweetheart-Lady."

To Mr. Charles Wharton Stork for "Boulders" in manuscript, and for "Color Notes," printed in Lippincott's Magazine.

To Mr. Charles Hanson Towne for "A White Rose."

To Katharine Tynan (Mrs. Henry Albert Hinkson) for "The Choice," published by Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson in The Poems of To-day, an anthology.

To Mr. Frederic A. Whiting for his own poems "A Rose Lover" and "A Wonder Garden" in manuscript and for "Kinfolk" by Kate Whiting Patch.

To Mr. Clement Wood for "Rose-Geranium" from Glad of Earth.

To Mr. Henry A. Wise Wood for "The Joy of a Summer Day."


With very few exceptions only the poets who are writing to-day, or who have written within a period of ten years, are represented in this collection; and certain favorite poems peculiarly suited to the spirit of this book which chanced to be included in High Tide may be missed here. G. M. R.

[Pg xix]



EarthJohn Hall Wheelock2
The FurrowPadraic Colum3
"There is strength in the soil"Arthur Stringer4
In the Womb"A. E."4
Putting in the SeedRobert Frost5
The Whisper of EarthEdward J. O'Brien6
"Within the garden there is healthfulness"Emile Verhaeren6
In a GardenHorace Holley7
A ShowerRowland Thirlmere8
The RainWilliam H. Davies9
The DewsJohn B. Tabb9
SonnetJohn Masefield10
Charm: To be said in the SunJosephine Preston Peabody11
The DialsArthur Wallace Peach12
To a New SundialViolet Fane13
The FountainHarry Kemp14


The Birth of the FlowersMary McNeil Fenollosa18
The WelcomeArthur Powell19
The Joy of the SpringtimeSarojini Naidu20
SpringJohn Gould Fletcher20
[Pg xx]PrimaveraGeorge Cabot Lodge21
The Green o' the SpringDenis A. McCarthy22
An April MorningBliss Carman23
"With memories and odors"John Hall Wheelock24
April RainConrad Aiken25
While April Rain went byShaemas O Sheel25
SpringFrancis Ledwidge26
April WeatherLizette Woodworth Reese27
DaffodilsRuth Guthrie Harding28
The Crocus FlameClinton Scollard28
The Early GodsWitter Bynner30
A Tulip GardenAmy Lowell30
TulipsArthur Guiterman31
A White IrisPauline B. Barrington32
May is building her HouseRichard Le Gallienne33
The MagnoliaJosé Santos Chocano34
"Go down to Kew in lilac-time"Alfred Noyes35
BeyondThomas S. Jones, Jr.36
JuneDouglas Malloch36
June RaptureAngela Morgan37
ColumbinesArthur Guiterman39
The Morning-GloryFlorence Earle Coates40
The Blossomy BarrowT. A. Daly40
LarkspurJames Oppenheim42
The July GardenRobert Ernest Vernède43
"Mid-summer blooms within our quiet garden-ways"Emile Verhaeren44
PoppiesJohn Russell Hayes45
The Garden in AugustGertrude Huntington McGiffert46
[Pg xxi]Sun, Cardinal, and Corn FlowersHannah Parker Kimball48
SunflowersClinton Scollard48
The End of SummerEdna St. Vincent Millay49
A Late WalkRobert Frost50
Color NotesCharles Wharton Stork50
The Golden BowlMary McMillan51
The Autumn RoseAntoinette De Coursey Patterson52
Indian SummerSara Teasdale53
"Frost to-night"Edith M. Thomas54
November NightAdelaide Crapsey55
The Snow-GardensZoë Akins55
A Song for WinterMrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer57


"I meant to do my work to-day"Richard Le Gallienne60
The HummingbirdHermann Hagedorn61
Spring SongWilliam Griffith62
NightingalesGrace Hazard Conkling63
The GoldfinchOdell Shepard63
KinfolkKate Whiting Patch65
A Mocking-BirdWitter Bynner65
The Cardinal-BirdArthur Guiterman66
Yellow WarblersKatharine Lee Bates67
WitcheryFrank Dempster Sherman68
The Spring BeautiesHelen Gray Cone68
The Mocking-BirdFrank L. Stanton69
The MessengerJames Stephens71
FirefliesAntoinette De Coursey Patterson72
July MidnightAmy Lowell72
[Pg xxii]The Cricket in the PathAmelia Josephine Burr73
Rest at NoonHermann Hagedorn74
OrderPaul Scott Mowrer75
The Night-MothMarion Couthouy Smith75
The ButterflyEdwin Markham76
The SecretArthur Wallace Peach77


The GardenGertrude Huntington McGiffert80
Old HomesMadison Cawein81
A Puritan Lady's GardenSarah N. Cleghorn82
The Old-fashioned GardenJohn Russell Hayes83
A Colonial GardenJames B. Kenyon86
In my Mother's GardenMargaret Widdemer87
To the SweetwilliamNorman Gale88
Rose-GeraniumClement Wood90
Four O'ClocksJulia C. R. Dorr91
Asking for RosesRobert Frost92
The Old BrocadeM. G. Brereton93
Stairways and GardensElla Wheeler Wilcox94
Old MothersCharles Ross95


Song from "April"Irene Rutherford McLeod98
The Road to the PoolGrace Hazard Conkling99
The Wild RoseCharles Buxton Going99
Up a Hill and a HillFannie Stearns Davis100
The Joys of a Summer MorningHenry A. Wise Wood101
South WindSiegfried Sassoon102
[Pg xxiii]To a WeedGertrude Hall102
The PastureRobert Frost104
The ThistleMiles M. Dawson104
CloverJohn B. Tabb105
Wild GardensAda Foster Murray106
The DandelionVachel Lindsay107
Joe-PyeweedLouis Untermeyer108
To a DaisyAlice Meynell109
A Soft DayW. M. Letts110
ArbutusAdelaide Crapsey111
Jewel-WeedFlorence Earle Coates111
The WallAbbie Farwell Brown112
BouldersCharles Wharton Stork114
Afternoon on a HillEdna St. Vincent Millay115
The Golden-RodMargaret Deland116
The Path that leads to NowhereCorinne Roosevelt Robinson117


The MessageGeorge Edward Woodberry120
"Where love is life"Duncan Campbell Scott121
The Time of RosesSarojini Naidu122
Love planted a RoseKatharine Lee Bates123
The GardenAlice Meynell123
Cloud and FlowerAgnes Lee124
ProgressCharlotte Becker125
"But we did walk in Eden"Josephine Preston Peabody125
A Garden-PieceEdmund Gosse126
"How many flowers are gently met"George Sterling127
With a Rose, to BrunhildeVachel Lindsay127
[Pg xxiv]"My soul is like a garden-close"Thomas S. Jones, Jr.128
A DreamAntoinette De Coursey Patterson129
The RoseGrace Hazard Conkling130
PrayerJohn Hall Wheelock130
In a GardenLivingston L. Biddle131
A Song of FairiesElizabeth Kirby131
A Song to BelindaTheodosia Garrison132
Sweetheart-LadyFrank L. Stanton133
Heart's GardenNorreys Jephson O'Conor133
A Rose LoverFrederic A. Whiting134
SonnetElsa Barker135
A Song in a GardenTheodosia Garrison135
"It was June in the garden"Emile Verhaeren136
Two RosesWilliam Lindsey138
RosesWilfrid Wilson Gibson138
Her GardenLouis Dodge139
Ære PerenniusCharles Hanson Towne139
Ever the SameJosephine Preston Peabody140
The MessageHelen Hay Whitney141
Tell-TaleOliver Herford142
Da ThiefT. A. Daly143
Results and RosesEdgar A. Guest145


MiracleL. H. Bailey148
The AwakeningAngela Morgan149
ShadeTheodosia Garrison150
Selection from "Under the Trees"Anna Hempstead Branch151
A Garden FriendCatherine Markham (Mrs. Edwin Markham)152
[Pg xxv]A Lady of the SnowsHarriet Monroe153
The TreeEvelyn Underhill153
"Loveliest of trees"A. E. Housman155
The Spirit of the BirchArthur Ketchum156
Family TreesDouglas Malloch156
IdealistsAlfred Kreymborg158
"Draw closer, O ye trees"Lloyd Mifflin159
TreesBliss Carman160
The TreesSamuel Valentine Cole162
The PoplarsTheodosia Garrison164
TreesJoyce Kilmer165


As in a Rose-JarThomas S. Jones, Jr.168
In an Old GardenMadison Cawein169
The Garden of DreamsBliss Carman169
HomesickJulia C. R. Dorr170
The Ways of TimeWilliam H. Davies172
A Midsummer GardenClinton Scollard172
The White RoseCharles Hanson Towne173
A Haunted GardenLouis Untermeyer174
The Dusty Hour-GlassAmy Lowell176
The Song of Wandering AengusW. B. Yeats177
The Three Cherry TreesWalter de la Mare178
Old GardensArthur Upson179
The Blooming of the RoseAnna Hempstead Branch179
The Garden of MnemosyneRosamund Marriott Watson181
Ballade of the Dreamland RoseBrian Hooker181
The Flowers of JuneJames Terry White183
[Pg xxvi]In Memory's GardenThomas Walsh183
SerenadeMarjorie L. C. Pickthall184
"What heart but fears a fragrance?"Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi185
Years AfterwardNancy Byrd Turner186
AutumnalRichard Middleton186
"Oh, tell me how my garden grows"Mildred Howells188
Her GardenEldredge Denison189
The Little GhostEdna St. Vincent Millay190
Roses in the SubwayDana Burnet191


A Garden PrayerThomas Walsh194
In the Garden-Close at MezraClinton Scollard195
The CactusLaurence Hope195
The White PeacockWilliam Sharp196
At Isola BellaJessie B. Rittenhouse198
The FountainSara Teasdale199
The Champa FlowerRabindranath Tagore200
In an Egyptian GardenClinton Scollard201
Evening in Old JapanAntoinette De Coursey Patterson202
ReflectionsAmy Lowell203
In the GardenPai Ta-Shun204
The Deserted GardenPai Ta-Shun204
A Roman GardenFlorence Wilkinson Evans205
Como in AprilRobert Underwood Johnson207
An Exile's GardenSophie Jewett207
The Cloister Garden at CertosaRichard Burton208
A Garden in VeniceDorothy Frances Gurney209
[Pg xxvii]In a Garden of GranadaThomas Walsh210
Amiel's GardenGertrude Huntington McGiffert211
Eden-HungerWilliam Watson212
The Garden at BemertonLizette Woodworth Reese212
In an Oxford GardenArthur Upson213


"Grandmother's gathering boneset"Edith M. Thomas216
A Breath of MintGrace Hazard Conkling217
A Seller of HerbsLizette Woodworth Reese218
LavenderW. W. Blair Fish219
Dawn in my GardenMarguerite Wilkinson221
The Proud VegetablesMary McNeil Fenollosa221
The ChoiceKatharine Tynan223
Thoughts fer the Discuraged FarmerJames Whitcomb Riley225
Grace for GardensLouise Driscoll226


PlantingRobert Livingston230
Spring PatchworkAbbie Farwell Brown231
Baby's ValentineLaura E. Richards232
Baby Seed SongE. Nesbit234
Rain in the NightAmelia Josephine Burr235
A Little Girl's Songs—I, Spring Song; II, Velvets (By a Bed of Pansies)Hilda Conkling (six years old)236
When Swallows BuildCatherine Parmenter (eleven years old)238
Spring PlantingHelen Hay Whitney239
If I could dig like a RabbitRose Strong Hubbell239
The Little GodKatharine Howard240
[Pg xxviii]DaisiesFrank Dempster Sherman241
The Anxious FarmerBurges Johnson242
Over the Garden WallEmily Selinger243
The FlowerphoneAbbie Farwell Brown244
The Faithless FlowersMargaret Widdemer245
The Flower-SchoolRabindranath Tagore246
Iris FlowersMary McNeil Fenollosa247
If I were a FairyCharles Buxton Going249
Fringed GentiansAmy Lowell250
The Scissors-ManGrace Hazard Conkling250


God's GardenRichard Burton254
"The Lord God planted a garden"Dorothy Frances Gurney255
The LiliesGeorge E. Woodberry255
BarterSara Teasdale256
SonnetJohn Masefield257
The TillingCale Young Rice258
SafeRobert Haven Schauffler259
Sorrow in a GardenMay Riley Smith260
Moth-FlowersJeanne Robert Foster262
AlchemySara Teasdale262
Flowers in the DarkSarah Orne Jewett263
WelcomeJohn Curtis Underwood264
The Child in the GardenHenry van Dyke265
A Wonder GardenFrederic A. Whiting266
From a Car-WindowRuth Guthrie Harding267
Song of the Weary TravellerBlanche Shoemaker Wagstaff267
CobwebsLouise Imogen Guiney268
[Pg xxix]BlindHarry Kemp269
Herb of GraceAmelia Josephine Burr270
Before Mary of Magdala cameEdwin Markham270
ConscienceMargaret Steele Anderson273
Rosa MysticaKatharine Tynan273
The MysteryRalph Hodgson275
The RoseAngela Morgan275
For TheseEdward Thomas (Edward Eastaway)276
Samuel GardnerEdgar Lee Masters277
SeedsJohn Oxenham278
"Lord, I ask a Garden"R. Arevalo Martinez279
My Flower-RoomElla Wheeler Wilcox280
"Vestured and veiled with twilight"Rosamund Marriott Watson282
The Fruit Garden PathAmy Lowell283
Wood SongSara Teasdale284
A PrayerEdwin Markham284
The Philosopher's GardenJohn Oxenham285
Index of Titles 287
Index of Authors 297

[Pg xxx]

[Pg 1]


[Pg 2]


Grasshopper, your fairy song
And my poem alike belong
To the deep and silent earth
From which all poetry has birth;
All we say and all we sing
Is but as the murmuring
Of that drowsy heart of hers
When from her deep dream she stirs:
If we sorrow, or rejoice,
You and I are but her voice.

Deftly does the dust express
In mind her hidden loveliness,
And from her cool silence stream
The cricket's cry and Dante's dream:
For the earth that breeds the trees
Breeds cities too, and symphonies,
Equally her beauty flows
Into a savior or a rose.

Even as the growing grass
Up from the soil religions pass,
And the field that bears the rye
Bears parables and prophecy.
Out of the earth the poem grows
Like the lily, or the rose;
And all that man is or yet may be,
Is but herself in agony
Toiling up the steep ascent
Towards the complete accomplishment
When all dust shall be, the whole
Universe, one conscious soul.

Yea, and this my poem, too,
Is part of her as dust and dew,
Wherein herself she doth declare
Through my lips, and say her prayer.
John Hall Wheelock

[Pg 3]


Stride the hill, sower,
Up to the sky-ridge,
Flinging the seed,
Scattering, exultant!
Mouthing great rhythms
To the long sea beats
On the wide shore, behind
The ridge of the hillside.

Below in the darkness—
The slumber of mothers—
The cradles at rest—
The fire-seed sleeping
Deep in white ashes!

Give to darkness and sleep:
O sower, O seer!
Give me to the Earth.
With the seed I would enter.
O! the growth thro' the silence
From strength to new strength;
Then the strong bursting forth
Against primal forces,
To laugh in the sunshine,
To gladden the world!
Padraic Colum

[Pg 4]


There is strength in the soil;
In the earth there is laughter and youth.
There is solace and hope in the upturned loam.
And lo, I shall plant my soul in it here like a seed!
And forth it shall come to me as a flower of song;
For I know it is good to get back to the earth
That is orderly, placid, all-patient!
It is good to know how quiet
And noncommittal it breathes,
This ample and opulent bosom
That must some day nurse us all!
Arthur Stringer


Still rests the heavy share on the dark soil:
Upon the black mould thick the dew-damp lies:
The horse waits patient: from his lowly toil
The ploughboy to the morning lifts his eyes.

The unbudding hedgerows dark against day's fires
Glitter with gold-lit crystals: on the rim
Over the unregarding city's spires
The lonely beauty shines alone for him.

[Pg 5] And day by day the dawn or dark unfolds
And feeds with beauty eyes that cannot see
How in her womb the mighty mother moulds
The infant spirit for eternity.
"A. E."
(George William Russell)


You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper's on the table, and we'll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree.

(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;)
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,

Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.
Robert Frost

[Pg 6]


In the misty hollow, shyly greening branches
Soften to the south wind, bending to the rain.
From the moistened earthland flutter little whispers,
Breathing hidden beauty, innocent of stain.

Little plucking fingers tremble through the grasses,
Little silent voices sigh the dawn of spring,
Little burning earth-flames break the awful stillness,
Little crying wind-sounds come before the King.

Powers, dominations urge the budding of the crocus,
Cherubim are singing in the moist cool stone,
Seraphim are calling through the channels of the lily,
God has heard the earth-cry and journeys to His throne.
Edward J. O'Brien


Within the garden there is healthfulness.

Lavishly it gives it us
In light that cleaves
To every movement of its thousand hands
Of palms and leaves.

[Pg 7] And the good shade where it accepts,
After long journeyings,
Our steps,
Pours on the weary limb
A force of life and sweetness like
Its mosses dim.

When the lake is playing with the wind and sun.
It seems a crimson heart
Within, all ardent, has begun
To throb with the moving wave;
The gladiolus and the fervent rose,
Which in their splendor move unshadowèd,
Upon their vital stems expose
Their cups of gold and red.

Within the garden there is healthfulness.
Emile Verhaeren


I stood within a Garden during rain
Uncovering to the drops my lifted brow:
O joyous fancy, to imagine now
I slip, with trees and clouds, the social chain,
Alone with nature, naught to lose or gain
[Pg 8] Nor even to become; no, just to be
A moment's personal essence, wholly free
From needs that mold the heart to forms of pain.
Arise, I cried, and celebrate the hour!
Acclaim serener gladness; if it fail,
New courage, nobler vision, will survive
That I have known my kinship to the flower,
My brotherhood with rain, and in this vale
Have been a moment's friend to all alive.
Horace Holley


You may have seen, when winds were high,
That hesitant buds would not unfold
In garden-borders chill and dry,
Bright with the Easter-lilies' gold.

Then, suddenly, would come a shower—
The big breeze veering to the west—
And happier music filled the bower
Above the thrush's hidden nest:

The elm-tree's inconspicuous bloom
Vanished amidst her little leaves;
In box and bay a fragrant gloom
Inspired the wren's recitatives:

[Pg 9] The woods assumed their delicate green
And spoke in songs that brought you bliss:
Ay, and your withered heart has been
Quickened on such a day as this!
Rowland Thirlmere


I hear leaves drinking Rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
'Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
'Twill be a lovely sight.
William H. Davies


We come and go, as the breezes blow,
But whence or where
Hath ne'er been told in the legends old
By the dreaming seer.
[Pg 10] The welcome rain to the parching plain
And the languid leaves,
The rattling hail on the burnished mail
Of the serried sheaves,
The silent snow on the wintry brow
Of the aged year,
Wends each his way in the track of day
From a clouded sphere:
But still as the fog in the dismal bog
Where the shifting sheen
Of the spectral lamp lights the marshes damp,
With a flash unseen
We drip through the night from the starlids bright,
On the sleeping flowers,
And deep in their breast is our perfumed rest
Through the darkened hours:
But again with the day we are up and away
With our stolen dyes,
To paint all the shrouds of the drifting clouds
In the eastern skies.
John B. Tabb


It may be so; but let the unknown be.
We, on this earth, are servants of the sun.
Out of the sun comes all the quick in me,
His golden touch is life to everyone.

[Pg 11] His power it is that makes us spin through space,
His youth is April and his manhood bread,
Beauty is but a looking on his face,
He clears the mind, he makes the roses red.

What he may be, who knows? But we are his,
We roll through nothing round him, year by year,
The withering leaves upon a tree which is
Each with his greed, his little power, his fear.

What we may be, who knows? But everyone
Is dust on dust a servant of the sun.
John Masefield


I reach my arms up, to the sky,
And golden vine on vine
Of sunlight showered wild and high,
Around my brows I twine.

I wreathe, I wind it everywhere,
The burning radiancy
Of brightness that no eye may dare,
To be the strength of me.

Come, redness of the crystalline,
Come green, come hither blue
And violet—all alive within,
For I have need of you.

[Pg 12] Come honey-hue and flush of gold,
And through the pallor run,
With pulse on pulse of manifold
New largess of the Sun!

O steep the silence till it sing!
O glories from the height,
Come down, where I am garlanding
With light, a child of light!
Josephine Preston Peabody


With fingers softer than the touch of death
The sundial writes the passing of the day,
The hours unfolding slow to twilight gray,
The gleaming moments vanish in a breath.

But sunny hours alone the sundial names;
All unrecorded are the midnight spans
And vain within the dusk the watcher scans
The marble face; thereon no record flames.

So on eternal dials that God may hold,
And those more humble in the human heart,
No bitter deeds their passing hours impart;
Kind deeds alone are marked in fadeless gold!
Arthur Wallace Peach

[Pg 13]


Oh, Sundial, you should not be young,
Or fresh and fair, or spick and span!
None should remember when began
Your tenure here, nor whence you sprung!

Like ancient cromlech notch'd and scarr'd,
I would have had you sadly tow'r
Above this world of leaf and flower
All ivy-tress'd and lichen-starr'd;

Ambassador of Time and Fate,
In contrast stern to bud and bloom,
Seeming half temple and half tomb,
And wholly solemn and sedate;

Till, one with God's own works on earth,
The lake, the vale, the mountain-brow,
We might have come to count you now
Whose home was here before our birth.

But lo! a priggish, upstart thing—
Set here to tell so old a truth—
How fleeting are our days of youth—
You, that were only made last spring!

[Pg 14] Go to!... What sermon can you preach,
Oh, mushroom—mentor pert and new?
We are too old to learn of you
What you are all too young to teach!

Yet, Sundial, you and I may swear
Eternal friendship, none the less,
For I'll respect your youthfulness
If you'll forgive my silver hair!
Violet Fane


I thought my garden finished. I beheld
Each bush bee-visited; a green charm quelled
The louder winds to music; soft boughs made
Patches of silver dusk and purple shade—
And yet I felt a lack of something still.

There was a little, sleepy-footed rill
That lapsed among sun-burnished stones, where slept
Fish, rainbow-scaled, while dragon-flies, adept,
Balanced on bending grass.

All perfect? No.
My garden lacked a fountain's upward flow.
[Pg 15] I coaxed the brook's young Naiad to resign
Her meadow wildness, building her a shrine
Of worship, where each ravished waif of air
Might wanton in the brightness of her hair.

So here my fountain flows, loved of the wind,
To every vagrant, aimless gust inclined,
Yet constant ever to its source. It greets
The face of morning, wavering windy sheets
Of woven silver; sheer it climbs the noon,
A shaft of bronze; and underneath the moon
It sleeps in pearl and opal. In the storm
It streams far out, a wild, gray, blowing form;
While on calm days it heaps above the lake,—
Pelting the dreaming lilies half awake,
And pattering jewels on each wide, green frond,—
Recurrent pyramids of diamond!
Harry Kemp

[Pg 16]

[Pg 17]

[Pg 18]



God spoke! and from the arid scene
Sprang rich and verdant bowers,
Till all the earth was soft with green,—
He smiled; and there were flowers.
Mary McNeil Fenollosa

[Pg 19]


God spreads a carpet soft and green
O'er which we pass;
A thick-piled mat of jeweled sheen—
And that is Grass.

Delightful music woos the ear;
The grass is stirred
Down to the heart of every spear—
Ah, that's a Bird.

Clouds roll before a blue immense
That stretches high
And lends the soul exalted sense—
That scroll's a Sky.

Green rollers flaunt their sparkling crests;
Their jubilee
Extols brave Captains and their quests—
And that is Sea.

New-leaping grass, the feathery flute,
The sapphire ring,
The sea's full-voiced, profound salute,—
Ah, this is Spring!
Arthur Powell

[Pg 20]


Springtime, O Springtime, what is your essence,
The lilt of a bulbul, the laugh of a rose,
The dance of the dew on the wings of a moonbeam,
The voice of the zephyr that sings as he goes,
The hope of a bride or the dream of a maiden
Watching the petals of gladness unclose?

Springtime, O Springtime, what is your secret,
The bliss at the core of your magical mirth,
That quickens the pulse of the morning to wonder
And hastens the seeds of all beauty to birth,
That captures the heavens and conquers to blossom
The roots of delight in the heart of the earth?
Sarojini Naidu


At the first hour, it was as if one said, "Arise."
At the second hour, it was as if one said, "Go forth."
And the winter constellations that are like patient ox-eyes
Sank below the white horizon at the north.

At the third hour, it was as if one said, "I thirst;"
At the fourth hour, all the earth was still:
Then the clouds suddenly swung over, stooped, and burst;
And the rain flooded valley, plain and hill.

[Pg 21] At the fifth hour, darkness took the throne;
At the sixth hour, the earth shook and the wind cried;
At the seventh hour, the hidden seed was sown,
At the eighth hour, it gave up the ghost and died.

At the ninth hour, they sealed up the tomb;
And the earth was then silent for the space of three hours.
But at the twelfth hour, a single lily from the gloom
Shot forth, and was followed by a whole host of flowers.
John Gould Fletcher


Spirit immortal of mortality,
Imperishable faith, calm miracle
Of resurrection, truth no tongue can tell,
No brain conceive,—now witnessed utterly
In this new testament of earth and sea,—
To us thy gospel! Where the acorn fell
The oak-tree springs: no seed is infidel!
Once more, O Wonder, flower and field and tree
Reveal thy secret and significance!
And we, who share unutterable things
And feel the foretaste of eternity,
Haply shall learn thy meaning and perchance
Set free the soul to lift immortal wings
And cross the frontiers of infinity.
George Cabot Lodge

[Pg 22]


Sure, afther all the winther,
An' afther all the snow,
'Tis fine to see the sunshine,
'Tis fine to feel its glow;
'Tis fine to see the buds break
On boughs that bare have been—
But best of all to Irish eyes
'Tis grand to see the green!

Sure, afther all the winther,
An' afther all the snow,
'Tis fine to hear the brooks sing
As on their way they go;
'Tis fine to hear at mornin'
The voice of robineen,
But best of all to Irish eyes
'Tis grand to see the green!

Sure, here in grim New England
The spring is always slow,
An' every bit o' green grass
Is kilt wid frost and snow;
Ah, many a heart is weary
The winther days, I ween
But oh, the joy when springtime comes
An' brings the blessed green!
Denis A. McCarthy

[Pg 23]


Once more in misted April
The world is growing green.
Along the winding river
The plumey willows lean.

Beyond the sweeping meadows
The looming mountains rise,
Like battlements of dreamland
Against the brooding skies.

In every wooded valley
The buds are breaking through,
As though the heart of all things
No languor ever knew.

The golden-wings and bluebirds
Call to their heavenly choirs.
The pines are blued and drifted
With smoke of brushwood fires.

And in my sister's garden
Where little breezes run,
The golden daffodillies
Are blowing in the sun.
Bliss Carman

[Pg 24]


With memories and odors
The wind is warm and mild;
The earth is like a mother
Where leaps the unborn child.

The grackles flock returning
Like rain-clouds from the south.
And all the world lies yearning
Toward summer, mouth to mouth.

How soft the hills and hazy
Seen through the open door!—
The crocus shines, a virgin,
White from the grassy floor.

The children whirl around in a ring,
And laugh and sing, and dance and sing:
But the blackbird whistles clear,
O clear,
"The Spring, the Spring!"
John Hall Wheelock

[Pg 25]


Fall, rain! You are the blood of coming blossom,
You shall be music in the young birds' throats,
You shall be breaking, soon, in silver notes;
A virgin laughter in the young earth's bosom.
Oh, that I could with you reënter earth,
Pass through her heart and come again to sun,
Out of her fertile dark to sing and run
In loveliness and fragrance of new mirth!
Fall, rain! Into the dust I go with you,
Pierce the remaining snows with subtle fire,
Warming the frozen roots with soft desire,
Dreams of ascending leaves and flowers new.
I am no longer body,—I am blood
Seeking for some new loveliness of shape;
Dark loveliness that dreams of new escape,
The sun-surrender of unclosing bud.
Take me, O Earth! and make me what you will;
I feel my heart with mingled music fill.
Conrad Aiken


Under a budding hedge I hid
While April rain went by,
But little drops came slipping through,
Fresh from a laughing sky:

[Pg 26] A-many little scurrying drops,
Laughing the song they sing,
Soon found me where I sought to hide,
And pelted me with Spring.

And I lay back and let them pelt,
And dreamt deliciously
Of lusty leaves and lady-blossoms
And baby-buds I'd see

When April rain had laughed the land
Out of its wintry way,
And coaxed all growing things to greet
With gracious garb the May.
Shaemas O Sheel


The dews drip roses on the meadows
Where the meek daisies dot the sward.
And Æolus whispers through the shadows,
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord!"
The golden news the skylark waketh
And 'thwart the heavens his flight is curled;
Attend ye as the first note breaketh
And chrism droppeth on the world.

[Pg 27] The velvet dusk still haunts the stream
Where Pan makes music light and gay.
The mountain mist hath caught a beam
And slowly weeps itself away.
The young leaf bursts its chrysalis
And gem-like hangs upon the bough,
Where the mad throstle sings in bliss
O'er earth's rejuvenated brow.

Slowly fall, O golden sands,
Slowly fall and let me sing,
Wrapt in the ecstasy of youth,
The wild delights of Spring.
Francis Ledwidge


Oh, hush, my heart, and take thine ease,
For here is April weather!
The daffodils beneath the trees
Are all a-row together.

The thrush is back with his old note;
The scarlet tulip blowing;
And white—ay, white as my love's throat—
The dogwood boughs are glowing.

[Pg 28] The lilac bush is sweet again;
Down every wind that passes,
Fly flakes from hedgerow and from lane;
The bees are in the grasses.

And Grief goes out, and Joy comes in,
And Care is but a feather;
And every lad his love can win,
For here is April weather.
Lizette Woodworth Reese


There flames the first gay daffodil
Where winter-long the snows have lain:
Who buried Love, all spent and still?
There flames the first gay daffodil.
Go, Love's alive on yonder hill,
And yours for asking, joy and pain,
There flames the first gay daffodil
Where winter-long the snows have lain!
Ruth Guthrie Harding


The Easter sunrise flung a bar of gold
O'er the awakening wold.
What was thine answer, O thou brooding earth,
What token of re-birth,
[Pg 29] Of tender vernal mirth,
Thou the long-prisoned in the bonds of cold?

Under the kindling panoply which God
Spreads over tree and clod,
I looked far abroad.
Umber the sodden reaches seemed and seer
As when the dying year,
With rime-white sandals shod,
Faltered and fell upon its frozen bier.
Of some rathe quickening, some divine
Renascence not a sign!

And yet, and yet,
With touch of viol-chord, with mellow fret,
The lyric South amid the bough-tops stirred,
And one lone bird
An unexpected jet
Of song projected through the morning blue,
As though some wondrous hidden thing it knew.

And so I gathered heart, and cried again:
"O earth, make plain,
At this matutinal hour,
The triumph and the power
Of life eternal over death and pain,
Although it be but by some simple flower!"

[Pg 30] And then, with sudden light,
Was dowered my veilèd sight,
And I beheld in a sequestered place
A slender crocus show its sun-bright face.
O miracle of Grace,
Earth's Easter answer came,
The revelation of transfiguring Might,
In that small crocus flame!
Clinton Scollard


It is the time of violets.
It is the very day
When in the shadow of the wood
Spring shall have her say,
Remembering how the early gods
Came up the violet way.
Are there not violets
And gods—
Witter Bynner


Guarded within the old red wall's embrace,
Marshalled like soldiers in gay company,
The tulips stand arrayed. Here infantry
Wheels out into the sunlight. What bold grace
[Pg 31] Sets off their tunics, white with crimson lace!
Here are platoons of gold-frocked cavalry,
With scarlet sabres tossing in the eye
Of purple batteries, every gun in place.
Forward they come, with flaunting colors spread,
With torches burning, stepping out in time
To some quick, unheard march. Our ears are dead,
We cannot catch the tune. In pantomime
Parades the army. With our utmost powers
We hear the wind stream through a bed of flowers.
Amy Lowell


Brave little fellows in crimsons and yellows,
Coming while breezes of April are cold,
Winter can't freeze you, he flies when he sees you
Thrusting your spears through the redolent mold.

Jolly Dutch flowers, rejoicing in showers,
Drink! ere the pageant of Spring passes by!
Hold your carousals to Robin's espousals,
Lifting rich cups for the wine of the sky!

Dignified urbans in glossy silk turbans,
Burgherlike blossoms of gardens and squares,
Nodding so solemn by fountain and column,
What is the talk of your weighty affairs?

[Pg 32] Pollen and honey (for such is your money),—
Gossip and freight of the chaffering bee,—
Prospects of growing,—what colors are showing,—
News of rare tulips from over the sea?

Loitering near you, how often I hear you,
Just ere your petals at twilight are furled,
Laugh through the grasses while Evelyn passes,
"There goes the loveliest flower in the world!"
Arthur Guiterman


Tall and clothed in samite,
Chaste and pure,
In smooth armor,—
Your head held high
In its helmet
Of silver:
Jean D'Arc riding
Among the sword blades!

Has Spring for you
Wrought visions,
As it did for her
In a garden?
Pauline B. Barrington

[Pg 33]


May is building her house. With apple blooms
She is roofing over the glimmering rooms;
Of the oak and the beech hath she builded its beams,
And, spinning all day at her secret looms,
With arras of leaves each wind-swayed wall
She pictureth over, and peopleth it all
With echoes and dreams,
And singing of streams.

May is building her house of petal and blade;
Of the roots of the oak is the flooring made,
With a carpet of mosses and lichen and clover,
Each small miracle over and over,
And tender, travelling green things strayed.

Her windows the morning and evening star,
And her rustling doorways, ever ajar
With the coming and going
Of fair things blowing,
The thresholds of the four winds are.

May is building her house. From the dust of things
She is making the songs and the flowers and the wings;
From October's tossed and trodden gold
She is making the young year out of the old;
[Pg 34] Yea! out of winter's flying sleet
She is making all the summer sweet,
And the brown leaves spurned of November's feet
She is changing back again to spring's.
Richard Le Gallienne


Deep in the wood, of scent and song the daughter,
Perfect and bright is the magnolia born;
White as a flake of foam upon still water,
White as soft fleece upon rough brambles torn.

Hers is a cup a workman might have fashioned
Of Grecian marble in an age remote.
Hers is a beauty perfect and impassioned,
As when a woman bares her rounded throat.

There is a tale of how the moon, her lover,
Holds her enchanted by some magic spell;
Something about a dove that broods above her,
Or dies within her breast—I cannot tell.

I cannot say where I have heard the story,
Upon what poet's lips; but this I know:
Her heart is like a pearl's, or like the glory
Of moonbeams frozen on the spotless snow.
José Santos Chocano
(Translated by John Pierrepont Rice)

[Pg 35]


Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time;
Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!)
And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer's wonderland;
Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!).

The cherry-trees are seas of bloom and soft perfume and sweet perfume,
The cherry-trees are seas of bloom (and oh, so near to London!)
And there they say, when dawn is high and all the world's a blaze of sky
The cuckoo, though he's very shy, will sing a song for London.

The Dorian nightingale is rare, and yet they say you'll hear him there
At Kew, at Kew in lilac-time (and oh, so near to London!)
The linnet and the throstle, too, and after dark the long halloo
And golden-eyed tu-whit, tu-whoo of owls that ogle London.

For Noah hardly knew a bird of any kind that isn't heard
At Kew, at Kew in lilac-time (and oh, so near to London!)
And when the rose begins to pout and all the chestnut spires are out
You'll hear the rest without a doubt, all chorussing for London:—

[Pg 36] Come down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time;
Come down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!)
And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer's wonderland;
Come down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!).
Alfred Noyes


I wonder if the tides of Spring
Will always bring me back again
Mute rapture at the simple thing
Of lilacs blowing in the rain.

If so, my heart will ever be
Above all fear, for I shall know
There is a greater mystery
Beyond the time when lilacs blow.
Thomas S. Jones, Jr.


I knew that you were coming, June, I knew that you were coming!
Among the alders by the stream I heard a partridge drumming;
I heard a partridge drumming, June, a welcome with his wings,
And felt a softness in the air half Summer's and half Spring's.

[Pg 37] I knew that you were nearing, June, I knew that you were nearing—
I saw it in the bursting buds of roses in the clearing;
The roses in the clearing, June, were blushing pink and red,
For they had heard upon the hills the echo of your tread.

I knew that you were coming, June, I knew that you were coming,
For ev'ry warbler in the wood a song of joy was humming.
I know that you are here, June, I know that you are here—
The fairy month, the merry month, the laughter of the year!
Douglas Malloch


Green! What a world of green! My startled soul
Panting for beauty long denied,
Leaps in a passion of high gratitude
To meet the wild embraces of the wood;
Rushes and flings itself upon the whole
Mad miracle of green, with senses wide,
Clings to the glory, hugs and holds it fast,
As one who finds a long-lost love at last.
Billows of green that break upon the sight
In bounteous crescendos of delight,
Wind-hurried verdure hastening up the hills
To where the sun its highest rapture spills;
Cascades of color tumbling down the height
In golden gushes of delicious light—
[Pg 38] God! Can I bear the beauty of this day,
Or shall I be swept utterly away?

Hush—here are deeps of green, where rapture stills,
Sheathing itself in veils of amber dusk;
Breathing a silence suffocating, sweet,
Wherein a million hidden pulses beat.
Look! How the very air takes fire and thrills
With hint of heaven pushing through her husk.
Ah, joy's not stopped! 'Tis only more intense,
Here where Creation's ardors all condense;
Here where I crush me to the radiant sod,
Close-folded to the very nerves of God.
See now—I hold my heart against this tree.
The life that thrills its trembling leaves thrills me.
There's not a pleasure pulsing through its veins
That does not sting me with ecstatic pains.
No twig or tracery, however fine,
Can bear a tale of joy exceeding mine.

Praised be the gods that made my spirit mad;
Kept me aflame and raw to beauty's touch.
Lashed me and scourged me with the whip of fate;
Gave me so often agony for mate;
Tore from my heart the things that make men glad—
Praised be the gods! If I at last, by such
Relentless means may know the sacred bliss,
The anguished rapture of an hour like this.
[Pg 39] Smite me, O Life, and bruise me if thou must;
Mock me and starve me with thy bitter crust,
But keep me thus aquiver and awake,
Enamoured of my life for living's sake!
This were the tragedy—that I should pass,
Dull and indifferent through the glowing grass.
And this the reason I was born, I say—
That I might know the passion of this day!
Angela Morgan


Late were we sleeping
Deep in the mold,
Clasping and keeping
Yesterday's gold—
Hoardings of sunshine,
Crimson and gold;
Dreaming of light till our dream became
Aureate bells and beakers of flame,—
Splashed with the splendor of wine of flame.
Raindrop awoke us;
Zephyr bespoke us;
Chick-a-dee called us,
Bobolink called us,—
Then we came.
Arthur Guiterman

[Pg 40]


Was it worth while to paint so fair
Thy every leaf—to vein with faultless art
Each petal, taking the boon light and air
Of summer so to heart?

To bring thy beauty unto perfect flower,
Then, like a passing fragrance or a smile,
Vanish away, beyond recovery's power—
Was it, frail bloom, worth while?

Thy silence answers: "Life was mine!
And I, who pass without regret or grief,
Have cared the more to make my moment fine,
Because it was so brief.

"In its first radiance I have seen
The sun!—why tarry then till comes the night?
I go my way, content that I have been
Part of the morning light!"
Florence Earle Coates


Antonio Sarto ees buildin' a wall,
But maybe he nevva gon' feenish at all.
Eet sure wonta be
Teell flower an' tree
An' all kinda growin' theengs sleep een da Fall.

[Pg 41] You see, deesa 'Tonio always ees want'
To leeve on a farm, so he buy wan las' mont'.
I s'posa som' day eet be verra nice place,
But shape dat he find eet een sure ees "deesgrace";
Eet's busta so bad he must feexin' eet all,
An' firs' theeng he starta for build ees da wall.
Mysal' I go outa for see heem wan day,
An' dere I am catcha heem sweatin' away;
He's liftin' beeg stones from all parts of hees land
An' takin' dem up to da wall een hees hand!
I say to heem: "Tony, why don'ta you gat
Som' leetla wheel-barrow for halp you weeth dat?"
"O! com' an' I show you w'at's matter," he said,
An' so we go look at hees tools een da shed.
Dere's fina beeg wheel-barrow dere on da floor,
But w'at do you s'pose? From een under da door,
Som' mornin'-glor' vines have creep eento da shed,
An' beautiful flower, all purpla an' red,
Smile out from da vina so pretty an' green
Dat tweest round da wheel an' da sides da machine.
I look at dees Tony an' say to heem: "Wal?"
An' Tony he look back at me an' say: "Hal!
I no can bust up soocha beautiful theeng;
I work weeth my han's eef eet tak' me teell spreeng!"

Antonio Sarto ees buildin' a wall,
But maybe he nevva gon' feenish at all.
[Pg 42] Eet sure wonta be
Teell flower an' tree
An' all kinda growin' theengs sleep een da Fall.
T. A. Daly


Blue morning and the beloved,
The hill-garden and I ...

Blue morning and the beloved,
Leaning, laughing and plucking,
Plucking wet roses ...

(She among the roses,
I among the larkspur,
Bob-white, warbler, meadowlark, bobolink,
Song, sun,
And still morning air.)

I snipped off a larkspur blossom of china-blue
And held it,
A blossom against the sky ...

And heaven opened out
In one small flower-face ...

[Pg 43] And the beloved,
Plucking roses, plucking roses, old-fashioned roses,
Lifted her face
With eyes of china-blue.

(She among the roses,
I among the larkspur,
Bee-hum, brown-mole, downy chick, humming-bird:
Light, dew,
And laughter of my love.)
James Oppenheim


It's July in my garden; and steel-blue are the globe thistles
And French grey the willows that bow to every breeze;
And deep in every currant bush a robber blackbird whistles
"I'm picking, I'm picking, I'm picking these!"

So off I go to rout them, and find instead I'm gazing
At clusters of delphiniums—the seed was small and brown,
But these are spurs that fell from heaven and caught the most amazing
Colours of the welkin's own as they came hustling down.

And then some roses catch my eye, or may be some Sweet Williams
Or pink and white and purple peals of Canterbury bells
[Pg 44] Or pencilled Violas that peep between the three-leaved trilliums
Or red-hot pokers all aglow or poppies that cast spells—

And while I stare at each in turn I quite forget or pardon
The blackbirds—and the blackguards—that keep robbing me of pie;
For what do such things matter when I have so fair a garden
And what is half so lovely as my garden in July?
Robert Ernest Vernède


Mid-summer blooms within our quiet garden-ways;
A golden peacock down the dusky alley strays;
Gay flower petals strew
—Pearl, emerald and blue—
The curving slopes of fragrant summer grass;
The pools are clear as glass
Between the white cups of the lily-flowers;
The currants are like jewelled fairy-bowers;
A dazzling insect worries the heart of a rose,
Where a delicate fern a filmy shadow throws,
And airy as bubbles the thousands of bees
Over the young grape-clusters swarm as they please.

The air is pearly, iridescent, pure;
These profound and radiant noons mature,
[Pg 45] Unfolding even as odorous roses of clear light;
Familiar roads to distances invite
Like slow and graceful gestures, one by one
Bound for the pearly-hued horizon and the sun.

Surely the summer clothes, with all her arts,
No other garden with such grace and power;
And 'tis the poignant joy close-folded in our hearts
That cries its life aloud from every flaming flower.
Emile Verhaeren


O perfect flowers of sweet midsummer days,
The season's emblems ye,
As nodding lazily
Ye kiss to sleep each breeze that near you strays,
And soothe the tired gazer's sense
With lulling surges of your softest somnolence.

Like fairy lamps ye light the garden bed
With tender ruby glow.
Not any flowers that blow
Can match the glory of your gleaming red;
Such sunny-warm and dreamy hue
Before ye lit your fires no garden ever knew.

Bright are the blossoms of the scarlet sage,
And bright the velvet vest
[Pg 46] On the nasturtium's breast;
Bright are the tulips when they reddest rage,
And bright the coreopsis' eye;—
But none of all can with your brilliant beauty vie.

O soft and slumberous flowers, we love you well;
Your glorious crimson tide
The mossy walk beside
Holds all the garden in its drowsy spell;
And walking there we gladly bless
Your queenly grace and all your languorous loveliness.
John Russell Hayes


From corn-crib by the level pasture-lands
To knoll where spruce and boulders hide the road
I know it like a book, and when my heart
Is waste and dry and hard and choked with weeds,
I come here till it gently blooms again.
For gardens yield rich fruits that will outlast
The autumn and the winter of the soul,
Richest to him who toils with loving hands.
'Tis delving thus we learn life's secrets told
But to those favored few who dig for them.
The Garden is an intimate and keeps
In touch with us, yet hath its own high moods,
[Pg 47] And doth impose them on the mind of man
To shame his pettiness. So do I love
Its shimmering August mood keyed to the sun,
A harlequin of color, birds and bloom.
Nasturtiums, zinnias, balsams, salvias blaze
By vivid dahlias; tiger-lilies burn
In scarlet shadow of Jerusalem-cross;
Beyond the queen-hydrangeas splendid rule
Barbaric marigolds; chrysanthemums
Outshine gladioli, and sunflowers flaunt
Their crests of gold beneath the giant gourds.
Within the arbor, script forgot, I muse,
While gorgeous hollyhocks sway to and fro
To mark the silences, and butterflies
Flit in and out like some bright memory,
And blinding poppies kindle slow watch-fires
Before the golden altar of the sun.

A spell lies on the Garden. Summer sits
With finger on her lips as if she heard
The steps of Autumn echo on the hill.
A hush lies on the Garden. Summer dreams
Of timid crocus thrust through drifted snow.
Gertrude Huntington McGiffert

[Pg 48]


Whence gets Earth her gold for thee,
O Sunflower?
Her woven, yellow locks so fine
Must go to make that gold of thine.

And whence thy red beside the stream,
O Cardinal-flower?
She pricks some vein lies near her heart
That thy rich, ruddy hue may start.

And whence thy blue amid the corn,
O Corn-flower?
Her deep-blue eyes gleam out in glee,
The glories of her work to see.
Hannah Parker Kimball


My tall sunflowers love the sun,
Love the burning August noons
When the locust tunes its viol,
And the cricket croons.

When the purple night draws on,
With its planets hung on high,
And the attared winds of slumber
Wander down the sky,

[Pg 49] Still my sunflowers love the sun,
Keep their ward and watch and wait
Till the rosy key of morning
Opes the eastern gate.

Then, when they have deeply quaffed
From the brimming cups of dew,
You can hear their golden laughter
All the garden through.
Clinton Scollard


When poppies in the garden bleed,
And coreopsis goes to seed,
And pansies, blossoming past their prime,
Grow small and smaller all the time,
When on the mown field, shrunk and dry,
Brown dock and purple thistle lie,
And smoke from forest fires at noon
Can make the sun appear the moon,
When apple seeds, all white before,
Begin to darken in the core,
I know that summer, scarcely here,
Is gone until another year.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

[Pg 50]


When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of the withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rustling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.
Robert Frost


The brown of fallen leaves,
The duller brown
Of withered moss
Stubble and bared sheaves,
[Pg 51] And pale light filtering down
The fields across.

The gray of slender trees,
The softer gray
Of melting skies.
What sobering ecstasies
One drinks on such a day
With chastened eyes!
Charles Wharton Stork


I stand upon the broad and rounded summit
Of a high hill
In the full golden flood of an October day
Nearing to twilight.
Below lie bouquets of woods, flat fields,
White strings of roads winding like fairy tales into the distance,
All steeped in sapphire mist like the blue bloom of grapes.
Nearby a scarlet creeper trails a fence,
Nearer a hawthorn tree
Drops its wee crimson apples into the lush green grass.
I stand with head thrown back,
Seeing and breathing deep,
My arms stretched out, in my two hands
[Pg 52] I hold a golden bowl.
Luscious fruits fulfil the yellow lustre of its hollow sphere,
Fruits like great gems,
A pear of russet topaz, a ruby peach,
A cluster of grapes—
Amethysts from the dewy cave of night—
A sapphire plum, a garnet apple, emerald nectarine,
And on them lies a rose.

Oh, empty golden bowl I call my soul,
Filled now with the precious fruits of life and time,
Topped with the rosy spray of grace,
A rose,
As though dropped to me from the sky above,
A crowning thing,
I lift and hold you out,
An offering,
And close my eyes.
Mary McMillan


A Ghostly visitant, pale Autumn Rose,
Haunting my garden that you once loved well:
Ah, how you queened it ere the sweet June's close,
And blushed anew to hear the zephyrs tell
[Pg 53] Your loveliness was fairer than a dream!
But now your pride of beauty is all gone,
And like some poor sad penitent you seem,
Whose drooping head but hides a visage wan
And wasted by the coldness of the world.
Upon your faint sweet breath is borne a sigh,
Within your petals lies a tear impearled;
I hear you to my garden say good-bye.

A sudden wind—the pale rose-petals blow
Hither and yon—or are they flakes of snow?
Antoinette De Coursey Patterson


Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper's horn, and far off, high in the maples
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence,
Under the moon waning and worn and broken,
Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember you, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heartless.

[Pg 54] Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, oh fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.
Sara Teasdale


Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star ...
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will.
Frost to-night—so clear and dead-still."

Then, I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied,—
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.

The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all,—the splendid throng,
And in one great sheaf I bore them along.

In my garden of Life with its all-late flowers
I heed a Voice in the shrinking hours:
"Frost to-night—so clear and dead-still ..."
Half sad, half proud, my arms I fill.
Edith M. Thomas

[Pg 55]


Listen ...
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.
Adelaide Crapsey


Like an empty stage
The gardens are empty and cold;
The marble terraces rise
Like vases that hold no flowers;
The lake is frozen, the fountain still;
The marble walls and the seats
Are useless and beautiful.
Ah, here
Where the wind and the dusk and the snow are
All is silent and white and sad!
Why do I think of you?
Why does your name remorselessly
Strike through my heart?
Why does my soul awaken and shudder?
Why do I seem to hear
Cries as lovely as music?
[Pg 56] Surely you never came
Into these pale snow-gardens;
Surely you never stood
Here in the twilight with me;
Yet here I have lingered and dreamed
Of a face as subtle as music,
Of golden hair, and of eyes
Like a child's ...
I have felt on my brow
Your finger-tips, plaintive as music ...
O Wonder of all wonders, O Love—
Wrought of sweet sounds and of dreaming!—
Why do you not emerge
From the lilac pale petals of dusk,
And come to me here in the gardens
Where the wind and the snow are?

Beauty and Peace are here—
And unceasing music—
And a loneliness chill and wistful,
Like the feeling of death.

Like a crystal lily a star
Leans from its leaves of silver
And gleams in the sky;
And golden and faint in the shadows
You wait indistinctly,—
[Pg 57] Like a phantom lamp that appears
In the mirror of distance that hovers
By the window at twilight—
You have come—and we stand together,
With questioning eyes—
Dreaming and cold and ghostly
In an empty garden that seems
Like an empty stage.
Zoë Akins


Speak not of snow and cold and rime
Now they prevail.
Would you have joy in winter-time,
Think of the pale
New green that comes, of blossoming lilacs think,
Larkspur, and borders of the fringèd pink.
And sing, if winter grants you heart to sing,
Of summer and of spring.

Would you secure some happiness
In frosty hours,
Trust to the eye external less
Than to the powers
Of inward sight that even now may show
Opaline seas, blue hilltops, and the glow
[Pg 58] Of daybreak on the glades where thrushes sing
In summer and in spring.

Gaze not on fettered lake and brook
And sullen skies,
But in your happy memory look
Where beauty lies
As once it was, as it shall be again
When sunshine floods the fields of blowing grain,
And sing, as must who would in winter sing,
Of summer and of spring.
Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer

[Pg 59]

[Pg 60]



I meant to do my work to-day—
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand—
So what could I do but laugh and go?
Richard Le Gallienne

[Pg 61]


Through tree-top and clover a-whirr and away!
Hi! little rover, stop and stay.

Merry, absurd, excited wag—
Lilliput-bird in Brobdingnag!

Wild and free as the wild thrush, and warier—
Was ever a bee merrier, airier?

Wings folded so, a second or two—
Was ever a crow more solemn than you?

A-whirr again over the garden, away!
Who calls, little rover, Bird or fay?

Agleam and aglow, incarnate bliss!
What do you know that we humans miss?

In the lily's chalice, what rune, what spell,
In the rose's palace, what do they tell

(When the door you bob in, airily)
That they hush from the robin, hide from the bee?—

[Pg 62] Fearing the crew of chatter and song,
And tell to you of the chantless tongue?

Chantless! Ah, yes. Is that the sting
Masked in gay dress and whirring wing?

Faith! But a wing of such airy stuff!
What need to sing? Here's music enough.

A-whirr, and over tree-top, and through!
Hi! little rover, fair travel to you.

Sweet, absurd, excited wag—
Lilliput-bird in Brobdingnag!
Hermann Hagedorn


Softly at dawn a whisper stole
Down from the Green House on the Hill,
Enchanting many a ghostly bole
And wood song with the ancient thrill.

Gossiping on the countryside,
Spring and the wandering breezes say
God has thrown heaven open wide
And let the thrushes out to-day.
William Griffith

[Pg 63]


At sunset my brown nightingales
Hidden and hushed all day,
Ring vespers, while the color pales
And fades to twilight gray:
The little mellow bells they ring,
The little flutes they play,
Are soft as though for practising
The things they want to say.
It's when the dark has floated down
To hide and guard and fold,
I know their throats that look so brown,
Are really made of gold.
No music I have ever heard
Can call as sweet as they!
I wonder if it is a bird
That sings within the hidden tree,
Or some shy angel calling me
To follow far away?
Grace Hazard Conkling


Down from the sky on a sudden he drops
Into the mullein and juniper tops,
Flushed from his bath in the midsummer shine
Flooding the meadowland, drunk with the wine
[Pg 64] Spilled from the urns of the blue, like a bold
Sky-buccaneer in his sable and gold.

Lightly he sways on the pendulous stem,
Vividly restless, a fluttering gem,
Then with a flash of bewildering wings
Dazzles away up and down, and he sings
Clear as a bell at each dip as he flies
Bounding along on the wave of the skies.

Sunlight and laughter, a wingèd desire,
Motion and melody married to fire,
Lighter than thistle-tuft borne on the wind,
Frailer than violets, how shall we find
Words that will match him, discover a name
Meet for this marvel, this lyrical flame?

How shall we fashion a rhythm to wing with him,
Find us a wonderful music to sing with him
Fine as his rapture is, free as the rollicking
Song that the harlequin drops in his frolicking
Dance through the summer sky, singing so merrily
High in the burning blue, winging so airily?
Odell Shepard

[Pg 65]


O, we are Kinfolk, she and I,—
The little mother-bird all brown,
Who broods above her nest on high,
And with her soft, bright eyes looks down
To read the secret of my heart,—
We two from all the world apart!

She dreams there in her swaying nest;
I dream here 'neath my sheltering vine.
The same love stirs her feathered breast
That makes my heart-throb seem divine.
We both dream 'neath the same kind sky,—
The small brown mother-bird, and I.
Kate Whiting Patch


An arrow, feathery, alive,
He darts and sings,—
Then with a sudden skimming dive
Of striped wings
He finds a pine and, debonair,
Makes with his mate
All birds that ever rested there

[Pg 66] The whisper of a multitude
Of happy wings
Is round him, a returning brood,
Each time he sings.
Though heaven be not for them or him
Yet he is wise,
And daily tiptoes on the rim
Of paradise.
Witter Bynner


Where snow-drifts are deepest he frolics along,
A flicker of crimson, a chirrup of song,
My Cardinal-Bird of the frost-powdered wing,
Composing new lyrics to whistle in Spring.

A plump little prelate, the park is his church;
The pulpit he loves is a cliff-sheltered birch;
And there, in his rubicund livery dressed,
Arranging his feathers and ruffling his crest,

He preaches, with most unconventional glee,
A sermon addressed to the squirrels and me,
Commending the wisdom of those that display
The brightest of colors when heavens are gray.
Arthur Guiterman

[Pg 67]


The first faint dawn was flushing up the skies,
When, dreamland still bewildering mine eyes,
I looked out to the oak that, winter-long,—
A winter wild with war and woe and wrong,—
Beyond my casement had been void of song.

And lo! with golden buds the twigs were set,
Live buds that warbled like a rivulet
Beneath a veil of willows. Then I knew
Those tiny voices, clear as drops of dew,
Those flying daffodils that fleck the blue,

Those sparkling visitants from myrtle isles—
Wee pilgrims of the sun, that measured miles
Innumerable over land and sea
With wings of shining inches. Flakes of glee,
They filled that dark old oak with jubilee,

Foretelling in delicious roundelays
Their dainty courtships on the dipping sprays,
How they should fashion nests, mate helping mate,
Of milkweed flax and fern-down delicate,
To keep sky-tinted eggs inviolate.

Listening to those blithe notes, I slipped once more
From lyric dawn through dreamland's open door,
[Pg 68] And there was God, Eternal Life that sings
Eternal joy, brooding all mortal things,
A nest of stars, beneath untroubled wings.
Katharine Lee Bates


Out of the purple drifts,
From the shadow sea of night,
On tides of musk a moth uplifts
Its weary wings of white.

Is it a dream or ghost
Of a dream that comes to me,
Here in the twilight on the coast,
Blue cinctured by the sea?

Fashioned of foam and froth—
And the dream is ended soon,
And, lo, whence came the moon-white moth
Comes now the moth-white moon!
Frank Dempster Sherman


The Puritan Spring Beauties stood freshly clad for church;
A Thrush, white-breasted, o'er them sat singing on his perch.
"Happy be! for fair are ye!" the gentle singer told them,
But presently a buff-coat Bee came booming up to scold them.
[Pg 69] "Vanity, oh, vanity!
Young maids, beware of vanity!"
Grumbled out the buff-coat Bee,
Half parson-like, half soldierly.

The sweet-faced maidens trembled, with pretty, pinky blushes,
Convinced that it was wicked to listen to the Thrushes;
And when, that shady afternoon, I chanced that way to pass,
They hung their little bonnets down and looked into the grass.
All because the buff-coat Bee
Lectured them so solemnly:—
"Vanity, oh, vanity!
Young maids, beware of vanity!"
Helen Gray Cone


He didn't know much music
When first he come along;
An' all the birds went wonderin'
Why he didn't sing a song.

They primped their feathers in the sun,
An' sung their sweetest notes;
An' music jest come on the run
From all their purty throats!

[Pg 70] But still that bird was silent
In summer time an' fall;
He jest set still and listened,
An' he wouldn't sing at all!

But one night when them songsters
Was tired out an' still,
An' the wind sighed down the valley
An' went creepin' up the hill;

When the stars was all a-tremble
In the dreamin' fields o' blue,
An' the daisy in the darkness—
Felt the fallin' o' the dew,—

There come a sound o' melody
No mortal ever heard,
An' all the birds seemed singin'
From the throat o' one sweet bird!

Then the other birds went Mayin'
In a land too fur to call;
For there warn't no use in stayin'
When one bird could sing for all!
Frank L. Stanton

[Pg 71]


Bee! tell me whence do you come?
Ten fields away, twenty perhaps,
Have heard your hum.

If you are from the north, you may
Have passed my mother's roof of straw
Upon your way.

If you came from the south you should
Have seen another cottage just
Inside the wood.

And should you go back that way, please
Carry a message to the house
Among the trees.

Say—I will wait her at the rock
Beside the stream, this very night
At eight o'clock.

And ask your queen when you get home
To send my queen the present of
A honey-comb.
James Stephens

[Pg 72]


Fireflies, Fireflies, little glinting creatures,
Making night lovely with a rain of gold,
Born of the moonbeams, children all unearthly,
Ah how you vanish from a look too bold!

Fireflies, Fireflies, lovely as our dreams are,
Sewn with such fancies from the years gone by,
Wayward, elusive, as the playful zephyrs,
Hiding mid grasses, gleaming in the sky.

Fireflies, Fireflies, like unto the silent
Brown nuns who gather for the dead to pray,
As theirs your mission; holy, too, your tapers,
Souls of dead flowers lighting on their way.
Antoinette De Coursey Patterson


Fireflies flicker in the tops of trees,
Flicker in the lower branches,
Skim along the ground.
Over the moon-white lilies
Is a flashing and ceasing of small, lemon-green stars.
As you lean against me,
[Pg 73] The air all about you
Is slit, and pricked, and pointed with sparkles of lemon-green flame
Starting out of a background of great vague trees.
Amy Lowell


She passed through the shadowy garden, so tall and so white,
Her eyes on the stars and her face like an angel's upturned,
And it seemed to my thought that the dusk round her head with the light
Of an aureole burned.

But where she had trodden unseeing, I found on the path
A cricket, so frail that her light foot had maimed it, yet strong
To valiantly pipe, tiny hero, a faint aftermath
Of its yesterday song.

And I whispered, "Alas, Little Brother, why must it befall
That the passing of angels but cripples and leaves us to die?
Poor imp of the greensward, God trumpets me clear in thy call;
Thou art braver than I.

"The Bright Ones of Heaven have trodden me down as they passed;
I crawl in their footsteps a trampled and impotent thing.
I know not the reason, nor question henceforth. To the last,
While I live, I will sing."
Amelia Josephine Burr

[Pg 74]


Now with a re-created mind
Back to the world my way I find;

Fed by the hills one little hour,
By meadow-slope and beechen-bower,

Cedar serene, benignant larch,
Hoar mountains and the azure arch

Where dazzling vapors make vast sport
In God's profound and spacious court.

The universe played with me. Earth
Harped to high heaven her sweetest mirth;

The clouds built castles for my pleasure,
And airy legions without measure

Flung, spindrift-wise, across the sky
To thrill my heart once and to die.

I have held converse with large things;
For cherubim with cooling wings

Brushed me, and gay stars, hid from view,
Called through the arras of the blue

[Pg 75] And clapped their hands: "These veils uproll!
And see the comrades of your soul!"

The very flowers that ringed my bed
Their little "God-be-with-you" said,

And every insect, bird and bee
Brought cool cups from eternity.
Hermann Hagedorn


It is half-past eight on the blossomy bush:
The petals are spread for a sunning;
The little gold fly is scrubbing his face;
The spider is nervously running
To fasten a thread; the night-going moth
Is folding his velvet perfection;
And presently over the clover will come
The bee on a tour of inspection.
Paul Scott Mowrer


My night-moth, my white moth, out of the fragrant dark
Blowing in and growing like a dim star-spark,
So swift in the shifting of your elfin wings,
So slight in your lighting, as a flower that clings,
[Pg 76] As a boat to ride the dew, with sheer up-bearing sails,
Pulsing and breathing, rocked with delicate gales,—
You gleam as a dream, by my window's light,
My white moth, my bright moth, my wandering wraith of night.

From the velvet screening of a great gray cloud
The moon floats swiftly, white and open-browed,
Flooding cloud and water with her shining trail,
Till the night shrinks, sighing, behind the radiant veil;
The night, with her shy soul, to the deep wood slips—
Her shy soul, her high soul, shrine of all the stars;
And you fly, like the sigh from her tender lips,
Athwart the wavering shadows, beating the silver bars;
You fleet in the meeting of the dark and bright,
My light moth, my white moth, spark from the soul of night.
Marion Couthouy Smith


O winged brother on the harebell, stay—
Was God's hand very pitiful, the hand
That wrought thy beauty at a dream's demand?
Yes, knowing I love so well the flowery way,
He did not fling me to the world astray—
He did not drop me to the weary sand,
But bore me gently to a leafy land:
Tinting my wings, He gave me to the day.

[Pg 77] Oh, chide no more my doubting, my despair!
I will go back now to the world of men.
Farewell, I leave thee to the world of air,
Yet thou hast girded up my heart again;
For He that framed the impenetrable plan,
And keeps His word with thee, will keep with man.
Edwin Markham


O, little bird, you sing
As if all months were June;
Pray tell me ere you go
The secret of your tune?

"I have no hidden word
To tell, nor mystic art;
I only know I sing
The song within my heart!"
Arthur Wallace Peach

[Pg 78]

[Pg 79]

[Pg 80]



Old gardens have a language of their own,
And mine sweet speech to linger in the heart.
A goodly place it is and primly spaced,
With straight box-bordered paths and squares of bloom.
Bay-trees by rows of antique urns tell tales
Of one who loved the gardens Dante loved.
Magnolias edge the placid lily-pool
And flank the sagging seat, whence vista leads
To blaze of rhododendrons banked in green.
Azaleas by the scarlet quince flame up
Against the lustrous grape-vines trellised high
To pigeon-cote and old brick wall where hide
First snowdrops and the bravest violets.
A place of solitudes whose silences
Enfold the heart as an unquiet bird.
Gertrude Huntington McGiffert

[Pg 81]


Old homes among the hills! I love their gardens;
Their old rock fences, that our day inherits;
Their doors, round which the great trees stand like wardens;
Their paths, down which the shadows march like spirits;
Broad doors and paths that reach bird-haunted gardens.

I see them gray among their ancient acres,
Severe of front, their gables lichen-sprinkled,—
Like gentle-hearted, solitary Quakers,
Grave and religious, with kind faces wrinkled,—
Serene among their memory-hallowed acres.

Their gardens, banked with roses and with lilies—
Those sweet aristocrats of all the flowers—
Where Springtime mints her gold in daffodillies,
And Autumn coins her marigolds in showers,
And all the hours are toilless as the lilies.

I love their orchards where the gay woodpecker
Flits, flashing o'er you, like a wingèd jewel;
Their woods, whose floors of moss the squirrels checker
With half-hulled nuts; and where, in cool renewal,
The wild brooks laugh, and raps the red woodpecker.

Old homes! Old hearts! Upon my soul forever
Their peace and gladness lie like tears and laughter;
[Pg 82] Like love they touch me, through the years that sever,
With simple faith; like friendship, draw me after
The dreamy patience that is theirs forever.
Madison Cawein


This fairy pleasance in the brake—
This maze run wild of flower and vine—
Our fathers planted for the sake
Of eyes that longed for English gardens
Amid the virgin wastes of pine.

Here, by the broken, moldering wall,
Where still the tiger-lilies ride,
Once grew the crown imperial,
The tall blue larkspur, white Queen Margaret,
Prince's-feather, and mourning bride.

Beyond their pale, a humbler throng,
Grew Bouncing Bet and columbine;
The mountain fringe ran all along
The thick-set hedge of cinnamon roses,
And overhung the eglantine.

And Sunday flowers were here as well—
Adam-and-Eve within their hood,
[Pg 83] The stately Canterbury bell,
And, oft in churches breathing fragrance,
The sweet and pungent southernwood.

When ships for England cleared the bay,
If long beside these reefs of foam
She stood, and watched them sail away,
It was her garden first enticed her
To turn, and call this country "home."
Sarah N. Cleghorn


Among the meadows of the countryside,
From city noise and tumult far away,
Where clover-blossoms spread their fragrance wide
And birds are warbling all the sunny day,
There is a spot which lovingly I prize,
For there a fair and sweet old-fashioned country garden lies.

The gray old mansion down beside the lane
Stands knee-deep in the fields that lie around
And scent the air with hay and ripening grain.
Behind the manse box-hedges mark the bound
And close the garden in, or nearly close,
For on beyond the hollyhocks an olden orchard grows.

[Pg 84] So bright and lovely is the dear old place,
It seems as though the country's very heart
Were centered here, and that its antique grace
Must ever hold it from the world apart.
Immured it lies among the meadows deep,
Its flowery stillness beautiful and calm as softest sleep.

The morning-glories ripple o'er the hedge
And fleck its greenness with their tinted foam;
Sweet wilding things, up to the garden's edge
They love to wander from their meadow home,
To take what little pleasure here they may
Ere all their silken trumpets close before the warm midday.

The larkspur lifts on high its azure spires,
And up the arbor's lattices are rolled
The quaint nasturtium's many-colored fires;
The tall carnation's breast of faded gold
Is striped with many a faintly-flushing streak,
Pale as the tender tints that blush upon a baby's cheek.

The old sweet-rocket sheds its fine perfumes,
With golden stars the coreopsis flames,
And here are scores of sweet old-fashioned blooms,
Dear for the very fragrance of their names,—
Poppies and gilly flowers and four-o'clocks,
Cowslips and candytuft and heliotrope and hollyhocks,

[Pg 85] Harebells and peonies and dragon-head,
Petunias, scarlet sage and bergamot,
Verbenas, ragged-robins, soft gold-thread,
The bright primrose and pale forget-me-not,
Wall-flowers and crocuses and columbines,
Narcissus, asters, hyacinths, and honeysuckle vines.

A sweet seclusion this of sun and shade,
A calm asylum from the busy world,
Where greed and restless care do ne'er invade,
Nor news of 'change and mart each morning hurled
Round half the globe; no noise of party feud
Disturbs this peaceful spot nor mars its perfect quietude.

But summer after summer comes and goes
And leaves the garden ever fresh and fair;
May brings the tulip, golden June the rose,
And August winds shake down the mellow pear.
Man blooms and blossoms, fades and disappears,—
But scarce a tribute pays the garden to the passing years.

Sweet is the odor of the warm, soft rain
In violet-days when spring opes her green heart;
And sweet the apple trees along the lane
Whose lovely blossoms all too soon depart;
And sweet the brimming dew that overfills
The golden chalices of all the trembling daffodils.

[Pg 86] But sweeter far, in this old garden-close
To loiter 'mid the lovely old-time flowers,
To breathe the scent of lavender and rose,
And with old poets pass the peaceful hours.
Old gardens and old poets,—happy he
Whose quiet summer days are spent in such sweet company!
John Russell Hayes


Down this pathway, through the shade,
Lightly tripped the dainty maid,
In her eyes the smile of June,
On her lips some old sweet tune.
Through yon ragged rows of box,
By that awkward clump of phlox,
To her favorite pansy bed
Like a ray of light, she sped.
Satin slippers trim and neat
Gleamed upon her slender feet;
Round her ankles, deftly tied,
Ribbons crossed from side to side,
Here her pinks, old fashioned, fair,
Breathed their fragrance on the air;
There her fluttering azure gown
Shook the poppy's petals down.
[Pg 87] Here a rose, with fond caress,
Stooped to touch a truant tress
From her fillet struggling free,
Scorning its captivity.
There a bed of rue was set
With an edge of mignonette,
And the spicy bergamot
Meshed the frail forget-me-not.
Honeysuckles, hollyhocks,
Bachelor's buttons, four-o'clocks,
Marigolds and blue-eyed grass
Curtsied when the maid did pass.
Now the braggart weeds have spread
Through the paths she loved to tread,
And the creeping moss has grown
O'er yon shattered dial-stone.
Still beside the ruined walks
Some old flowers, on sturdy stalks,
Dream of her whose happy eyes
Roam the fields of paradise.
James B. Kenyon


There were many flowers in my mother's garden,
Sword-leaved gladiolas, taller far than I,
Sticky-leaved petunias, pink and purple flaring,
Velvet-painted pansies smiling at the sky;

[Pg 88] Scentless portulacas crowded down the borders,
White and scarlet-petalled, rose and satin-gold,
Clustered sweet alyssum, lacy-white and scented,
Sprays of gray-green lavender to keep 'til you were old.

In my mother's garden were green-leaved hiding-places,
Nooks between the lilacs—oh, a pleasant place to play!
Still my heart can hide there, still my eyes can dream it,
Though the long years lie between and I am far away;

When the world is hard now, when the city's clanging
Tires my eyes and tires my heart and dust lies everywhere,
I can dream the peace still of the soft wind's blowing,
I can be a child still and hide my heart from care.

Lord, if still that garden blossoms in the sunlight,
Grant that children laugh there now among its green and gold—
Grant that little hearts still hide its memoried sweetness,
Locking one bright dream away for light when they are old!
Margaret Widdemer


I search the poet's honied lines,
And not in vain, for columbines;
And not in vain for other flowers
That sanctify the many bowers
[Pg 89] Unsanctified by human souls.
See where the larkspur lifts among
The thousand blossoms finely sung,
Still blossoming in the fragrant scrolls!
Charity, eglantine, and rue
And love-in-a-mist are all in view,
With coloured cousins; but where are you,

The lily and the rose have books
Devoted to their lovely looks,
And wit has fallen in vital showers
Through England's most miraculous hours
To keep them fresh a thousand years.
The immortal library can show
The violet's well-thumbed folio
Stained tenderly by girls in tears.
The shelf where Genius stands in view
Has brier and daffodil and rue
And love-lies-bleeding; but not you,

Thus, if I seek the classic line
For marybuds, 'tis, Shakespeare, thine!
And ever is the primrose born
'Neath Goldsmith's overhanging thorn.
In Herrick's breastknot I can see
The apple-blossom, fresh and fair
[Pg 90] As when he plucked and put it there,
Heedless of Time's anthology.
So flower by flower comes into view
Kept fadeless by the Olympian dew
For startled eyes; and yet not you,

Though gods of song have let you be,
Bloom in my little book for me.
Unwont to stoop or lean, you show
An undefeated heart, and grow
As pluckily as cedars. Heat
And cold, and winds that make
Tumbledown sallies, cannot shake
Your resolution to be sweet.
Then take this song, be it born to die
Ere yet the unwedded butterfly
Has glimpsed a darling in the sky,
Norman Gale


A pungent spray of rose-geranium—
A breath of the old life.

It brings up the little five-room cottage where I was born,
And where I grew through a smiling childhood.
[Pg 91] The white-bearded grandfather sits in his mended rocking-chair,
His eyes far off, crooning "The Sweet By and By,"
Marked with the tapping of his toe upon the weathered porch-floor,
While the sunshine drizzles through the great oaks.

And there is my grandmother's kneeling figure,
Turning over the rich black earth with her trowel;
And the kind wrinkles on her face, as she says:
"Didn't the pansies do finely this year, Clem?
And the scarlet verbenas, and the larkspurs,
And the row of flaming salvia....
Those roses ... they're Maréchal Niels ... my favorites.
And little grandson, smell this spray of rose-geranium—
Just think, when grandmother was a little tiny girl
Her grandmother grew them in her yard!"
Clement Wood


It is mid-afternoon. Long, long ago
Each morning-glory sheathed the slender horn
It blew so gayly on the hills of morn,
And fainted in the noontide's fervid glow.

Gone are the dew-drops from the rose's heart—
Gone with the freshness of the early hours,
The songs that filled the air with silver showers,
The lovely dreams that were of morn a part.

[Pg 92] Yet still in tender light the garden lies;
The warm, sweet winds are whispering soft and low;
Brown bees and butterflies flit to and fro;
The peace of heaven is in the o'erarching skies.

And here be four-o'clocks, just opening wide
Their many colored petals to the sun,
As glad to live as if the evening dun
Were far away, and morning had not died!
Julia C. R. Dorr


A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master,
With doors that none but the wind ever closes,
Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
"I wonder," I say, "who the owner of those is."
"Oh, no one you know," she answers me airy,
"But one we must ask if we want any roses."

So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly
There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.

[Pg 93] "Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?"
'Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.
"Pray are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!
'Tis summer again; there's two come for roses.

"A word with you, that of the singer recalling—
Old Herrick: a saying that every man knows is
A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
And nothing is gained by not gathering roses."

We do not loosen our hands' intertwining
(Not caring so very much what she supposes),
There when she comes on us mistily shining
And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.
Robert Frost


In a black oak chest all carven,
We found it laid,
Still faintly sweet of Lavender,
An old brocade.
With that perfume came a vision,
A garden fair,
Enclosed by great yew hedges;
A Lady there,
Is culling fresh blown lavender,
And singing goes
[Pg 94] Up and down the alleys green—
A human rose.
The sun glints on her auburn hair
And brightens, too,
The silver buckles that adorn
Each little shoe.
Her 'kerchief and her elbow sleeves
Are cobweb lace;
Her gown, it is our old brocade,
Worn with a grace.
Methinks I hear its soft frou-frou,
And see the sheen
Of its dainty pink moss-rose buds,
Their leaves soft green,
On a ground of palest shell pink,
In garlands laid;
But long dead the Rose who wore it—
The old brocade.
M. G. Brereton


Gardens and Stairways; those are words that thrill me
Always with vague suggestions of delight.
Stairways and Gardens. Mystery and grace
Seem part of their environment; they fill all space
With memories of things veiled from my sight
In some far place.

[Pg 95] Gardens. The word is overcharged with meaning;
It speaks of moonlight, and a closing door;
Of birds at dawn—of sultry afternoons.
Gardens. I seem to see low branches screening
A vine-roofed arbor with a leaf-tiled floor
Where sunlight swoons.

Stairways. The word winds upward to a landing,
Then curves and vanishes in space above.
Lights fall, lights rise; soft lights that meet and blend.
Stairways; and some one at the bottom standing
Expectantly with lifted looks of love.
Then steps descend.

Gardens and Stairways. They belong with song—
With subtle scents of perfume, myrrh and musk—
With dawn and dusk—with youth, romance, and mystery,
And times that were and times that are to be.
Stairways and Gardens.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I love old mothers—mothers with white hair,
And kindly eyes, and lips grown softly sweet
With murmured blessings over sleeping babes.
There is a something in their quiet grace
[Pg 96] That speaks the calm of Sabbath afternoons;
A knowledge in their deep, unfaltering eyes
That far outreaches all philosophy.
Time, with caressing touch, about them weaves
The silver-threaded fairy-shawl of age,
While all the echoes of forgotten songs
Seem joined to lend a sweetness to their speech.
Old mothers!—as they pace with slow-timed step,
Their trembling hands cling gently to youth's strength;
Sweet mothers!—as they pass, one sees again
Old garden-walks, old roses, and old loves.
Charles Ross

[Pg 97]

[Pg 98]



I know
Where the wind flowers blow!
I know,
I have been
Where the wild honey bees
Gather honey for their queen!

I would be
A wild flower,
Blue sky over me,
For an hour ... an hour!
So the wild bees
Should seek and discover me,
And kiss me ... kiss me ... kiss me!
Not one of the dusky dears should miss me!

I know
Where the wind flowers blow!
I know,
I have been
Where the little rabbits run
In the warm, yellow sun!

Oh, to be a wild flower
For an hour ... an hour ...
In the heather!
A bright flower, a wild flower,
Blown by the weather!

I know,
I have been
Where the wild honey bees
Gather Honey for their queen!
Irene Rutherford McLeod

[Pg 99]


I know a road that leads from town,
A pale road in a Watteau gown
Of wild-rose sprays, that runs away
All fragrant-sandaled, slim and gray.

It slips along the laurel grove
And down the hill, intent to rove,
And crooks an arm of shadow cool
Around a willow-silvered pool.

I never travel very far
Beyond the pool where willows are:
There is a shy and native grace
That hovers all about the place,

And resting there I hardly know
Just where it was I meant to go,
Contented like the road that dozes
In panniered gown of briar roses.
Grace Hazard Conkling


Summer has crossed the fields, and where she trod
Violets bloom; the dancing wind-flowers nod,
And daisies blossom all across the sod.

[Pg 100] She passed the brook, and in their glad surprise
The first forget-me-nots smiled at the skies
And caught the very color of her eyes.

But, sleeping in the meadow-land, she pressed
The dear wild rose so closely to her breast
It stole her heart—and so she loves it best.
Charles Buxton Going


Up a hill and a hill there's a sudden orchard-slope,
And a little tawny field in the sun;
There's a gray wall that coils like a twist of frayed-out rope,
And grasses nodding news one to one.

Up a hill and a hill there's a windy place to stand,
And between the apple-boughs to find the blue
Of the sleepy summer sea, past the cliffs of orange sand,
With the white charmèd ships sliding through.

Up a hill and a hill there's a little house as gray
As a stone that the glaciers scored and stained;
With a red rose by the door, and a tangled garden-way,
And a face at the window, checker-paned.

[Pg 101] I could climb, I could climb, till the shoes fell off my feet,
Just to find that tawny field above the sea!
Up a hill and a hill,—oh, the honeysuckle's sweet!
And the eyes at the window watch for me!
Fannie Stearns Davis


The smell of the morning that lurks in the hay,
The swish of the scythe
And the roundelay
Of the meadow-lark as he wings away,
Are the joys of a summer morning.

The daisy's bloom on the meadow's breast,
The wandering bee
And his ceaseless quest
Of the tempting sweets in the clover's crest,
Are the joys of a summer morning.

The lowing kine on a distant hill,
The rollicking fall
Of the near-by rill
And the lazy drone of the ancient mill,
Are the joys of a summer morning.

[Pg 102] The feathery clouds in a faultless sky,
The new-risen sun
With its kindly eye
And the woodland breezes floating by,
Are the joys of a summer morning.
Henry A. Wise Wood


Where have you been, South Wind, this May-day morning,
With larks aloft, or skimming with the swallow,
Or with blackbirds in a green, sun-glinted thicket?

Oh, I heard you like a tyrant in the valley;
Your ruffian hosts shook the young, blossoming orchards;
You clapped rude hands, hallooing round the chimney,
And white your pennons streamed along the river.

You have robbed the bee, South Wind, in your adventure,
Blustering with gentle flowers; but I forgave you
When you stole to me shyly with scent of hawthorn.
Siegfried Sassoon


You bold thing! thrusting 'neath the very nose
Of her fastidious majesty, the rose,
Even in the best ordainèd garden bed,
Unauthorized, your smiling little head!

[Pg 103] The gardener, mind! will come in his big boots,
And drag you up by your rebellious roots,
And cast you forth to shrivel in the sun,
Your daring quelled, your little weed's life done.

And when the noon cools, and the sun drops low,
He'll come again with his big wheelbarrow,
And trundle you—I don't know clearly where,
But off, outside the dew, the light, the air.

Meantime—ah, yes! the air is very blue,
And gold the light, and diamond the dew,—
You laugh and courtesy in your worthless way,
And you are gay, ah, so exceeding gay!

You argue in your manner of a weed,
You did not make yourself grow from a seed,
You fancy you've a claim to standing-room,
You dream yourself a right to breathe and bloom.

The sun loves you, you think, just as the rose,
He never scorned you for a weed,—he knows!
The green-gold flies rest on you and are glad,
It's only cross old gardeners find you bad.

You know, you weed, I quite agree with you,
I am a weed myself, and I laugh too,—
Both, just as long as we can shun his eye,
Let's sniff at the old gardener trudging by!
Gertrude Hall

[Pg 104]


I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.
Robert Frost


Ha, prickle-armèd knight,
How oft the world hath cursed thee,
Thou pestilence of Earth,
The beldame who hath nursed thee!

Hath hellish Proserpine
Her needs lent to arm thee
That mischief-loving gods,
Pricked sorely, may not harm thee?

Or hath the mirthful Love
Presented thee his pinions
To dress thy tiny seeds,
The curse of man's dominions!

[Pg 105] Thou like a maiden art
Who best can find protection
Employed at needlework
From idleness' infection.

And like a prude thou art
When he who loves embraces;
Thou dost repel with thorns
And she with sharper phrases.

And like the wraith thou art
Wherewith my heart is haunted;
Ye both take most delight
Where ye the least are wanted.
Miles M. Dawson


Little masters, hat in hand,
Let me in your presence stand,
Till your silence solve for me
This your threefold mystery.

Tell me—for I long to know—
How, in darkness there below,
Was your fairy fabric spun,
Spread and fashioned, three in one.

[Pg 106] Did your gossips gold and blue,
Sky and Sunshine, choose for you,
Ere your triple forms were seen,
Suited liveries of green?

Can ye—if ye dwelt indeed
Captives of a prison seed—
Like the Genie, once again
Get you back into the grain?

Little masters, may I stand
In your presence, hat in hand,
Waiting till you solve for me
This your threefold mystery?
John B. Tabb


On the ripened grass is a bloomy mist
Of silver and rose and amethyst
Where the long June wave has run.

There are glints of copper and tarnished brass,
And hyacinthine flames that pass
From the green fires of the sun.

This web of a thousand gleams and glows
Was woven silently out of the snows
And the patient shine and rain.

[Pg 107] It was fashioned cunningly day by day
From the silken spear to the pollened spray
With its folded sheaths of grain.

Oh, garden of grasses deep and wild,
So dear to the vagrant and the child
And the singer of an hour.

To the wayworn soul you give your balm,
Your cup of peace, your stringèd psalm,
Your grace of bud and flower.
Ada Foster Murray


O dandelion, rich and haughty,
King of village flowers!
Each day is coronation time,
You have no humble hours.
I like to see you bring a troop
To beat the blue-grass spears,
To scorn the lawn-mower that would be
Like fate's triumphant shears.
Your yellow heads are cut away,
It seems your reign is o'er.
By noon you raise a sea of stars
More golden than before.
Vachel Lindsay

[Pg 108]


And the name brings back those kindly hills
And the drowsing life so new to me;
And the welcome that those purple blossoms
With their tiny trumpets blew to me.

Stout and tall, they raised their clustered heads,
Leaping, as a lusty fellow would,
Through the lowlands, down the twisting cow-paths;
Running past the green and yellow wood.

How they come again—those rambling roads;
And the weeds' wild jewels glowing there.
Richer than a Paradise of flowers
Was that bit of pasture growing there.

Weeds—the very names call up those faint
Half-forgotten smells and cries again ...
Weeds—like some old charm, I say them over,
And the rolling Berkshires rise again:

Basil, Boneset, Toadflax, Tansy,
Weeds of every form and fancy;
Milk-weed, Mullein, Loose-strife, Jewel-weed,
Mustard, Thimble-weed, Tear-thumb (a cruel weed).
Clovers in all sorts—Nonesuch, Melilot;
Staring Buttercups, a bold and yellow lot.
[Pg 109] Daisies rioting about the place
With Black-eyed Susan and Queen Anne's Lace....

Names—they blossom into colored hills;
Hills whose rousing beauty flows to me ...
And with all its soundless, purple trumpets,
Lo, the Joe-Pyeweed still blows to me!
Louis Untermeyer


Slight as thou art, thou art enough to hide
Like all created things, secrets from me,
And stand a barrier to eternity.
And I, how can I praise thee well and wide

From where I dwell—upon the hither side?
Thou little veil for so great mystery,
When shall I penetrate all things and thee,
And then look back? For this I must abide,

Till thou shalt grow and fold and be unfurled
Literally between me and the world.
Then I shall drink from in beneath a spring,

And from a poet's side shall read his book.
O daisy mine, what will it be to look
From God's side even of such a simple thing?
Alice Meynell

[Pg 110]


A soft day, thank God!
A wind from the south
With a honeyed mouth;
A scent of drenching leaves,
Briar and beech and lime,
White elder-flower and thyme
And the soaking grass smells sweet,
Crushed by my two bare feet,
While the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.

A soft day, thank God!
The hills wear a shroud
Of silver cloud;
The web the spider weaves
Is a glittering net;
The woodland path is wet,
And the soaking earth smells sweet
Under my two bare feet,
And the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.
W. M. Letts

[Pg 111]


Not Spring's
Thou art, but hers,
Most cool, most virginal,
Winter's, with thy faint breath, thy snows
Adelaide Crapsey


Thou lonely, dew-wet mountain road,
Traversed by toiling feet each day,
What rare enchantment maketh thee
Appear so gay?

Thy sentinels, on either hand
Rise tamarack, birch, and balsam-fir,
O'er the familiar shrubs that greet
The wayfarer;

But here's a magic cometh new—
A joy to gladden thee, indeed:
This passionate out-flowering of
The jewel-weed,

That now, when days are growing drear,
As Summer dreams that she is old,
Hangs out a myriad pleasure-bells
Of mottled gold!

[Pg 112] Thine only, these, thou lonely road!
Though hands that take, and naught restore,
Rob thee of other treasured things,
Thine these are, for

A fairy, cradled in each bloom,
To all who pass the charmèd spot
Whispers in warning: "Friend, admire,—
But touch me not!

"Leave me to blossom where I sprung,
A joy untarnished shall I seem;
Pluck me, and you dispel the charm
And blur the dream!"
Florence Earle Coates


"Something there is that doesn't like a wall." (Robert Frost)

"Not like a wall?"
I sit above the meadow in the glowing fall
Tracing the grey redoubt from square to square
Which bound the acres harvest-ripe and fair,—
And wonder if it's true?
Nay, ask the sumac and the teeming vine,
That lean upon the boulders,
The crimsoning ivy and the wild woodbine
[Pg 113] Whose eager fingers clutch the stony shoulders,
The golden rod, the aster and the rue.
Ask the red squirrel with the chubby cheek
Skipping from stone to stone
By a quick route, his hidden hoard to seek,
Making the little viaduct his own.
Look where the woodchuck lifts a cautious head
Between the rocks close by the cabbage bed;
The honey-bees have built a secret hive
In a forgotten chink;
And there a grey cocoon is tucked away
Shrouding a miracle in mauve and pink
To wait its Easter day.
The wall with pageantry is all alive!

And I who gaze
On the dark border here,
Drawn like a ribbon round the pasture-ways,
Embroidered with the glory of the year,—
Do I not like the wall?
Lo, I remember how in days of old
My grandsire toiled with weariness and pain
To dig the cumbering boulders from the mould;
Piled them in ordered rows again,
Fitting them firm and fast,
A monument to last
Long after his own harried day was past.
[Pg 114] He cleared the rocky soil for corn and grain
By which his children throve
To carry on the race.
We live by his life-giving.
I see each stone, rough like his granite face,—
Uncompromising, stern, no slave to love,
Dowered with little grace,
Grim with the hard, unjoyful task of living,
But strong to stand the wrath of storm and time,
And bolts that heaven let fall.
Built of a patriot's prime,—
I love the wall!
Abbie Farwell Brown


There is a look of wisdom in yon stones,
Great boulders basking in the noonday heat,
Their grimness lightened by a fringe of sweet
Fresh fern or moss or green-gray lichen tones.
While through the glade an insect army drones
And birds from neighboring boughs their notes repeat,
These patriarchs, drowsing as in bliss complete,
Rest on the flowery sward their tranquil bones.

A thousand or ten thousand years ago,
Shattered by frost, or by the torrent's might,
[Pg 115] These boulders hurtled from some toppling height
And crashed through forests to the plain below.
Now, reconciled to Nature's gentler mood,
They lie on lowly earth and find it good.
Charles Wharton Stork


I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun;
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one;

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes;
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise;

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

[Pg 116]


O Rod of gold!
O swaying sceptre of the year—
Now frost and cold
Show Winter near,
And shivering leaves grow brown and sere.
The bleak hillside,
And marshy waste of yellow reeds,
And meadows wide
Where frosted weeds
Shake on the damp wind light-winged seeds,
Are decked with thee,—
The lingering Summer's latest grace,
And sovereignty.
Each wind-swept space
Waves thy red gold in Winter's face—
He strives each star,
In stormy pride to lay full low;
But when thy bar
Resists his blow,
Will crown thee with a puff of snow!
Margaret Deland

[Pg 117]


There's a path that leads to nowhere
In a meadow that I know,
Where an inland island rises
And the stream is still and slow;
There it wanders under willows
And beneath the silver green
Of the birches' silent shadows
Where the early violets lean.

Other pathways lead to Somewhere,
But the one I love so well
Had no end and no beginning—
Just the beauty of the dell,
Just the windflowers and the lilies,
Yellow striped as adder's tongue
Seem to satisfy my pathway
As it winds their sweets among.

There I go to meet the Spring-time,
When the meadow is aglow,
Marigolds amid the marshes,—
And the stream is still and slow.—
There I find my fair oasis,
And with care-free feet I tread
For the pathway leads to nowhere,
And the blue is overhead!

[Pg 118] All the ways that lead to Somewhere
Echo with the hurrying feet
Of the Struggling and the Striving,
But the way I find so sweet
Bids me dream and bids me linger,
Joy and Beauty are its goal,—
On the path that leads to nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul!
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

[Pg 119]

[Pg 120]



So fair the world about me lies,
So pure is heaven above,
Ere so much beauty dies
I would give a gift to my love;
Now, ere the long day close,
That has been so full of bliss,
I will send to my love the rose,
In its leaves I will shut a kiss;
A rose in the night to perish,
A kiss through life to cherish;
Now, ere the night-wind blows,
I will send unto her the rose.
George Edward Woodberry

[Pg 121]


Where love is life
The roses blow,
Though winds be rude
And cold the snow,
The roses climb
Serenely slow,
They nod in rhyme
We know—we know
Where love is life
The roses blow.

Where life is love
The roses blow,
Though care be quick
And sorrows grow,
Their roots are twined
With rose-roots so
That rosebuds find
A way to show
Where life is love
The roses blow.
Duncan Campbell Scott

[Pg 122]


Love, it is the time of roses!
In bright fields and garden-closes
How they burgeon and unfold!
How they sweep o'er tombs and towers
In voluptuous crimson showers
And untrammelled tides of gold!

How they lure wild bees to capture
All the rich mellifluous rapture
Of their magical perfume,
And to passing winds surrender
And their frail and dazzling splendor
Rivalling your turban-plume!

How they cleave the air adorning
The high rivers of the morning
In a blithe, bejewelled fleet!
How they deck the moonlit grasses
In thick rainbow tinted masses
Like a fair queen's bridal sheet!

Hide me in a shrine of roses,
Drown me in a wine of roses
Drawn from every fragrant grove!
[Pg 123] Bind me on a pyre of roses,
Burn me in a fire of roses,
Crown me with the rose of Love!
Sarojini Naidu


Love planted a rose,
And the world turned sweet.
Where the wheat-field blows
Love planted a rose.
Up the mill-wheel's prose
Ran a music-beat.
Love planted a rose,
And the world turned sweet.
Katharine Lee Bates


My heart shall be thy garden. Come, my own,
Into thy garden; thine be happy hours
Among my fairest thoughts, my tallest flowers,
From root to crowning petal thine alone.

Thine is the place from where the seeds are sown
Up to the sky enclosed, with all its showers.
But ah, the birds, the birds! Who shall build bowers
To keep these thine? O friend, the birds have flown.

[Pg 124] For as these come and go, and quit our pine
To follow the sweet season, or, new-comers,
Sing one song only from our alder-trees,

My heart has thoughts, which, though thine eyes hold mine,
Fit to the silent world and other summers,
With wings that dip beyond the silver seas.
Alice Meynell


I saw the giant stalking to the sky,
The giant cloud above the wilderness,
Bearing a mystery too far, too high,
For my poor guess.
Away I turned me, sighing: "I must seek
In lowlier places for the wonder-word.
Something more little, intimate, shall speak."
A bright rose stirred.
And long I looked into its face, to see
At last some hidden import of the hour.

And I had thought to turn from mystery—
But O, flower! flower!
Agnes Lee

[Pg 125]


There seems no difference between
To-day and yesterday—
The forest glimmers just as green,
The garden's just as gay.

Yet, something came and something went
Within the night's chill gloom:
An old rose fell, her fragrance spent,
A new rose burst in bloom.
Charlotte Becker


But we did walk in Eden,
Eden, the garden of God;—
There, where no beckoning wonder
Of all the paths we trod,
No choiring sun-filled vineyard,
No voice of stream or bird,
But was some radiant oracle
And flaming with the Word!

Mine ears are dim with voices;
Mine eyes yet strive to see
The black things here to wonder at,
The mirth,—the misery.
[Pg 126] Beloved, who wert with me there,
How came these shames to be?—
On what lost star are we?

Men say: The paths of gladness
By men were never trod!—
But we have walked in Eden,
Eden, the garden of God.
Josephine Preston Peabody


Among the flowers of summer-time she stood,
And underneath the films and blossoms shone
Her face, like some pomegranate strangely grown
To ripe magnificence in solitude;
The wanton winds, deft whisperers, had strewed
Her shoulders with her shining hair out blown,
And dyed her breast with many a changing tone
Of silvery green, and all the hues that brood
Among the flowers;
She raised her arm up for her dove to know
That he might preen him on her lovely head;
Then I, unseen, and rising on tiptoe,
Bowed over the rose-barriers, and lo!
Touched not her arm, but kissed her lips instead,
Among the flowers!
Edmund Gosse

[Pg 127]


How many flowers are gently met
Within my garden fair!
The daffodil, the violet,
And lilies dear are there.

They fade and pass, the fleeting flowers,
And brief their little light;
They hold not Love's diviner hours,
Nor Sower's human night.

Tho' one by one their bloom depart,
No change thy lover knows,
For mine the fragrance of thy heart,
O thou my perfect rose!
George Sterling


Brunhilde, with the young Norn soul
That has no peace, and grim as those
That spun the thread of life, give heed:
Peace is concealed in every rose.
And in these petals peace I bring:
A jewel clearer than the dew:
[Pg 128] A perfume subtler than the breath
Of Spring with which it circles you.

Peace I have found, asleep, awake,
By many paths, on many a strand.
Peace overspreads the sky with stars.
Peace is concealed within your hand.
And when at night I clasp it there
I wonder how you never know
The strength you shed from finger-tips:
The treasure that consoles me so.

Begin the art of finding peace,
Beloved:—it is art, no less.
Sometimes we find it hid beneath
The orchards in their springtime dress:
Sometimes one finds it in oak woods,
Sometimes in dazzling mountain-snows;
In books, sometimes. But pray begin
By finding it within a rose.
Vachel Lindsay


My soul is like a garden-close
Where marjoram and lilac grow,
Where soft the scent of long ago
Over the border lightly blows.

[Pg 129] Where sometimes homing winds at play
Bear the faint fragrance of a rose—
My soul is like a garden-close
Because you chanced to pass my way.
Thomas S. Jones, Jr.


I dreamed a dream of roses somewhere breathing
Their sweet souls out upon the summer night:
The flowers I saw not, but their fragrance wreathing
Like clouds of incense filled me with delight.
And then as if for my still further pleasure
There came a flood of sweetest melody,—
But whence I knew not flowed the wondrous measure,
For neither flute nor viol could I see.
Then in the vision love sublime, immortal,
Encircled all my soul with its pure stream;
And though I saw thee not through dreamland's portal,
I knew thou only hadst inspired the dream.
'Tis thus thine influence itself discloses,
In dreams of love, of music, and of roses!
Antoinette De Coursey Patterson

[Pg 130]


The rose-tree wears a diadem,
Both bud and bloom of gold and fire,
Too high upon the slender stem
For baby hands that reach for them:

And Roses! my brown Elsa cries:
Her chubby arms in vain aspire.
But rose-leaf Hilda smiles and sighs
And worships them with patient eyes.

I gathered them a rose or two,
But not the shy one hanging higher
That brushed my lips with honey-dew!
That is the rose I send to you.
Grace Hazard Conkling


Would that I might become you,
Losing myself, my sweet!—
So longs the dust that lies
About the rose's feet.

So longs the last, dim star
Hung on the verge of night;—
She moves—she melts—she slips—
She trembles into the light.
John Hall Wheelock

[Pg 131]


I sat one day within a garden fair
Pining for thee and sad because alone,
Wishing some fate could send thee to me there.

All things appeared to share my saddened mood,
Each flower drooped, the sun was hid from view,
The very birds in silence seemed to brood.

Then, as I day-dreamed with my eyes half closed,
Sudden the birds began to sing again,
The flow'rs, uplifting heads, no longer dozed.

Thinking the sun had come once more for me
And for all nature, to effect such change,
I turned and lo! saw not the sun but thee.
Livingston L. Biddle


Oh, the beauty of the world is in this garden,
I hear it stir on every hand.
See how the flowers keep still because of it!
hear how it trembles in the blackbird's song!
There is a secret in it, a blessed mystery.
I fain would weep to feel it near me, my eyes
grow dim before these unseen wings.
[Pg 132] And the secret is in other places, it is in songs
and music and all lovers' hearts.
Hush now, and walk on tiptoe, for these are fairy things.
Elizabeth Kirby


Belinda in her dimity,
Whereon are wrought pink roses,
Trips through the boxwood paths to me,
A-down the garden-closes,
As though a hundred roses came,
('Twas so I thought) to meet me,
As though one rosebud said my name
And bent its head to greet me.

Belinda, in your rose-wrought dress
You seemed the garden's growing;
The tilt and toss o' you, no less
Than wind-swayed posy blowing.
'Twas so I watched in sweet dismay,
Lest in that happy hour,
Sudden you'd stop and thrill and sway
And turn into a flower.
Theodosia Garrison

[Pg 133]


De roses lean ter love her an' des won't leave de place;
De climbin' mawnin'-glories sweet-smilin' in her face;
De twinklin' pathway know her an' seem ter pass de word,
An' de South Win' singin' ter her ter match de mockin'-bird.

She sweetheart ter de Springtime,
W'en de dreamy roses stir,
An' Winter shine lak' Summer
An' wear a rose fer her.

"Sweetheart!" sing de Medder, w'en lak' de light she pass;
De River take de tune up: "Make me yo' lookin'-glass!"
But des who her true lover she never let 'em know;
De Win' is sich a tell-tale, an' de River run on so!

But Springtime come a-courtin'
An' let de blossoms fall,
An' Summer say: "I loves you!"
She sweetheart ter 'em ALL!
Frank L. Stanton


I have a garden filled with many flowers:
The mignonette, the sweet-pea, and the rose,
Daisies, and daffodils, whose color glows
The fairer for the verdure which embowers
[Pg 134] Their beauty, and sets forth their hidden powers
To charm my heart, whenever at the close
Of day's dull hurry I would seek repose
In my still garden through the darkening hours.

Thus, Lady, do I keep a place apart,
Wherein my love for you cloistered shall be,
Far from the rattle of the city cart,
Even as my garden, where daily I may see
The flowers of your love, and none from me
May win the hidden secret of my heart.
Norreys Jephson O'Conor


Do thou, my rose, incline
Thy heart to mine.
If love be real
Ah, whisper, whisper low
That I at last may know.
Quick! breathe it now!
A sigh,—a tear,—a vow:
Oh, any lightest thing
Its cadences to sing
That loved am I, and not,
Ah, not forgot!
Frederic A. Whiting

[Pg 135]


The sweet caresses that I gave to you
Are but the perfume of the Rose of Love,
The color and the witchery thereof,
And not the Rose itself. Each is a clue
Merely, whereby to seek the hidden, true,
Substantial blossom. Like the Jordan dove
A kiss is but a symbol from above—
An emblem the Reality shines through.

The Rose of Love is ever unrevealed
In all its beauty, for the sight of it
Were perilous with purpose of the world.
The hand of Life has cautiously concealed
The pollen-chamber of the infinite
Flower, and its petals only half uncurled.
Elsa Barker


Will the garden never forget
That it whispers over and over,
"Where is your lover, Nanette?
Where is your lover—your lover?"
Oh, roses I helped to grow,
Oh, lily and mignonette,
[Pg 136] Must you always question me so,
"Where is your lover, Nanette?"
Since you looked on my joy one day,
Is my grief then a lesser thing?
Have you only this to say
When I pray you for comforting?

Now that I walk alone
Here where our hands were met,
Must you whisper me everyone,
"Where is your lover, Nanette?"

I have mourned with you year and year,
When the Autumn has left you bare,
And now that my heart is sere
Does not one of your roses care?
Oh, help me forget—forget,
Nor question over and over,
"Where is your lover, Nanette?
Where is your lover—your lover?"
Theodosia Garrison


It was June in the garden,
It was our time, our day;
And our gaze with love on everything
Did fall;
[Pg 137] They seemed then softly opening,
And they saw and loved us both,
The roses all.

The sky was purer than all limpid thought;
Insect and bird
Swept through the golden texture of the air,
Our kisses were so fair they brought
Exaltation to both light and bird.
It seemed as though a happiness at once
Had skied itself and wished the heavens entire
For its resplendent fire;
And life, all pulsing life, had entered in,
Into the fissures of our beings to the core,
To fling them higher.

And there was nothing but invocatory cries,
Mad impulses, prayers and vows that cleave
The archèd skies,
And sudden yearning to create new gods,
In order to believe.
Emile Verhaeren

[Pg 138]


A fair white rose sedately grows
Within the garden wall. There blows
No wind to ruff her petals white,
No stain of earth, no touch of blight
The pure face of my ladye shows.
The queen of all the walls enclose
Might be mine own, an' if I chose;
But yet, but yet I cannot slight
My wild red rose.

Outside the garden wall she throws
Her clinging tendrils, and she knows
How strong the winds of passion smite;
She's fragrant, though not faultless quite;
Just as she is, none shall depose
My wild red rose.
William Lindsey


Red roses floating in a crystal bowl
You bring, O love; and in your eyes I see,
Blossom on blossom, your warm love of me
Burning within the crystal of your soul—
Red roses floating in a crystal bowl.
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

[Pg 139]


This friendly garden, with its fragrant roses,—
It was not ours, when she was here below;
And so, in that low bed where she reposes,
The beauty of it all she cannot know.

But in the evening when the birds are calling
The fragrance rises like a breath of myrrh,
And in my empty heart, benignly falling,
Becomes a little prayer to send to her.

So, in that silent, lonely bed that holds her,
Where nevermore the shadows rise or flee,
I think a dream of radiant spring enfolds her—
Of bloom and bird and bending bough ... and me.
Louis Dodge


As long as the stars of God
Hang steadfast in the sky,
And the blossoms 'neath the sod
Awake when Spring is nigh;
As long as the nightingale
Sings love-songs to the rose,
And the Winter wind in the vale
Makes moan o'er the virgin snows—
[Pg 140] As long as these things be
I would tell my love for thee!

As long as the rose of June
Bursts forth in crimson fire,
And the mellow harvest-moon
Shines over hill and spire;
As long as heaven's dew
At morning kisses the sod;
As long as you are you,
And I know that God is God—
As long as these things be
I would tell my love for thee!
Charles Hanson Towne


King Solomon walked a thousand times
Forth of his garden-close;
And saw there spring no goodlier thing,
Be sure, than the same little rose.

Under the sun was nothing new,
Or now, I well suppose.
But what new thing could you find to sing
More rare than the same little rose?

[Pg 141] Nothing is new; save I, save you,
And every new heart that grows,
On the same Earth met, that nurtures yet
Breath of the same little rose.
Josephine Preston Peabody


When one has heard the message of the Rose,
For what faint other calling shall he care?
Dark broodings turn to find their lonely lair;
The vain world keeps her posturing and pose.
He, with his crimson secret, which bestows
Heaven in his heart, to Heaven lifts his prayer,
And knows all glory trembling through the air
As on triumphal journeying he goes.

So through green woodlands in the twilight dim,
Led by the faint, pale argent of a star,
What though to others it is weary night,
Nature holds out her wide, sweet heart to him;
And, leaning o'er the world's mysterious bar,
His soul is great with everlasting light.
Helen Hay Whitney

[Pg 142]


The Lily whispered to the Rose:
"The Tulip's fearfully stuck up.
You'd think to see the creature's pose,
She was a golden altar-cup.
There's method in her boldness, too;
She catches twice her share of Dew."

The Rose into the Tulip's ear
Murmured: "The Lily is a sight;
Don't you believe she powders, dear,
To make herself so saintly white?
She takes some trouble, it is plain,
Her reputation to sustain."

Said Tulip to the Lily white:
"About the Rose—what do you think?—
Her color? Should you say it's quite—
Well, quite a natural shade of pink?"
"Natural!" the Lily cried. "Good Saints!
Why, everybody knows she paints!"
Oliver Herford

[Pg 143]


Eef poor man goes
An' steals a rose
Een Juna-time—
Wan leetla rose—
You gon' su'pose
Dat dat's a crime?

Eh! w'at? Den taka look at me,
For here bayfore your eyes you see
Wan thief dat ees so glad an' proud
He gona brag of eet out loud!
So moocha good I do, an' feel
From dat wan leetla rose I steal,
Dat eef I gon' to jail to-day
Dey could no tak' my joy away.
So, lees'en! here ees how eet com':
Las' night w'en I am walkin' home
From work een hotta ceety street,
Ees sudden com' a smal so sweet
Eet maka heaven een my nose—
I look an' dere I see da rose!
Not wan, but manny, fine an' tall,
Dat peep at me above da wall.
So, too, I close my eyes an' find
Anudder peecture een my mind;
[Pg 144] I see a house dat's small an' hot
Where manny pretta theengs is not,
Where leetla woman, good an' true,
Ees work so hard da whole day through,
She's too wore out, w'en com's da night,
For smile an' mak' da housa bright.

But, presto! now I'm home an' she
Ees settin' on da step weeth me.
Bambino, sleepin' on her breast,
Ees nevva know more sweeta rest,
An' nevva was sooch glad su'prise
Like now ees shina from her eyes;
An' all baycause to-night she wear
Wan leetla rose stuck een her hair.
She ees so please'! Eet mak' me feel
I shoulda sooner learned to steal.

Eef "thief's" my name
I feel no shame;
Eet ees no crime—
Dat rose I got.
Eh! w'at? O! not
Een Juna-time!
T. A. Daly

[Pg 145]


The man who wants a garden fair,
Or small or very big,
With flowers growing here and there,
Must bend his back and dig.

The things are mighty few on earth
That wishes can attain.
Whate'er we want of any worth
We've got to work to gain.

It matters not what goal you seek,
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses.
Edgar A. Guest

[Pg 146]

[Pg 147]

[Pg 148]



Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there
To-morrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair
No miracle so strangely rare.

I wonder what will next be there!
L. H. Bailey

[Pg 149]


You little, eager, peeping thing—
You embryonic point of light
Pushing from out your winter night,
How you do make my pulses sing!
A tiny eye amid the gloom—
The merest speck I scarce had seen—
So doth God's rapture rend the tomb
In this wee burst of April green!

And lo, 'tis here—and lo! 'Tis there—
Spurting its jets of sweet desire
In upward curling threads of fire
Like tapers kindling all the air.
Why, scarce it seems an hour ago
These branches clashed in bitter cold;
What Power hath set their veins aglow?
O soul of mine, be bold, be bold!
If from this tree, this blackened thing,
Hard as the floor my feet have prest,
This flame of joy comes clamoring
In hues as red as robin's breast
Waking to life this little twig—
O faith of mine, be big! Be big!
Angela Morgan

[Pg 150]


The kindliest thing God ever made,
His hand of very healing laid
Upon a fevered world, is shade.

His glorious company of trees
Throw out their mantles, and on these
The dust-stained wanderer finds ease.

Green temples, closed against the beat
Of noontime's blinding glare and heat,
Open to any pilgrim's feet.

The white road blisters in the sun;
Now, half the weary journey done,
Enter and rest, Oh, weary one!

And feel the dew of dawn still wet
Beneath thy feet, and so forget
The burning highway's ache and fret.

This is God's hospitality,
And whoso rests beneath a tree
Hath cause to thank Him gratefully.
Theodosia Garrison

[Pg 151]


The wonderful, strong, angelic trees,
With their blowing locks and their bared great knees
And nourishing bosoms, shout all together,
And rush and rock through the glad wild weather.

They are so old they teach me,
With their strong hands they reach me,
Into their breast my soul they take,
And keep me there for wisdom's sake.

They teach me little prayers;
To-day I am their child;
The sweet breath of their innocent airs
Blows through me strange and wild.

I never feel afraid
Among the trees;
Of trees are houses made;
And even with these,
Unhewn, untouched, unseen,
Is something homelike in the safe sweet green,
Intimate in the shade.

We are all brothers! Come, let's rest awhile
In the great kinship. Underneath the trees
Let's be at home once more, with birds and bees
[Pg 152] And gnats and soil and stone. With these I must
Acknowledge family ties. Our mother, the dust,
With wistful and investigating eyes
Searches my soul for the old sturdiness,
Valor, simplicity! Stout virtues these,
We learned at her dear knees.
Friend, you and I
Once played together in the good old days.
Do you remember? Why, brother, down what wild ways
We traveled, when—
That's right! Draw close to me!
Come now, let's tell the tale beneath the old roof-tree.
Anna Hempstead Branch


O comrade tree, perhaps alive as I—
One process lacking of this mortal clay—
Give me your constant outlook to the sky,
The courtesy and cheer that fill your day.

Your noble gift of perfect service teach;
Your wisdom in the wild storm softly bent
Aware 'twill end; your patience that can reach
Across the years from clod to firmament.
Catherine Markham (Mrs. Edwin Markham)

[Pg 153]


The mountain hemlock droops her lacy branches
Oh, so tenderly
In the summer sun!
Yet she has power to baffle avalanches—
She, rising slenderly
Where the rivers run.

So pliant yet so powerful! Oh, see her
Spread alluringly
Her thin sea-green dress!
Now from white winter's thrall the sun would free her
To bloom unenduringly
In his glad caress.
Harriet Monroe


Spread, delicate roots of my tree,
Feeling, clasping, thrusting, growing;
Sensitive pilgrim root tips roaming everywhere.
Into resistant earth your filaments forcing,
Down in the dark, unknown, desirous:
The strange ceaseless life of you, eating and drinking of earth,
The corrosive secretions of you, breaking the stuff of the world to your will.

[Pg 154] Tips of my tree in the springtime bursting to terrible beauty,
Folded green life, exquisite, holy exultant;
I feel in you the splendour, the autumn of ripe fulfilment,
Love and labour and death, the sacred pageant of life.
In the sweet curled buds of you,
In the opening glory of leaves, tissues moulded of green light;
Veined, cut, perfect to type,
Each one like a child of high lineage bearing the sigil of race.

The open hands of my tree held out to the touch of the air
As love that opens its arms and waits on the lover's will;
The curtsey, the sway, and the toss of the spray as it sports with the breeze;
Rhythmical whisper of leaves that murmur and move in the light;
Crying of wind in the boughs, the beautiful music of pain:
Thus do you sing and say
The sorrow, the effort, the sweet surrender, the joy.

Come! tented leaves of my tree;
High summer is here, the moment of passionate life,
The hushed, the maternal hour.
Deep in the shaded green your mystery shielding,
Heir of the ancient woods and parent of forests to be,
Lo! to your keeping is given the Father's life-giving thought;
The thing that is dream and deed and carries the gift of the past.
For this, for this, great tree,
The glory of maiden leaves, the solemn stretch of the bough,
[Pg 155] The wise persistent roots
Into the stuff of the world their filaments forcing,
Breaking the earth to their need.

Tall tree, your name is peace.
You are the channel of God:
His mystical sap,
Elixir of infinite love, syrup of infinite power,
Swelling and shaping, brooding and hiding,
With out-thrust of delicate joy, with pitiless pageant of death,
Sings in your cells;
Its rhythmical cycle of life
In you is fulfilled.
Evelyn Underhill


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

[Pg 156] And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
A. E. Housman


I am the dancer of the wood
I shimmer in the solitude
Men call me Birch Tree, yet I know
In other days it was not so.
I am a Dryad slim and white
Who danced too long one summer night,
And the Dawn found and prisoned me!
Captive I moaned my liberty.
But let the wood wind flutes begin
Their elfin music, faint and thin,
I sway, I bend, retreat, advance,
And evermore—I dance! I dance!
Arthur Ketchum


You boast about your ancient line,
But listen, stranger, unto mine:

You trace your lineage afar,
Back to the heroes of a war
[Pg 157] Fought that a country might be free;
Yea, farther—to a stormy sea
Where winter's angry billows tossed,
O'er which your Pilgrim Fathers crossed.
Nay, more—through yellow, dusty tomes
You trace your name to English homes
Before the distant, unknown West
Lay open to a world's behest;
Yea, back to days of those Crusades
When Turk and Christian crossed their blades,
You point with pride to ancient names,
To powdered sires and painted dames;
You boast of this—your family tree;
Now listen, stranger, unto me:

When armored knights and gallant squires,
Your own belovèd, honored sires,
Were in their infants' blankets rolled,
My fathers' youngest sons were old;
When they broke forth in infant tears
My fathers' heads were crowned with years,
Yea, ere the mighty Saxon host
Of which you sing had touched the coast,
Looked back as far as you look now.
Yea, when the Druids trod the wood,
My venerable fathers stood
[Pg 158] And gazed through misty centuries
As far as even Memory sees.
When Britain's eldest first beheld
The light, my fathers then were eld.
You of the splendid ancestry,
Who boast about your family tree,

Consider, stranger, this of mine—
Bethink the lineage of a Pine.
Douglas Malloch


Brother Tree:
Why do you reach and reach?
Do you dream some day to touch the sky?
Brother Stream:
Why do you run and run?
Do you dream some day to fill the sea?
Brother Bird:
Why do you sing and sing?
Do you dream—
Young Man:
Why do you talk and talk and talk?
Alfred Kreymborg

[Pg 159]


O quiet cottage room,
Whose casements, looking o'er the garden-close,
Are hid in wildings and the woodbine bloom
And many a clambering rose,

Sweet is thy light subdued,
Gracious and soft, lingering upon my book,
As that which shimmers through the branchèd wood
Above some dreamful nook!

Leaning within my chair,
Through the curtain I can see the stir—
The gentle undulations of the air—
Sway the dark-layered fir;

And, in the beechen green,
Mark many a squirrel romp and chirrup loud;
While far beyond, the chestnut-boughs between,
Floats the white summer cloud.

Through the loopholes in the leaves,
Upon the yellow slopes of far-off farms,
I see the rhythmic cradlers and the sheaves
Gleam in the binders' arms.

[Pg 160] At times I note, nearby,
The flicker tapping on some hollow bole;
And watch the sun, against the sky,
The fluting oriole;

Or, when the day is done,
And the warm splendors make the oak-top flush,
Hear him, full-throated in the setting sun,—
The darling wildwood thrush.

O sanctuary shade
Enfold one round! I would no longer roam:
Let not the thought of wandering e'er invade
This still, reclusive home!

Draw closer, O ye trees!
Veil from my sight e'en the loved mountain's blue;
The world may be more fair beyond all these,
Yet I would know but you!
Lloyd Mifflin


In the Garden of Eden, planted by God,
There were goodly trees in the springing sod,—

Trees of beauty and height and grace,
To stand in splendor before His face.

[Pg 161] Apple and hickory, ash and pear,
Oak and beech and the tulip rare,

The trembling aspen, the noble pine,
The sweeping elm by the river line;

Trees for the birds to build and sing,
And the lilac tree for a joy in spring;

Trees to turn at the frosty call
And carpet the ground for their Lord's footfall;

Trees for fruitage and fire and shade,
Trees for the cunning builder's trade;

Wood for the bow, the spear, and the flail,
The keel and the mast of the daring sail;

He made them of every grain and girth,
For the use of man in the Garden of Earth.

Then lest the soul should not lift her eyes
From the gift to the Giver of Paradise,

On the crown of a hill, for all to see,
God planted a scarlet maple tree.
Bliss Carman

[Pg 162]


There's something in a noble tree—
What shall I say? a soul?
For 'tis not form, or aught we see
In leaf or branch or bole.
Some presence, though not understood,
Dwells there alway, and seems
To be acquainted with our mood,
And mingles in our dreams.

I would not say that trees at all
Were of our blood and race,
Yet, lingering where their shadows fall,
I sometimes think I trace
A kinship, whose far-reaching root
Grew when the world began,
And made them best of all things mute
To be the friends of man.

Held down by whatsoever might
Unto an earthly sod,
They stretch forth arms for air and light,
As we do after God;
And when in all their boughs the breeze
Moans loud, or softly sings,
As our own hearts in us, the trees
Are almost human things.

[Pg 163] What wonder in the days that burned
With old poetic dream,
Dead Phaëthon's fair sisters turned
To poplars by the stream!
In many a light cotillion stept
The trees when fluters blew;
And many a tear, 'tis said, they wept
For human sorrow too.

Mute, said I? They are seldom thus;
They whisper each to each,
And each and all of them to us,
In varied forms of speech.
"Be serious," the solemn pine
Is saying overhead;
"Be beautiful," the elm-tree fine
Has always finely said;

"Be quick to feel," the aspen still
Repeats the whole day long;
While, from the green slope of the hill,
The oak-tree adds, "Be strong."
When with my burden, as I hear
Their distant voices call,
I rise, and listen, and draw near,
"Be patient," say they all.
Samuel Valentine Cole

[Pg 164]


My poplars are like ladies trim,
Each conscious of her own estate;
In costume somewhat over prim,
In manner cordially sedate,
Like two old neighbours met to chat
Beside my garden gate.

My stately old aristocrats—
I fancy still their talk must be
Of rose-conserves and Persian cats,
And lavender and Indian tea;—
I wonder sometimes as I pass
If they approve of me.

I give them greeting night and morn,
I like to think they answer, too,
With that benign assurance born
When youth gives age the reverence due,
And bend their wise heads as I go
As courteous ladies do.

Long may you stand before my door,
Oh, kindly neighbours garbed in green,
And bend with rustling welcome o'er
The many friends who pass between;
And where the little children play
Look down with gracious mien.
Theodosia Garrison

[Pg 165]


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer

[Pg 166]

[Pg 167]

[Pg 168]



As in a rose-jar filled with petals sweet
Blown long ago in some old garden place,
Mayhap, where you and I, a little space
Drank deep of love and knew that love was fleet—
Or leaves once gathered from a lost retreat
By one who never will again retrace
Her silent footsteps—one, whose gentle face
Was fairer than the roses at her feet;

So, deep within the vase of memory
I keep my dust of roses fresh and dear
As in the days before I knew the smart
Of time and death. Nor aught can take from me
The haunting fragrance that still lingers here—
As in a rose-jar, so within the heart!
Thomas S. Jones, Jr.

[Pg 169]


Old phantoms haunt it of the long-ago;
Old ghosts of old-time lovers and of dreams:
Within the quiet sunlight there, meseems,
I see them walking where those lilies blow.
The hardy phlox sways to some garments' flow;
The salvia there with sudden scarlet streams,
Caught from some ribbon of some throat that gleams,
Petunia fair, in flounce and furbelow.
I seem to hear their whispers in each wind
That wanders 'mid the flowers. There they stand!
Among the shadows of that apple tree!
They are not dead, whom still it keeps in mind,
This garden, planted by some lovely hand
That keeps it fragrant with its memory.
Madison Cawein


My heart is a garden of dreams
Where you walk when day is done,
Fair as the royal flowers,
Calm as the lingering sun.

Never a drouth comes there,
Nor any frost that mars,
Only the wind of love
Under the early stars,—

[Pg 170] The living breath that moves
Whispering to and fro,
Like the voice of God in the dusk
Of the garden long ago.
Bliss Carman


O my garden! lying whitely in the moonlight and the dew,
Far across the leagues of distance flies my heart to-night to you,
And I see your stately lilies in the tender radiance gleam
With a dim, mysterious splendor, like the angels of a dream!

I can see the stealthy shadows creep along the ivied wall,
And the bosky depths of verdure where the drooping vine-leaves fall,
And the tall trees standing darkly with their crowns against the sky,
While overhead the harvest moon goes slowly sailing by.

I can see the trellised arbor, and the roses' crimson glow,
And the lances of the larkspurs all glittering, row on row,
And the wilderness of hollyhocks, where brown bees seek their spoil,
And butterflies dance all day long, in glad and gay turmoil.

[Pg 171] O, the broad paths running straightly, north and south and east and west!
O, the wild grape climbing sturdily to reach the oriole's nest!
O, the bank where wild flowers blossom, ferns nod and mosses creep
In a tangled maze of beauty over all the wooded steep!

Just beyond the moonlit garden I can see the orchard trees,
With their dark boughs overladen, stirring softly in the breeze,
And the shadows on the greensward, and within the pasture bars
The white sheep huddling quietly beneath the pallid stars.

O my garden! lying whitely in the moonlight and the dew,
Far across the restless ocean flies my yearning heart to you,
And I turn from storied castle, hoary fane, and ruined shrine,
To the dear, familiar pleasaunce where my own white lilies shine—

With a vague, half-startled wonder if some night in Paradise,
From the battlements of heaven I shall turn my longing eyes
All the dim, resplendent spaces and the mazy stardrifts through
To my garden lying whitely in the moonlight and the dew!
Julia C. R. Dorr

[Pg 172]


As butterflies are but winged flowers,
Half sorry for their change, who fain,
So still and long they live on leaves,
Would be thought flowers again.—

E'en so my thoughts, that should expand,
And grow to higher themes above,
Return like butterflies to lie
On the old things I love.
William H. Davies


There is a little garden-close,
Girdled by golden apple trees,
That through the long sweet summer hours
Is haunted by the hum of bees.

The poppy tosses here its torch,
And the tall bee-balm flaunts its fire,
And regally the larkspur lifts
The slender azure of its spire.

And from the phlox and mignonette
Rich attars drift on every hand;
And when star-vestured twilight comes
The pale moths weave a saraband.

[Pg 173] And crickets in the aisles of grass
With their clear fifing pierce the hush;
And somewhere you may hear anear
The passion of the hermit-thrush.

It is a place where dreams convene,
Dreams of the dead years gone astray,
Of love and loveliness borne back
From some forgotten yesterday.

It is a memory-hallowed spot
Where joy assumes its vernal guise,
And two walk silent side by side,
Youth's glory shining in their eyes.
Clinton Scollard


This is the spirit flower,
The ghost of an old regret;
All night she stands in the garden-close,
And her face with tears is wet.
But I love the pale white rose,
For she always seems to me
A pallid nun who dreams all day
Of a distant memory.

[Pg 174] Alas! how well I know
That every garden spot
Is haunted by a gentle ghost
Who will not be forgot.
In the garden of the heart,
Ere the sun of life is set,
O many a wild rose blooms and dreams
Of many an old regret!
Charles Hanson Towne


Between the moss and stone
The lonely lilies rise;
Wasted and overgrown
The tangled garden lies.
Weeds climb about the stoop
And clutch the crumbling walls;
The drowsy grasses droop—
The night wind falls.

The place is like a wood;
No sign is there to tell
Where rose and iris stood
That once she loved so well.
Where phlox and asters grew,
A leafless thornbush stands,
[Pg 175] And shrubs that never knew
Her tender hands....

Over the broken fence
The moonbeams trail their shrouds;
Their tattered cerements
Cling to the gauzy clouds,
In ribbons frayed and thin—
And startled by the light,
Silence shrinks deeper in
The depths of night.

Useless lie spades and rakes;
Rust's on the garden-tools.
Yet, where the moonlight makes
Nebulous silver pools,
A ghostly shape is cast—
Something unseen has stirred ...
Was it a breeze that passed?
Was it a bird?

Dead roses lift their heads
Out of a grassy tomb;
From ruined pansy-beds
A thousand pansies bloom.
The gate is opened wide—
The garden that has been,
Now blossoms like a bride ...
Who entered in?
Louis Untermeyer

[Pg 176]


It had been a trim garden,
With parterres of fringed pinks and gillyflowers,
and smooth-raked walks.
Silks and satins had brushed the box edges
of its alleys.
The curved stone lips of its fishponds
had held the rippled reflections of tricorns and
powdered periwigs.
The branches of its trees had glittered with lanterns,
and swayed to the music of flutes and violins.

Now, the fishponds are green with scum;
And paths and flower-beds
are run together and overgrown.
Only at one end is an octagonal Summerhouse
not yet in ruins.
Through the lozenged panes of its windows,
you can see the interior:
A dusty bench; a fireplace,
with a lacing of letters carved in the stone above it;
A broken ball of worsted
rolled away into a corner.

Dolci, dolci, i giorni passati!
Amy Lowell

[Pg 177]


I went out to the hazel wood
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream,
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor,
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl,
With apple-blossom in her hair,
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
W. B. Yeats

[Pg 178]


There were three cherry trees once,
Grew in a garden all shady;
And there for delight of so gladsome a sight,
Walked a most beautiful lady,
Dreamed a most beautiful lady.

Birds in those branches did sing,
Blackbird and throstle and linnet,
But she walking there was by far the most fair—
Lovelier than all else within it,
Blackbird and throstle and linnet.

But blossoms to berries do come,
All hanging on stalks light and slender,
And one long summer's day charmed that lady away,
With vows sweet and merry and tender;
A lover with voice low and tender.

Moss and lichen the green branches deck;
Weeds nod in its paths green and shady;
Yet a light footstep seems there to wander in dreams,
The ghost of that beautiful lady,
That happy and beautiful lady.
Walter de la Mare

[Pg 179]


The white rose tree that spent its musk
For lovers' sweeter praise,
The stately walks we sought at dusk,
Have missed thee many days.

Again, with once-familiar feet,
I tread the old parterre—
But, ah, its bloom is now less sweet
Than when thy face was there.

I hear the birds of evening call;
I take the wild perfume;
I pluck a rose—to let it fall
And perish in the gloom.
Arthur Upson


What is it like, to be a rose?

Old Roses, softly, "Try and see."

Nay, I will tarry. Let me be
In my green peacefulness and smile.
I will stay here and dream awhile.
[Pg 180] 'Tis well for little buds to dream,
Dream—dream—who knows—
Say, is it good to be a rose?
Old roses, tell me! Is it good?

Old Roses, very softly, "Good."

I am afraid to be a rose!
This little sphere wherein I wait,
Curled up and small and delicate,
Lets in a twilight of pure green,
Wherein are dreams of night and morn
And the sweet stillness of a world
Where all things are that are unborn.

Old Roses, "Better to be born."

I cannot be a bud for long.
My sheath is like a heart full blown,
And I, the silence of a song
Withdrawn into that heart alone,
Well knowing that it shall be sung.
Outside the great world comes and goes—
I think I doubt, to be a rose—

Old Roses, "Doubt? To be a Rose!"
Anna Hempstead Branch

[Pg 181]


There are no roses in the garden now,
The summer birds have vanished oversea,
The ashen keys hang rusty on the bough,
Autumn's gold ensigns flame from tree to tree.

Music and perfume sleep, and light is fled,
Autumn's fine gold is faery gold, we know.
Where shall we turn for joy when flowers are dead,
When birds are silent, and the cold winds blow?

The summer birds have vanished oversea,
But Memory's palace-courts are full of song;
There sings a nightingale for you and me,
And there a hidden lute plays all day long.

There are no roses in the garden now,
But Memory's garden grows each day more fair;
Sun, moon, and stars her orchard close endow,
And there bloom roses—roses everywhere.
Rosamund Marriott Watson


Where the waves of burning cloud are rolled
On the further shore of the sunset sea,
In a land of wonder that none behold,
There blooms a rose on the Dreamland Tree
[Pg 182] That stands in the Garden of Mystery
Where the River of Slumber softly flows;
And whenever a dream has come to be,
A petal falls from the Dreamland Rose.

In the heart of the tree, on a branch of gold,
A silvern bird sings endlessly
A mystic song that is ages old,
A mournful song in a minor key,
Full of the glamour of faery;
And whenever a dreamer's ears unclose
To the sound of that distant melody,
A petal falls from the Dreamland Rose.

Dreams and visions in hosts untold
Throng around on the moonlit lea:
Dreams of age that are calm and cold,
Dreams of youth that are fair and free—
Dark with a lone heart's agony,
Bright with a hope that no one knows—
And whenever a dream and a dream agree,
A petal falls from the Dreamland Rose.


Princess, you gaze in a reverie
Where the drowsy firelight redly glows;
Slowly you raise your eyes to me ...
A petal falls from the Dreamland Rose.
Brian Hooker

[Pg 183]


These flowers of June
The gates of memory unbar;
These flowers of June
Such old-time harmonies retune,
I fain would keep the gates ajar,
So full of sweet enchantment are
These flowers of June.

Was it the bloom of the laurel sprays,
That wakened remembrance of singing birds?
Or, was it the charm of remembered words,
That set my heart singing through somber days?
I longed for the summer-time, flower and tree;
And lo! the summer-time came with thee.
The bloom is no more, but the charm still stays.
James Terry White


There is a garden in the twilight lands
Of Memory, where troops of butterflies
Flutter adown the cypress paths, and bands
Of flowers mysterious droop their drowsy eyes.

There through the silken hush come footfalls faint
And hurried through the vague parterres, and sighs
[Pg 184] Whispering of rapture or of sweet complaint
Like ceaseless parle of bees and butterflies.

And by one lonely pathway steal I soon
To find the flowerings of the old delight
Our hearts together knew—when lo, the moon
Turns all the cypress alleys into white.
Thomas Walsh


Dark is the iris meadow,
Dark is the ivory tower,
And lightly the young moth's shadow
Sleeps on the passion-flower.

Gone are our day's red roses.
So lovely and lost and few,
But the first star uncloses
A silver bud in the blue.

Night, and a flame in the embers
Where the seal of the years was set,—
When the almond-bough remembers
How shall my heart forget?
Marjorie L. C. Pickthall

[Pg 185]


What heart but fears a fragrance?
Alien they
Who breathe in the white lilac only May;
For there be other spirits unto whom
Fate's kiss lies dreaming in each stray perfume!

Who mock at ghosts of odour—poor they be!
Bereft the scented balms of memory,
For unto one in April's rain-blest earth
There starts for aye the sharp, glad cry of birth;
And Love will find in rooms unbarred for years
Familiar sweetness loosing sudden tears,
Clasping the will in mastering embrace
As in the presence of a phantom grace.

Then there be odours pungent—fires in Fall
The gipsying of boyhood to recall;
And there be perfumes holy—nay, but one
Whose pang is like none other 'neath the sun
To drown the sinking senses in a joy
Beyond all time to weaken or destroy!
Odours there be that swoon, entreat, caress—
Elusive thrall, to doom or stab or bless;
Each vagrant scent that holds the breath in fee
Doth wed the heart in Life's eternity.

[Pg 186] Who fear no wraiths of fragrance—sorry they;
Who breathe in lilac odours only May;
For there be other mortals unto whom
White magic wanders in each stray perfume.
Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi


It is not sight or sound
That, when a heart forgets,
Most makes it to remember:
It's some old poignant scent re-found—
Like breath of April violets,
Or apples of September.

It isn't song or scene
That stirs the tears again:
It's brush smoke from the hills at night,
Spicy and sweet; or that wet, keen,
Long lost aroma of delight,
Fresh ploughed fields after rain.
Nancy Byrd Turner


Across the scented garden of my dreams
Where roses grew, Time passes like a thief,
Among my trees his silver sickle gleams,
The grass is stained with many a ruddy leaf;
[Pg 187] And on cold winds the petals float away
That were the pride of June and her array.

The bare boughs weave a net upon the sky
To catch Love's wings and his fair body bruise;
There are no flowers in the rosary—
No song-birds in the mournful avenues;
Though on the sodden air not lightly breaks
The elegy of Youth, whom love forsakes.

Ah, Time! one flower of all my garden spare,
One rose of all the roses, that in this
I may possess my love's perfumed hair
And all the crimson secrets of her kiss.
Grant me one rose that I may drink its wine,
And from her lips win the last anodyne.

For I have learnt too many things to live,
And I have loved too many things to die;
But all my barren acres I would give
For one red blossom of eternity,
To animate the darkness and delight
The spaces and the silences of night.

But dreams are tender flowers that in their birth
Are very near to death, and I shall reap,
[Pg 188] Who planted wonder, unavailing earth,
Harsh thorns and miserable husks of sleep.
I have had dreams, but have not conquered Time,
And love shall vanish like an empty rhyme.
Richard Middleton


Oh, tell me how my garden grows,
Now I no more may labor there;
Do still the lily and the rose
Bloom on without my fostering care?

Do peonies blush as deep with pride,
The larkspurs burn as bright a blue,
And velvet pansies stare as wide
I wonder, as they used to do?

The tender things that would not blow
Unless I coaxed them, do they raise
Their petals in a sturdy row,
Forgetful, to the stranger's gaze?

Or do they show a paler shade,
And sigh a little in the wind
For one whose sheltering presence made
Their step-dame Nature less unkind?

[Pg 189] Oh, tell me how my garden grows,
Where I no more may take delight,
And if some dream of me it knows,
Who dream of it by day and night.
Mildred Howells


This was her dearest walk last year. Her hands
Set all the tiny plants, and tenderly
Pressed firm the unfamiliar soil; and she
It was who watered them at evening time.
She loved them; and I too, because of her.
And now another June has come, while I
Am walking in the shadow, sad, alone.
Yet when I reach the rose-path that was hers,
And breathe the fragrancy of bud and bloom,
She stands beside; the murmur of the leaves,
The well-remembered rustle of her gown,
And low her whisper comes, "My dear! My dear!"
This is her garden. Only she and I—
But always we—may walk its hallowed ways;
And all the thoughts she planted in my heart,
Sunned with her smile, and chastened with her tears,
Again have blossomed—love's perennials.
Eldredge Denison

[Pg 190]


I knew her for a little ghost
That in my garden walked,—
The wall is high—higher than most—
And the green gate was locked;

And yet I did not think of that
Till after she was gone;
I knew her by the broad white hat,
All ruffled, she had on,

By the dear ruffles round her feet,
By her small hands, that hung
In their lace mitts, austere and sweet,
Her gown's white folds among.

I watched to see if she would stay,
What she would do,—and, oh,
She looked as if she liked the way
I let my garden grow!

She bent above my favorite mint
With conscious garden grace,
She smiled and smiled,—there was no hint
Of sadness in her face;

She held her gown on either side,
To let her slippers show,
[Pg 191] And up the walk she went with pride,
The way great ladies go;

And where the wall is built in new,
And is of ivy bare,
She paused,—then opened and passed through
A gate that once was there.
Edna St. Vincent Millay


A wan-cheeked girl with faded eyes
Came stumbling down the crowded car,
Clutching her burden to her breast
As though she held a star.

Roses, I swear it! Red and sweet
And struggling from her pinched white hands,
Roses ... like captured hostages
From far and fairy lands!

The thunder of the rushing train
Was like a hush.... The flower scent
Breathed faintly on the stale, whirled air
Like some dim sacrament—

[Pg 192] I saw a garden stretching out
And morning on it like a crown—
And o'er a bed of crimson bloom
My mother ... stooping down.
Dana Burnet

[Pg 193]

[Pg 194]



That we are mortals and on earth must dwell
Thou knowest, Allah, and didst give us bread—
And remembering of our souls didst give us food of flowers—
Thy name be hallowed.
Thomas Walsh

[Pg 195]


In the garden-close at Mezra,
When the cactus was in flower,
We sat apart together
Through the languid noonday hour.

I was her Arab lover,
(Of course it was all in play!)
And I called her "Star-of-Twilight,"
And I called her "Dream-of-Day."

She—has she quite forgotten?
Soothly, I do not know
If ever she tenderly opens
The volume of Long Ago.

But I—I can still remember
Her lips like the cactus flower
In the garden-close at Mezra
At the languid noonday hour!
Clinton Scollard


The scarlet flower, with never a sister-leaf,
Stemless, springs from the edge of the Cactus-thorn:
Thus from the rugged wounds of desperate grief
A beautiful Thought, perfect and pure, is born.
Laurence Hope

[Pg 196]


Here where the sunlight
Floodeth the garden,
Where the pomegranate
Reareth its glory
Of gorgeous blossom;
Where the oleanders
Dream through the noontides;
And, like surf o' the sea
Round cliffs of basalt,
The thick magnolias
In billowy masses
Front the sombre green of the ilexes:
Here where the heat lies
Pale blue in the hollows,
Where blue are the shadows
On the fronds of the cactus,
Where pale blue the gleaming
Of fir and cypress,
With the cones upon them
Amber or glowing with virgin gold:
Here where the honey-flower
Makes the heat fragrant,
As though from the gardens
Of Gulistan,
Where the bulbul singeth
[Pg 197] Through a mist of roses
A breath were borne:
Here where the dream-flowers,
The cream-white poppies
Silently waver,
And where the Scirocco,
Faint in the hollows,
Foldeth his soft white wings in the sunlight,
And lieth sleeping
Deep in the heart of
A sea of white violets:
Here, as the breath, as the soul of this beauty,
Moveth in silence, and dreamlike, and slowly,
White as a snow-drift in mountain-valleys
When softly upon it the gold light lingers:
White as the foam o' the sea that is driven
O'er billows of azure agleam with sun-yellow:
Cream-white and soft as the breasts of a girl,
Moves the White Peacock, as though through the noontide
A dream of the moonlight were real for a moment.
Dim on the beautiful fan that he spreadeth,
Foldeth and spreadeth abroad in the sunlight,
Dim on the cream-white are blue adumbrations,
Shadows so pale in their delicate blueness
That visions they seem as of vanishing violets,
The fragrant white violets veined with azure,
Pale, pale as the breath of blue smoke in far woodlands.
[Pg 198] Here, as the breath, as the soul of this beauty,
White as the cloud through the heats of the noontide
Moves the White Peacock.
William Sharp


Once at Isola Bella,
With sunset in the sky,
We stood on the topmost terrace—
You and I.

Around us Lago Maggiore,
Incomparably fair,
Gave back the hues of heaven
To the Italian air.

Then up the marble terrace
Below the cypress trees
Came a flock of milk-white peacocks
With fans spread to the breeze.

Rose-pink on each outspread feather,
Rose-pink upon the crest,—
Never were birds in plumage
So ravishingly drest!

Wherever we walked they followed,
Stately at our feet,
[Pg 199] No picture so enchanting
Will any hour repeat.

And here in the murky city
Those milk-white peacocks seem
To follow and follow me ever
Like ghosts of a haunting dream.
Jessie B. Rittenhouse


All through the deep blue night
The fountain sang alone;
It sang to the drowsy heart
Of the satyr carved in stone.

The fountain sang and sang
But the satyr never stirred—
Only the great white moon
In the empty heaven heard.

The fountain sang and sang
While on the marble rim
The milk-white peacocks slept,
And their dreams were strange and dim.

Bright dew was on the grass,
And on the ilex, dew,
[Pg 200] The dreamy milk-white birds
Were all a-glisten, too.

The fountain sang and sang
The things one cannot tell;
The dreaming peacocks stirred
And the gleaming dew-drops fell.
Sara Teasdale


Supposing I became a champa flower, just for fun, and grew on a branch high up that tree, and shook in the wind with laughter and danced upon the newly budded leaves, would you know me, mother?

You would call, "Baby, where are you?" and I should laugh to myself and keep quite quiet.

I should slyly open my petals and watch you at your work.

When after your bath, with wet hair spread on your shoulders, you walked through the shadow of the champa tree to the little court where you say your prayers, you would notice the scent of the flower, but not know that it came from me.

When after the midday meal you sat at the window reading Ramayana, and the tree's shadow fell over your hair and your lap, I should fling my wee little shadow on to the page of your book, just where you were reading.

But would you guess that it was the tiny shadow of your little child?[Pg 201]

When in the evening you went to the cow-shed with the lighted lamp in your hand, I should suddenly drop on to the earth again and be your own baby once more, and beg you to tell me a story.

"Where have you been, you naughty child?"

"I won't tell you, mother." That's what you and I would say then.

Rabindranath Tagore


Can it be winter otherwhere?
Forsooth, it seems not so!
The moonlight on the garden square
Must be the only snow,
For all about me, fragrant fair,
The blooms of summer blow.

Wine-lipped and beautiful and bland,
The rose displays its dower;
The heavy-scented citron and
The stainless lily-tower;
And whiter than a houri's hand,
El Ful, the Arab flower.

In purple silhouette a palm
Lifts from a vine-wreathed plinth
[Pg 202] Against a sky whose cloudless calm
Is hued like hyacinth;
And echoes with a bulbul's psalm
The jasmine labyrinth.

In life's tumultuous ocean swell
Here is a charmèd isle;
I hear a late muezzin tell
His holy tale the while,
And like the faint notes of a bell
The boat-songs of old Nile.

Across my spirit thrills no theme
That is not marvel-bright;
I see within the lotus gleam
The nectar of delight,
And, tasting it, I drift and dream
Adown the glamoured night!
Clinton Scollard


Peaceful and mellow looks the sky to-night
As some great Buddha made of ivory,
Upon whose brow is set a moonstone white,
The shining emblem of its purity.

[Pg 203] A dim blue haze like incense, rising high,
Merges together mountain, tree, and stream;
But over all still broods an ivory sky
Cloudless as Buddha's face, one gem agleam.
Antoinette de Coursey Patterson


When I looked into your eyes,
I saw a garden
With peonies, and tinkling pagodas,
And round-arched bridges
Over still lakes.

A woman sat beside the water
In a rain-blue, silken garment.
She reached through the water
To pluck the crimson peonies
Beneath the surface.

But as she grasped the stems,
They jarred and broke into white-green ripples.
And as she drew out her hand,
The water drops dripping from it
Stained her rain-blue dress like tears.
Amy Lowell

[Pg 204]


Do you remember, Sister,
The golden afternoon
When we looked upon the lotus
And listened to the croon
Of the doves that sat together
Among the flowers of June?

And deep among the valleys
A far, sweet sound was heard—
Some fluter in the forest
That like a magic bird
Sang of the unseen heavens
And mystic Way and Word.
Pai Ta-Shun


I hear no more the swish of silks
Along the marble walks;
The autumn wind blows sharp and cold
Among the flowerless stalks.

In place of petals of the peach
Fast drifts the yellow leaf;
And looking in the lotus-pond
I see one face of grief.
Pai Ta-Shun

[Pg 205]


All night above that garden the rose-flushed moon will sail,
Making the darkness deeper where hides the nightingale.
Below the Sabine mountain
The tossed and slender fountain
Will curve, a lily pale;
And where the plumed pine soars tallest,
'Tis there, O nightingale, thou callest;
Where the loud water leaps the highest.
'Tis there, O nightingale, thou criest;
In the dripping luscious dark,
Hark, oh, hark!
Wonderful, delirious,
Soul of joy mysterious.

A garden full of fragrances,
Of pauses and of cadences,
Whence come they all?
Of cypresses and ilex-trees,
Plumes and dark candles like to these
Were long ago Persephone's.

All night within that garden
The glimmering gods of stone,
The satyrs and the naiads
Will laugh to be alone,
[Pg 206] In starless courts of shadows
By silence overgrown,
Save for the nightingale's
Wild lyric thither blown.

By pools and dusky closes
Dim shapes will move about,
Twirled wands and masks and faces,
Dancers and wreaths of roses,
The moonlight's trick, no doubt.
A naked nymph upon the stair,
A sculptured vine that clasps the air,—
And then one Bacchic bird somewhere
Will pour his passion out.
All night above that garden the rose-flushed moon will sail,
Making the darkness deeper where hides the nightingale.

Down yonder velvet alley,
Floats Daphne like a feather,
A finger bidding silence,
The dark and she together.
Look, where the secret fount is misting.
Apollo, thou shalt have thy trysting:
For where a ruined sphinx lay smiling
The wood-girl waits thee, white, beguiling.
All night above that garden the rose-flushed moon will sail,
Making the darkness deeper where hides the nightingale.
Florence Wilkinson Evans

[Pg 207]


The wind is Winter, though the sun be Spring:
The icy rills have scarce begun to flow;
The birds unconfidently fly and sing.

As on the land once fell the northern foe,
The hostile mountains from the passes fling
Their vandal blasts upon the lake below.

Not yet the round clouds of the Maytime cling
Above the world's blue wonder's curving show,
And tempt to linger with their lingering.

Yet doth each slope a vernal promise know:
See, mounting yonder, white as angel's wing.
A snow of bloom to meet the bloom of snow.

Love, need we more than our imagining
To make the whole year May? What though
The wind be Winter if the heart be Spring?
Robert Underwood Johnson


I live in the heart of a garden
With cypresses all about;
To the east and west, and the south and north,
Straight shadowy paths run out.

[Pg 208] There are ancient gods in my garden;
They have faces young and pale;
And a hundred thousand roses here
Enrapture the nightingale.

Yet, among the gods of the garden,
The roses and gods, I think,
Daylong, of a far-off clover field,
And the song of a bob-o-link.
Sophie Jewett


It is a place monastic, set above
The city's pride and pleasuring below;
The benediction of the sky breathes love
Over the olive trees and vines a-row.

The old gray walls are delicate to prayer
And silence; in the corridors dim-lit
Lurks many a painting, many a fresco rare
Done by some brother for the joy of it.

Pale lavender and red pomegranate trees,
Roses and poppies spilling garden sweets;
And tall lush grass and grain, and, circling these,
The cool of cloistral walks and shadowed seats.

[Pg 209] By a sun-dial in the center, rests
One brown-robed Father; and his lips recite
Some holy word; little he heeds the jests
Of those who make the world their chief delight.

While Florence, far below, from dreamy towers
Throws back the sun and tolls the tranquil hours.
Richard Burton


There is a garden in a vineyard set
Beneath the spell of Adriatic skies;
A lovely place of dreams and ecstasies,
Of color tangled in a verdant net,
The shimmer of the low lagoon whose fret
Washes the garden's length, and rose that vies
With rose, pomegranate and tall flowers that rise
Above their fellows in one glory met.
And there I think in the still summer night,
When all the world is sleeping save the moon
And the blest nightingale who shuns the noon,
The closed flowers open out of sheer delight
And the white lilies bow their slender stalks,
For thro' them, 'neath the vines Madonna walks.
Dorothy Frances Gurney

[Pg 210]


The city rumour rises all the day
Across the potted plants along the wall;
The sun and winds upon the slopes hold sway,
Tossing the dust and shadows in a squall.

The sun is old and weary—weary here
Upon the ageing roofs and miradors,
The broken terraces and basins drear
Where each old bell its ancient echoes pours.

Ringing—what memories to ring—to those
That linger here—the lizard and the cat,
That haunt these solitudes in state morose
Through the long day their silent habitat.

Untroubled,—save when in the moonlight steals
Some voice in song across the lower wall,
And sudden magic each old rafter feels,
The while the echoes round it rise and fall.

For as the wail of love or sorrow rings
Along the night soft steps are on the stair
And pathway; in the broken window wings
Are stirring, and white arms are lolling there.

[Pg 211] And that old rose tree lifts its head anew,
And there is perfume o'er the hills afar,
From where Alhambra's crescent cleaves the blue
To where agleam Genil and Darro are.

O Voice!—what is thy necromantic word
That all Granada waits adown the years?
Is it the sound some love-swept night has heard?—
The cry of love amid the cry of tears?—
Thomas Walsh


His Garden! His bright candelabra trees
En fête. His lilacs steeped in joy! His sky
Limpid and blue! The same flecked shadows lie
Athwart this path he paced. His reveries
Float in the air. His moods, his ecstasies
Still linger charmed. Pale butterflies flit by—
Were one his soul it had not found on high
Banquet more choice than those infinities
He daily knew. And now no one to hear
The hovering hours, the singing grass, to feel
The wrinkles of the soul smooth out, to see
God's shadow bend down from eternity—
His garden empty! Yet I gently steal
Lest I disturb his dreams still smiling near.
Gertrude Huntington McGiffert

[Pg 212]


O that a nest, my mate! were once more ours,
Where we, by vain and barren change untutored,
Could have grave friendships with wise trees and flowers,
And live the great, green life of field and orchard!

From the cold birthday of the daffodils,
E'en to that listening pause that is November,
O to confide in woods, confer with hills,
And then—then, to that palmland you remember,

Fly swift, where seas that brook not Winter's rule
Are one vast violet breaking into lilies;
There where we spent our first strange wedded Yule,
In the far, golden, fire-hearted Antilles.
William Watson



Year after year, from dusk to dusk,
How sweet this English garden grows,
Steeped in two centuries' sun and musk,
Walled from the world in gray repose,
Harbor of honey-freighted bees,
And wealthy with the rose.

[Pg 213] Here pinks with spices in their throats
Nod by the bitter marigold;
Here nightingales with haunting notes,
When west and east with stars are bold,
From out the twisted hawthorn-trees,
Sing back the weathers old.

All tuneful winds do down it pass;
The leaves a sudden whiteness show,
And delicate noises fill the grass;
The only flakes its spaces know
Are petals blown off briers long,
And heaped on blades below.

Ah! dawn and dusk, year after year,
'Tis more than these that keeps it rare!
We see the saintly Master here,
Pacing along the alleys fair,
And catch the throbbing of a song
Across the amber air!
Lizette Woodworth Reese


As one whose road winds upward turns his face
Unto the valleys where he late hath stood,
Leaning upon his staff in peace to brood
On many a beauty of the distant place,
[Pg 214] So I in this cool garden pause a space,
Reviewing many things in many a mood,
Accumulating friends in solitude
From the assembly of my thoughts and days.
Arthur Upson

[Pg 215]

[Pg 216]



Grandmother's gathering boneset to-day;
In the garret she'll dry and hang it away.
Next winter I'll "need" some boneset tea—
I wish she wouldn't think always of me!
Edith M. Thomas

[Pg 217]


What small leaf-fingers veined with emerald light
Lay on my heart that touch of elfin might?

What spirals of sharp perfume do they fling,
To blur my page with swift remembering?

Borne in a country basket marketward,
Their message is a music spirit-heard,

A pebble-hindered lilt and gurgle and run
Of tawny singing water in the sun.

Their coolness brings that ecstasy I knew
Down by the mint-fringed brook that wandered through

My mellow meadows set with linden-trees
Loud with the summer jargon of the bees.

Their magic has its way with me until
I see the storm's dark wing shadow the hill

As once I saw: and draw sharp breath again,
To feel their arrowy fragrance pierce the rain.

O sudden urging sweetness in the air,
Exhaled, diffused about me everywhere,

Yours is the subtlest word the summer saith,
And vanished summers sigh upon your breath.
Grace Hazard Conkling

[Pg 218]


Black, comely, of abiding cheer,
Three times a week she fares,
Townward from gabled Windermere,
To sell her dainty wares.

Green balms she brings from winding lanes,
And some in handfuls tall,
Of the old days of Annes and Janes,
Grown by a kitchen wall.

Keen mint has she in dewy sprigs,
With spears of violet;
And the spiced bloom of elder-twigs
In a field's hollow set.

My snatch of May I get from her,
In white buds off a tree;
June in one whiff of lavender,
That breaks my heart for me.

The swaying boughs of Windermere,
Each gust that takes the grass,
High over the town roar I hear,
When that old stall I pass.

[Pg 219] What homely memories are mine,
At sight of her quaint stalks;
Of grave dusks mellowing like wine
Down long, box-bordered walks;

Of garret windows eastward thrust,
Of rafters shining dim,
And heaped with herbs as gray as dust
All scented to the brim.

This lady of the market-place,
Three times a week and more,
I pray her seasons thick with grace;
And ever at her door,

Shut from the road by wall of stone,
And ample cherry trees,
A garden fair as Herrick's own,
And just as full of bees!
Lizette Woodworth Reese


Gray walls that lichen stains,
That take the sun and the rains,
Old, stately, and wise:
Clipt yews, old lawns flag-bordered,
[Pg 220] In ancient ways yet ordered;
South walks where the loud bee plies
Daylong till Summer flies—
Here grows Lavender, here breathes England.

Gay cottage gardens, glad,
Comely, unkempt, and mad,
Jumbled, jolly, and quaint;
Nooks where some old man dozes;
Currants and beans and roses
Mingling without restraint;
A wicket that long lacks paint—
Here grows Lavender, here breathes England.

Sprawling for elbow-room,
Spearing straight spikes of bloom,
Clean, wayward, and tough;
Sweet and tall and slender,
True, enduring, and tender,
Buoyant and bold and bluff,
Simplest, sanest of stuff—
Thus grows Lavender, thence breathes England.
W. W. Blair Fish

[Pg 221]


I went into my garden at break of Delight,
Before Joy had risen in the Eastern sky,
To see how many cucumbers had happened over night,
And how much higher stood the corn that yesterday was high.

I went into my garden when Rest had fallen away
From the tops of blue hills, from the valleys gold and green,
To see how far the beans had travelled up into the day,
And whether all my lettuces were glad and cool and clean.

I went into my garden when Mirth was laughing low
Through the sharp-scented leaves of the lush tomato vines,
Through the long blue-grey leaves of the turnips in a row,
Where early in the every day the dew shakes and shines.

Oh, Rest had slipped away from the valleys green and gold,
From the tops of blue hills that were silent all the night,
But the big, round Joy was rising, busy and bold,
When I went into my garden at break of Delight!
Marguerite Wilkinson


In a funny little garden not much bigger than a mat,
There lived a thriving family, its members all were fat;
But some were short, and some were tall, and some were almost round,
And some ran high on bamboo poles, and some lay on the ground.

[Pg 222] Of these old Father Pumpkin was, perhaps, the proudest one.
He claimed to trace his family vine directly from the sun.
"We both are round and yellow, we both are bright," said he,
"A stronger family likeness one could scarcely wish to see."

Old Mrs. Squash hung on the fence; she had a crooked neck,
Perhaps 'twas hanging made it so,—her nerves were quite a wreck.
Near by, upon a planted row of faggots, dry and lean,
The young cucumbers climbed to swing their Indian clubs of green.

A big white daikon hid in earth beneath his leafy crest;
And mole-like sweet potatoes crept around his quiet nest.
Above were growing pearly pease, and beans of many kinds
With pods like tiny castanets to mock the summer winds.

There, in a spot that feels the sun, the swarthy egg-plant weaves
Great webs of frosted tapestry and hangs them out for leaves.
Its funny azure blossoms give a merry, shrivelled wink,
And lifting up the leaves display great drops of purple ink.

Now, life went on in harmony and pleasing indolence
Till Mrs. Squash had vertigo and tumbled off the fence;
But not to earth she fell! Alas,—but down, with all her force,
Upon old Father Pumpkin's head, and cracked his skull, of course.

[Pg 223] At this a fearful din arose. The pods began to split,
Cucumbers turned a sickly hue, the daikon had a fit,
The sweet potatoes rent the ground,—the egg-plant dropped his loom,
While every polished berry seemed to gain an added gloom.

And, worst of all, there came a man, who once had planted them.
He dug that little family up by root and leaf and stem,
He piled them high in baskets, in a most unfeeling way—
All this was told me by the cook,—we ate the last to-day.
Mary McNeil Fenollosa


When skies are blue and days are bright
A kitchen-garden's my delight,
Set round with rows of decent box
And blowsy girls of hollyhocks.

Before the lark his Lauds hath done
And ere the corncrake's southward gone;
Before the thrush good-night hath said
And the young Summer's put to bed.

The currant-bushes' spicy smell,
Homely and honest, likes me well,
The while on strawberries I feast,
And raspberries the sun hath kissed.

[Pg 224] Beans all a-blowing by a row
Of hives that great with honey go,
With mignonette and heaths to yield
The plundering bee his honey-field.

Sweet herbs in plenty, blue borage
And the delicious mint and sage,
Rosemary, marjoram, and rue,
And thyme to scent the winter through.

Here are small apples growing round,
And apricots all golden-gowned,
And plums that presently will flush
And show their bush a Burning Bush.

Cherries in nets against the wall,
Where Master Thrush his madrigal
Sings, and makes oath a churl is he
Who grudges cherries for a fee.

Lavender, sweet-briar, orris. Here
Shall Beauty make her pomander,
Her sweet-balls for to lay in clothes
That wrap her as the leaves the rose.

Take roses red and lilies white,
A kitchen-garden's my delight;
Its gillyflowers and phlox and cloves,
And its tall cote of irised doves.
Katharine Tynan

[Pg 225]


The summer winds is sniffin' round the bloomin' locus' trees;
And the clover in the pastur' is a big day fer the bees,
And they been a-swiggin' honey, above board and on the sly,
Tel they stutter in theyr buzzin' and stagger as they fly.
The flicker on the fence-rail 'pears to jest spit on his wings
And roll up his feathers, by the sassy way he sings;
And the hoss-fly is a-whettin'-up his forelegs fer biz,
And the off-mare is a-switchin' all of her tail they is.

You can hear the blackbirds jawin' as they foller up the plow—
Oh, theyr bound to git theyr brekfast, and theyr not a carin' how;
So they quarrel in the furries, and they quarrel on the wing—
But theyr peaceabler in pot-pies than any other thing:
And it's when I git my shotgun drawed up in stiddy rest,
She's as full of tribbelation as a yeller-jacket's nest;
And a few shots before dinner, when the sun's a-shinin' right,
Seems to kindo'-sorto' sharpen up a feller's appetite!

They's been a heap o' rain, but the sun's out to-day,
And the clouds of the wet spell is all cleared away,
And the woods is all the greener, and the grass is greener still;
It may rain again to-morry, but I don't think it will.
Some says the crops is ruined, and the corn's drownded out,
And propha-sy the wheat will be a failure, without doubt;
But the kind Providence that has never failed us yet,
Will be on hand onc't more at the 'leventh hour, I bet!

[Pg 226] Does the medder-lark complain, as he swims high and dry
Through the waves of the wind and the blue of the sky?
Does the quail set up and whissel in a disappointed way,
Er hang his head in silence, and sorrow all the day?
Is the chipmuck's health a-failin'?—Does he walk, er does he run?
Don't the buzzards ooze around up thare jest like they've allus done?
Is they anything the matter with the rooster's lungs er voice?
Ort a mortul be complainin' when dumb animals rejoice?

Then let us, one and all, be contented with our lot;
The June is here this morning, and the sun is shining hot.
Oh! let us fill our harts up with the glory of the day,
And banish ev'ry doubt and care and sorrow fur away!
Whatever be our station, with Providence fer guide,
Sich fine circumstances ort to make us satisfied;
Fer the world is full of roses, and the roses full of dew,
And the dew is full of heavenly love that drips fer me and you.
James Whitcomb Riley


Lord God in Paradise,
Look upon our sowing,
Bless the little gardens
And the good green growing!
[Pg 227] Give us sun,
Give us rain,
Bless the orchards
And the grain!

Lord God in Paradise,
Please bless the beans and peas,
Give us corn full on the ear—
We will praise Thee, Lord, for these!
Bless the blossom
And the root,
Bless the seed
And the fruit!

Lord God in Paradise,
Over my brown field is seen,
Trembling and adventuring.
A miracle of green.
Send such grace
As you know,
To keep it safe
And make it grow!

Lord God in Paradise,
For the wonder of the seed,
Wondering, we praise you, while
We tell you of our need.
[Pg 228] Look down from Paradise,
Look upon our sowing,
Bless the little gardens
And the good green growing!
Give us sun,
Give us rain,
Bless the orchards
And the grain!
Louise Driscoll

[Pg 229]

[Pg 230]



The sky is blue and soft to-day,
The grass is green this month of May,
And Muvver with her spade and rake
My little garden helps me make;
For every one must plant more seeds
To grow the food that each one needs:
Potatoes, corn, green peas, and beets,
The kind of beans that sister eats,
We plant in rows marked by a string,
For neatness is the one great thing;
The earth is then raked smooth and pressed
And Nature 'tends to all the rest.
Robert Livingston

[Pg 231]


If I could patch a coverlet
From pieces of the Spring,
What dreams a happy child would have
Beneath so fair a thing!

A center of the dear blue sky,
A bordering of green,
With patches of the yellow sun
All chequered in between.

Bright ribbons of the silky grass
Laced prettily across,
With satin of new little leaves,
And velvet of the moss.

In every corner, violets,
Half-hidden from the view,
With many-flowered squares betwixt,
Of pinky tints and blue;

Of flossy silk and gossamer,
Of tissue and brocade;
A warp of rosy morning mist,
A woof of purple shade.

Embroideries of little vines,
And spider-webs of lace,
[Pg 232] With tassels of the alder tied
At each convenient place.

With gold-thread I would sew the seams,
And needles of the pine,
Oh, never child in all the world
Would have a quilt like mine!
Abbie Farwell Brown


Valentine, O Valentine,
Pretty little Love of mine;
Little Love whose yellow hair
Makes the daffodils despair;
Little Love whose shining eyes
Fill the stars with sad surprise:
Hither turn your ten wee toes,
Each a tiny shut-up rose,
End most fitting and complete
For the rosy-pinky feet;
Toddle, toddle here to me,
For I'm waiting, do you see?—
Waiting for to call you mine,
Valentine, O Valentine!

Valentine, O Valentine,
I will dress you up so fine!
[Pg 233] Here's a frock of tulip-leaves,
Trimmed with lace the spider weaves;
Here's a cap of larkspur blue,
Just precisely made for you;
Here's a mantle scarlet-dyed,
Once the tiger-lily's pride,
Spotted all with velvet black
Like the fire-beetle's back;
Lady-slippers on your feet,
Now behold you all complete!
Come and let me call you mine,
Valentine, O Valentine!

Valentine, O Valentine,
Now a wreath for you I'll twine.
I will set you on a throne
Where the damask rose has blown,
Dropping all her velvet bloom,
Carpeting your leafy room:
Here while you shall sit in pride,
Butterflies all rainbow-pied,
Dandy beetles gold and green,
Creeping, flying, shall be seen,
Every bird that shakes his wings,
Every katydid that sings,
Wasp and bee with buzz and hum.
Hither, hither see them come,
[Pg 234] Creeping all before your feet,
Rendering their homage meet.
But 'tis I that call you mine,
Valentine, O Valentine!
Laura E. Richards


Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie cosily, close to each other:
Hark to the song of the lark—
"Waken!" the lark says, "waken and dress you;
Put on your green coats and gay,
Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you—
Waken! 'tis morning—'tis May!"

Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
What kind of flower will you be?
I'll be a poppy—all white, like my mother;
Do be a poppy like me.
What! you're a sun-flower? How I shall miss you
When you're grown golden and high!
But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;
Little brown brother, good-bye.
E. Nesbit

[Pg 235]


Raining, raining,
All night long;
Sometimes loud, sometimes soft,
Just like a song.

There'll be rivers in the gutters
And lakes along the street.
It will make our lazy kitty
Wash his little dirty feet.

The roses will wear diamonds
Like kings and queens at court;
But the pansies all get muddy
Because they are so short.

I'll sail my boat to-morrow
In wonderful new places,
But first I'll take my watering-pot
And wash the pansies' faces.
Amelia Josephine Burr

[Pg 236]


Spring Song

I love daffodils.
I love Narcissus when he bends his head.
I can hardly keep March and spring and Sunday and daffodils
Out of my rhyme of song.
Do you know anything about the spring
When it comes again?
God knows about it while winter is lasting:
Flowers bring him power in the spring,
And birds bring it, and children.
He is sometimes sad and alone
Up there in the sky trying to keep his worlds happy.
I bring him songs when he is in his sadness, and weary.
I tell him how I used to wander out to study stars and the moon he made
And flowers in the dark of the wood.
I keep reminding him about his flowers he has forgotten,
And that snowdrops are up.
What can I say to make him listen?
[Pg 237] "God," I say,
"Don't you care!
Nobody must be sad or sorry
In the spring-time of flowers."
By a Bed of Pansies

This pansy has a thinking face
Like the yellow moon.
This one has a face with white blots:
I call him the clown.
Here goes one down the grass
With a pretty look of plumpness:
She is a little girl going to school
With her hands in the pockets of her pinafore.
Her name is Sue.
I like this one, in a bonnet,
Her eyes are so deep!
But these on the other side,
These that wear purple and blue,
They are the Velvets,
The king with his cloak,
The queen with her gown,
[Pg 238] The prince with his feather.
These are dark and quiet
And stay alone.

I know you, Velvets
Color of Dark,
Like the pine-tree on the hill
When stars shine!
Hilda Conkling
(Six years old)


When apple-blossom time doth come
And with their scent the air is filled,
And fields are full of buttercups,—
'Tis then the swallows build.

And when the rippling brooks are deep,
Filled to the overflowing,
When o'er the hills and meadows fair
The south wind's softly blowing,

With sun a-shining, birds a-singing
Till their joyous throats are thrilled,
And with all the world in laughter,—
'Tis then the swallows build.
Catherine Parmenter
(Eleven years old)

[Pg 239]


"What shall we plant for our Summer, my boy,—
Seeds of enchantment and seedlings of joy?
Brave little cuttings of laughter and light?
Then shall our summer be flowery and bright."

"Nay!—You are wrong in your planting," said he,
"Have we not grass and the weeds and a tree?
Why should we water and weary away
For sake of a flower that lives but a day!"

So she made gardens which he would not dig,
Tended her apricot, apple and fig.
Then, when one morning he chanced to appear,
Sadly he noticed—"No trespassing here."
Helen Hay Whitney


If I could dig holes in the ground like a rabbit,
D'you know what I'd do?
Well, I'd dig a deep hole—
Right under that tree—
Then I'd go down—and down,
And find out where the tree starts,
And I'd find out how it eats and drinks,
And what makes it grow....
Yes I would!
[Pg 240] P'r'aps I could dig a hole right up into that tree,
But p'r'aps I couldn't.

Anyway I could dig 'way down,
And see all the flower seeds,
And all the grass seeds,
And under that big rock there might be some rock seeds.
And I'd see everything start growing.

Do all the seeds make noises
When they start to grow?
What do You s'pose about that?
I s'pose they sing,
'Cause they're so glad to come up here and see the sunshine....

Well, anyway I'd find out all about it, 'way down there,
And then I'd want to come up home,
And I'd have so much to tell to You!

If I could dig holes like a rabbit,
That's just what I would do.
Rose Strong Hubbell


Mother says there's a little god
Lives in my garden.
I asked her—"In the tree?"—
I asked her—"In the fountain?"
[Pg 241] And she said, yes, that she,
Plain as plain could be,
Everywhere could see
The little god.
"What's he look like, mother?"
"Oh," she said, "like the flowers,
Like the summer showers,
Like the morning dew,—
Like you."
She says he's everywhere
In my garden—I can't see him there.
Katharine Howard


At evening when I go to bed
I see the stars shine overhead;
They are the little daisies white
That dot the meadow of the Night.

And often while I'm dreaming so,
Across the sky the Moon will go;
It is a lady, sweet and fair,
Who comes to gather daisies there.

For, when at morning I arise,
There's not a star left in the skies;
She's picked them all and dropped them down
Into the meadows of the town.
Frank Dempster Sherman

[Pg 242]


It was awful long ago
That I put those seeds around;
And I guess I ought to know
When I stuck 'em in the ground.
'Cause I noted down the day
In a little diary book,—
It's gotten losted somewhere and
I don't know where to look.

But I'm certain anyhow
They've been planted most a week
And it must be time by now
For their little sprouts to peek.
They've been watered every day
With a very speshul care,
And once or twice I've dug 'em up to
see if they were there.

I fixed the dirt in humps
Just the way they said I should;
And I crumbled all the lumps
Just as finely as I could.
And I found a nangle-worm
A-poking up his head,—
He maybe feeds on seeds and such,
and so I squushed him dead.

[Pg 243] A seed's so very small,
And dirt all looks the same;—
How can they know at all
The way they ought to aim?
And so I'm waiting round
In case of any need;
A farmer ought to do his best for
every single seed!
Burges Johnson


By the side of a wall in a garden gay,
A little Rose-bush grew;
In the first dear days of the month of May,
Loved by the sun and dew.

It gazed to the top of the wall so high
With happy longing and pride,
When it heard the children laugh and cry
As they passed on the other side.

And into its leaves and buds there came
A beautiful thought of God.
"I can climb to the heights of love and fame,
If my roots are in the sod."

[Pg 244] Then up and over the garden-wall,
It clambered far and wide,
Shedding its sweetness for one and all
As they passed on the other side,—

The weary laborer, the beggar cold,
The wise man and the fool,
The mother and daughter, the grandam old
And the children going to school.

The breezes scattered its pink and white
In a perfumed shower for all,
And the beautiful days of June were bright
With the Rose on the Garden-wall.

Our hearts are like the Roses of June,
They can live for one and all,
Giving their love as a blessed boon,
From a palace or cottage wall.
Emily Selinger


See the morning-glories hung
On the vine for me to use:
Hark! A flower-bell has rung,
I can talk now, if I choose.

[Pg 245] "Hellow Central! Oh, hello!
Give me Puck of Fairyland—
Mr. Puck, I want to know
What I cannot understand.

"How the leaves are scalloped out;
Where's the den of Dragon Fly?
What do crickets chirp about?
Where do flowers go when they die?

"How far can a Fairy see?
Why are woodsy things afraid?
Who lives in the hollow tree?
How are cobweb carpets made?

"Why do Fairies hide?—Hello!
What? I cannot understand—"
That's the way they always do,
They've cut me off from Fairyland!
Abbie Farwell Brown


I went this morning down to where the Johnny-Jump-Ups grow
Like naughty purple faces nodding in a row.
I stayed 'most all the morning there—I sat down on a stump
And watched and watched and watched them—and they never gave a jump!

[Pg 246] And Golden-Glow that stands up tall and yellow by the fence,
It doesn't glow a single bit—it's only just pretence—
I ran down after tea last night to watch them in the dark—
I had to light a match to see; they didn't give a spark!

And then the Bouncing Bets don't bounce—I tried them yesterday,
I picked a big pink bunch down in the meadow where they stay,
I took a piece of string I had and tied them in a ball,
And threw them down as hard as hard—they never bounced at all!

And tiger-lilies may look fierce, to meet them all alone,
All tall and black and yellowy and nodding by a stone,
But they're no more like tigers than the dogwood's like a dog,
Or bulrushes are like a bull or toadwort like a frog!

I like the flowers very much—they're pleasant as can be
For bunches on the table, and to pick and wear and see,
But still it doesn't seem quite fair—it does seem very queer—
They don't do what they're named for—not at any time of year!
Margaret Widdemer


When storm clouds rumble in the sky and June showers come down,

The moist east wind comes marching over the heath to blow its bagpipes among the bamboos.[Pg 247]

Then crowds of flowers come out of a sudden, from nobody knows where, and dance upon the grass in wild glee.

Mother, I really think the flowers go to school underground.

They do their lessons with doors shut, and if they want to come out to play before it is time, their master makes them stand in a corner.

When the rains come down they have their holidays.

Branches clash together in the forest, and the leaves rustle in the wild wind, the thunder-clouds clap their giant hands and the flower children rush out in dresses of pink and yellow and white.

Do you know, mother, their home is in the sky, where the stars are.

Haven't you seen how eager they are to get there? Don't you know why they are in such a hurry?

Of course, I can guess to whom they raise their arms: they have their mother as I have my own.

Rabindranath Tagore


My mother let me go with her,
(I had been good all day),
To see the iris flowers that bloom
In gardens far away.

[Pg 248] We walked and walked through hedges green,
Through rice-fields empty still,
To where we saw a garden gate
Beneath the farthest hill.

She pointed out the rows of "flowers";—
I saw no planted things,
But white and purple butterflies
Tied down with silken strings.

They strained and fluttered in the breeze,
So eager to be free;
I begged the man to let them go,
But mother laughed at me.

She said that they could never rise,
Like birds, to heaven so blue.
But even mothers do not know
Some things that children do.

That night, the flowers untied themselves
And softly stole away,
To fly in sunshine round my dreams
Until the break of day.
Mary McNeil Fenollosa

[Pg 249]


I'd love to sit on a clover-top
And sway,
And swing and shake, till the dew would drop
In spray;
To croon a song for the bumble-bee
To leave his golden honey with me,
And sway and swing, till the wind would stop
To play.

I'd weave a hammock of spider-thread
Where grasses nodded above my head
And swung.
And all day long, while the hammock swayed
I'd twine and tangle the sun and shade,
Till the crickets' song, "It is time for bed!"
Was sung.

Then wrapped in a wee gold sunset cloud
I'd lie,
While night winds sang to the stars that crowd
The sky.
And all night long, I would swing and sleep
While fireflies lighted their lamps to peep—
"Oh, hush!" they'd whisper, if frogs sang loud—
"Oh hush-a-by!"
Charles Buxton Going

[Pg 250]


Near where I live there is a lake
As blue as blue can be, winds make
It dance as they go blowing by.
I think it curtseys to the sky.

It's just a lake of lovely flowers,
And my Mamma says they are ours;
But they are not like those we grow
To be our very own, you know.

We have a splendid garden, there
Are lots of flowers everywhere;
Roses, and pinks, and four o'clocks,
And hollyhocks, and evening stocks.

Mamma lets us pick them, but never
Must we pick any gentians—ever!
For if we carried them away
They'd die of homesickness that day.
Amy Lowell


As I was busy with my tools
That make my garden neat,
I heard a little crooked tune
Come drifting up the street.

[Pg 251] It didn't seem to have an end
Like others that are plain;
You always felt it going on
Till it began again.

It came quite near: I heard it call,
And dropped my tools and ran
To peer out through the gate;
I thought it might be Pan.

But it was just the scissors-man
Who walked along and played
Upon a little instrument
He told me he had made.

Now, if you hope to see a god
As hard to find as Pan,
It's sad when it turns out to be
A plain old scissors-man.

But when my mother came to hear
The crooked tune he made,
She said his instrument was like
Some pipes that Pan had played.

And I must ask the scissors-man
If he had ever known
Or met a queer old god who played
On pipes much like his own.

[Pg 252] He would not tell: and when I asked
Who taught him how to play,
He made that crooked tune again,
And laughed and went away.
Grace Hazard Conkling

[Pg 253]

[Pg 254]



The years are flowers and bloom within
Eternity's wide garden;
The rose for joy, the thorn for sin,
The gardener God, to pardon
All wilding growths, to prune, reclaim,
And make them rose-like in His name.
Richard Burton

[Pg 255]


The Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.

And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,—
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Frances Gurney


Ever the garden has a spiritual word:
In the slow lapses of unnoticed time
It drops from heaven, or upward learns to climb,
Breathing an earthly sweetness, as a bird
Is in the porches of the morning heard;
[Pg 256] So, in the garden, flower to flower will chime,
And with the music thought and feeling rhyme,
And the hushed soul is with new glory stirred.

Beauty is silent,—through the summer day
Sleeps in her gold,—O wondrous sunlit gold,
Frosting the lilies, virginal array!
Green, full-leaved walls the fragrant sculpture hold,
Warm, orient blooms!—how motionless are they—
Speechless—the eternal loveliness untold!
George E. Woodberry


Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

[Pg 257] Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.
Sara Teasdale


Drop me the seed, that I, even in my brain,
May be its nourishing earth. No mortal knows
From what immortal granary comes the grain,
Nor how the earth conspires to make the rose;

But from the dust and from the wetted mud
Comes help, given or taken; so with me
Deep in my brain the essence of my blood
Shall give it stature until Beauty be.

It will look down, even as the burning flower
Smiles upon June, long after I am gone.
Dust-footed Time will never tell its hour,
Through dusty Time its rose will draw men on,

Through dusty Time its beauty shall make plain
Man, and, Without, a spirit scattering grain.
John Masefield

[Pg 258]


The dull ox, Sorrow, treads my heart,
Dragging the harrow, Pain,
And turning the old year's tillage
Under the sod again.
So, well do I know the Tiller
Will bring once more the grain;
For grief comes never to the strong—
Nor dull despair's benumbing wrong—
But from them spring a hidden throng
Of seeds, for new life fain.

So heavily do I let the hoofs
Trample the deeps of me;
For only thus is spirit
Brought to fecundity.
But when the ox is stabled
And the harrow set aside,
With calm I watch a new world grow,
Sweetly green, up out of woe,
And, glad of the Tiller, then I know
He too is satisfied.
Cale Young Rice

[Pg 259]


Now shall your beauty never fade;
For it was budding when you passed
Beyond this glare, into the shade
Of fairer gardens unforecast,
Where, by the dreaded Gardener's spade,
Beauty, transplanted once, shall ever last.

Now never shall that glorious breast
Wither, those deft hands lose their art,
Nor those glad shoulders be oppressed
By failing breath or fluttering heart,
Nor, from the cheek by dawn possessed,
The subtle ecstasy of hue depart.

Forever shall you be your best,—
Nay, far more luminously shine
Than when our comradeship was blessed
By what on earth seemed most divine,
Before your body passed to rest
With what I then supposed this heart of mine.

Now shall your bud of beauty blow
Far lovelier than I knew before
When, such a little time ago,
I looked upon your face, and swore
That Helen's never moved men so
When her white, magic hands enkindled war.

[Pg 260] As you sweep on from power to power
Shall every earthward thought you think
Irradiate my lonely hour
Till I shall taste the golden drink
Of Life, and see the full-blown flower,
Whose opening bud was mine, beyond the brink.
Robert Haven Schauffler


Here in this ancient garden
When Winter days had flown
I came, with Comrade Sorrow
To dwell with her alone.

Here in this sweet seclusion
Far from the World's cold stare
What exquisite communings
Sorrow and I would share!

What banquets of remembrance!
What luxury of tears!
With Sorrow in a garden
Through the rose-scented years!

But one day when she called me
I did not hear her voice;
I only heard the lilies
Which sang "Rejoice, rejoice!"

[Pg 261] The world was gold and azure
The air was sweet with birds;
My garden laughed with rapture
How could I hear her words?

For June was in the garden
And June was in my heart,
And since that hour pale Sorrow
And I have dwelt apart.

But often in the twilight
When birds and gardens sleep
I feel her presence with me
Her arms about me creep.

And when the ghosts of Summer
With the dead roses talk,
I hear her softly sobbing
Along the moonlit walk.

I never can forget her
So intimate were we!
But Sorrow, in my garden
Abides no more with me.
May Riley Smith

[Pg 262]


The pale moth
Trembles in the white moonlight;
Thus my heart trembles with love!

The rose petals fall—
The red petals of my heart;
Oh, the breath of love!

Cool, sweet tears
Of honey, the jasmine weeps;
Burning fall the tears of love.

Oh, how bitter
Is the White Poppy, Death;
There are no more dreams of love.
Jeanne Robert Foster


I lift my heart as spring lifts up
A yellow daisy to the rain;
My heart will be a lovely cup
Altho' it holds but pain.

For I shall learn from flower and leaf
That color every drop they hold,
To change the lifeless wine of grief
To living gold.
Sara Teasdale

[Pg 263]


Late in the evening, when the room had grown
Too hot and tiresome with its flaring light
And noisy voices, I stole out alone
Into the darkness of the summer night.

Down the long garden-walk I slowly went,
A little wind was stirring in the trees;
I only saw the whitest of the flowers,
And I was sorry that the earlier hours
Of that fair evening had been so ill spent,
Because I said, "I am content with these
Dear friends of mine who only speak to me
With their delicious fragrance, and who tell
To me their gracious welcome silently."

The leaves that touch my hand with dew are wet;
I find the tall white lilies I love well.
I linger as I pass the mignonette,
And what surprise could clearer be than this:
To find my sweet rose waiting with a kiss!
Sarah Orne Jewett

[Pg 264]


There is a hillside garden that their tender hands have tended,
Below a house that holds for me a shrine of joy and light.
And there beneath a cloudless sun when June is warm and splendid
I see them coming home to me, three girls in garments white.

Alice with lilies in her hands, and little dark Dolores
Showing her glowing marigolds; and Iris last of all
Under the arbor by the wall of purple morning-glories,
Bringing my crimson ramblers back that sought to scale the wall.

Alice with smiles along her lips; Dolores still and tender;
Iris whose eyes can tell me more than tongue shall ever say;
They offer to my open arms their bodies soft and slender,
Bringing the best of summer here, they garlanded to-day.

Into my study they have swept, and brasses from Benares,
Vases from Venice they have filled, and hung their wreaths around
The portrait where their mother smiles like the tall tranquil Maries
That Perugino used to paint, with hair like sunlight crowned.

[Pg 265] "Mother is coming home to-day." (The words themselves are singing.)
"How long it is," our litany, forgotten, they repeat,
Making their last response to love, their last oblation bringing
Till at the hour of evensong, their voices still more sweet,
Tremble and sanctify the house where happy hearts shall meet.
John Curtis Underwood


When to the garden of untroubled thought
I came of late, and saw the open door,
And wished again to enter, and explore
The sweet, wild ways with stainless bloom inwrought
And bowers of innocence with beauty fraught,
It seemed some purer voice must speak before
I dared to tread that garden loved of yore,
That Eden lost unknown and found unsought.

Then just within the gate I saw a child,—
A stranger-child, yet to my heart most dear;
He held his hands to me, and softly smiled
With eyes that knew no shade of sin or fear:
"Come in," he said, "and play awhile with me;
I am the little child you used to be."
Henry van Dyke

[Pg 266]


"And a little child shall lead them"
Into her world, beneath her smiling skies;
A little child with wide, wondering eyes
Deep with the mystery that in them lies.
Her soft hand plucks a stem asunder,
And with the dream that is a part
Of Childhood's heart,
She questions:
"Now I want to wonder!"

She "wants to wonder" how so fair a thing
Is born; from what it springs, and why it blooms:
Whence comes its sweet, elusive odor rare,—
The garnered fragrance of a hundred Junes.
Was it all planned,—or just some lovely blunder?
Thus gazing, with the seeking look that lies
In Childhood's eyes,
She questions:
"Now I want to wonder!"

Dear Child, your groping mind seeks far and true:
Mankind and Nature,—all "want to wonder" too.
Frederic A. Whiting

[Pg 267]


Pines, and a blur of lithe young grasses;
Gold in a pool, from the western glow;
Spread of wings where the last thrush passes—
And thoughts of you as the sun dips low.

Quiet lane, and an irised meadow ...
(How many summers have died since then?) ...
I wish you knew how the deepening shadow
Lies on the blue and green again!

Dusk, and the curve of field and hollow
Etched in gray when a star appears:
Sunset,... twilight,... and dark to follow,...
And thoughts of you thro' a mist of tears.
Ruth Guthrie Harding


I am weary. I would rest
On the wide earth's swelling breast,
Nurtured by the quiet sod
Where the fragrant dew has trod,
Soothed by all the winds that pass,
Hearing voices in the grass
Of the little insect things
Happier than the mightiest kings!

[Pg 268] I am weary. I would sleep
In some quiet perfumed deep
Where no human touch could bring
Tears to me or anything.
There I would forget to weep
And my silent cloister keep,—
There I would the earth embrace
Meeting Beauty face to face.

I am weary. I would go
Where the fields are white with snow,
Where the violets are lain
Far from human strife and pain—
Far from longing and delight,
Thro' the endless starry night,
There I would forget to weep,
And my silent cloister keep.
Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff


Who would not praise thee, miracle of Frost?
Some gesture overnight, some breath benign,
And lo! the tree's a fountain all a-shine,
The hedge a throne of unimagined cost;
In wheel and fan along a wall embossed,
The spider's humble handiwork shows fine
[Pg 269] With jewels girdling every airy line;
Though the small mason in the cold be lost.

Web after web, a morning snare of bliss
Starring with beauty the whole neighbourhood,
May well beget an envy clean and good.
When man goes too into the earth-abyss,
And God in His altered garden walks, I would
My secret woof might gleam so fair as this.
Louise Imogen Guiney


The Spring blew trumpets of color;
Her Green sang in my brain—
I heard a blind man groping
"Tap—tap" with his cane;

I pitied him his blindness;
But can I boast, "I see?"
Perhaps there walks a spirit
Close by, who pities me,—

A spirit who hears me tapping
The five-sensed cane of mind
Amid such unguessed glories—
That I—am worse than blind!
Harry Kemp

[Pg 270]


I do not know what sings in me—
I only know it sings
When pale the stars, and every tree
Is glad with waking wings.

I only know the air is sweet
With wondrous flowers unseen—
That unaccountably complete
Is June's accustomed green.

The wind has magic in its touch;
Strange dreams the sunsets give.
Life I have questioned overmuch—
To-day, I live.
Amelia Josephine Burr


Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre.... The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early ... unto the sepulchre.... And ... she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing.... Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him ... Master. St. John.

From silvering mid-sea to the Syrian sand,
It was the time of blossom in the land.
On field and hill and down the steep ravine,
Ran foam and fire of bloom and ripple of green.
[Pg 271] The Sepulchre was open wide, and thrown
Among the crushed, hurt lilies lay the Stone.
A light wind stirred the Garden: everywhere
The smell of myrrh was out upon the air.
For three days He had traveled with the dead,
And now was risen to go with stiller tread
The old earth ways again,
To stay the heart and build the hope of men.
He made a luster in that leafy place,
His form serene, majestical; His face
Touched with a cryptic beauty like the sea
Lit by the moon when night begins to be.

The cold gray east was warming into rose
Beyond the steep ravine where Kedron goes.
Now suddenly on the morning faint with flame
Jerusalem with all her clamors came—
A snarl of noises from the far-off street,
Dispute and barter and the clack of feet.
A moment it brawled upward and was gone—
Faded, forgotten in the deep still dawn.
He passed across the morning: felt the cool,
Keen, kindling air blown upward from the pool.
A busy wind brought little tender smells
From barley fields and weeds by April wells.
Up in the tree-tops where the breezes ran
The old sweet noises in the nests began;
[Pg 272] And once He paused to listen while a bird
Shouted the joy till all the Garden heard.

There in the morning, on the old worn ways—
New-risen from the sacrament of death—
He looked toward Olivet with tender gaze:
Old things of the heart came back from other days—
The happy, homely shop in Nazareth;
The noonday shadow of a wayside tree
That had befriended Him in Galilee;
Sweet talks in Bethany by the chimney stone,
And night-long lingering talks with John alone.
And then He thought of all the weary men
He would have gathered as a mother hen
Gathers her brood under her wings at night.
And then He saw the ages in one flight,
And heard as a great sea
All of the griefs that had been and must be....

As He stood looking on the endless sky,
Over the Garden went a sobbing cry.
He turned, and saw where the tall almonds are
His Mary of Magdala, wildly pale,
Fast-fleeting down the trail,
And suddenly His face was like a star!
He spoke; she knew—a blaze of happy tears;
Then "Master!" ... and the word rings down the years!
Edwin Markham

[Pg 273]


Wisdom am I
When thou art but a fool;
My part the man,
When thou hast played the clod;
Hast lost thy garden?
When the eve is cool,
Harken!—'tis I who walk
There with thy God!
Margaret Steele Anderson


This rose so exquisite,
So perfect, so complete,
Beauty beyond all price,—
With the hour it dies.

God makes Him roses fast,
With such magnificent haste,
Multitudes, multitudes,
In gardens, fields and woods.

The roses tell His praise
Their little length of days;
Testify to His name,
Gold on gold, flame on flame.

[Pg 274] They are scarce here, scarce blown,
But they are gone, are flown;
The gardener's broom must sweep them
And in the darkness heap them.

Drift of rose-leaves upon
The garden-bed, the lawn:
The exquisite thought of God
Is scattered, wasted abroad.

What of the soul of the rose?
It shall not die with those;
It shall wake, shall live again
In God's rose-garden.

It shall climb rose-trellises
Before God's palaces;
The Eternal Rose shall cover
The House of God all over.

She shall breathe out her soul
And yet living, made whole,
Shall offer her oblation
Out of her purest passion.

She shall know all bliss
Where God's garden is:
The rose drinking her fill is
Of joy with her sister lilies.

[Pg 275] Where the Water of Life sweet
Bathes her from head to feet,
The River of Life flows—
There is the Rose.
Katharine Tynan


He came and took me by the hand
Up to a red rose tree,
He kept His meaning to Himself
But gave a rose to me.

I did not pray Him to lay bare
The mystery to me,
Enough the rose was Heaven to smell
And His own face to see.
Ralph Hodgson


And so must life be many-veined;
The loves that hurt, the fate that blent
My life with myriad lives and ways,
The processes that probed and pained,
The pencillings of nights and days—
Cross currents, tangling as they went,
With oh, such conflict in my soul!—
[Pg 276] How should I know that they were meant
Just to make living sweet and whole,
Just to unclose
God's perfect rose?
Angela Morgan


An acre of land between the shore and the hills,
Upon a ledge that shows my Kingdoms three,
The lovely visible earth and sky and sea,
Where what the curlew needs not, the farmer tills:

A house that shall love me as I love it,
Well-hedged, and honoured by a few ash trees
That linnets, greenfinches, and goldfinches
Shall often visit and make love in and flit;

A garden I need never go beyond,
Broken but neat, whose sunflowers every one
Are fit to be the sign of the Rising Sun:
A spring, a brook's bend, or at least a pond!

For these I ask not, but neither too late
Nor yet too early, for what men call content,—
And also that something may be sent
To be contented with, I ask of fate.
Edward Thomas (Edward Eastaway)

[Pg 277]


I who kept the greenhouse,
Lover of trees and flowers,
Oft in life saw this umbrageous elm,
Measuring its generous branches with my eye,
And listened to its rejoicing leaves
Lovingly patting each other
With sweet æolian whispers.
And well they might:
For the roots had grown so wide and deep
That the soil of the hill could not withhold
Aught of its virtue, enriched by rain,
And warmed by the sun;
But yielded it all to the thrifty roots,
Through which it was drawn and whirled to the trunk,
And thence to the branches, and into the leaves,
Wherefrom the breeze took life and sang.
Now I, an under-tenant of the earth, can see
That the branches of a tree
Spread no wider than its roots.
And how shall the soul of a man
Be larger than the life he has lived?
Edgar Lee Masters

[Pg 278]


What shall we be like when
We cast this earthly body and attain
To immortality?
What shall we be like then?

Ah, who shall say
What vast expansions shall be ours that day?
What transformations of this house of clay,
To fit the heavenly mansions and the light of day?
Ah, who shall say?

But this we know,—
We drop a seed into the ground,
A tiny, shapeless thing, shrivelled and dry,
And, in the fulness of its time, is seen
A form of peerless beauty, robed and crowned
Beyond the pride of any earthly queen,
Instinct with loveliness, and sweet and rare,
The perfect emblem of its Maker's care.

This from a shrivelled seed?—
—Then may man hope indeed!

For man is but the seed of what he shall be,
When, in the fulness of his perfecting,
[Pg 279] He drops the husk and cleaves his upward way,
Through earth's retardings and the clinging clay,
Into the sunshine of God's perfect day.
No fetters then! No bonds of time or space!
But powers as ample as the boundless grace
That suffered man, and death, and yet, in tenderness,
Set wide the door, and passed Himself before—
As He had promised—to prepare a place.

Yea, we may hope!
For we are seeds,
Dropped into earth for heavenly blossoming.
Perchance, when comes the time of harvesting,
His loving care
May find some use for even a humble tare.

We know not what we shall be—only this—
That we shall be made like Him—as He is.
John Oxenham


Lord, I ask a garden in a quiet spot
where there may be a brook with a good flow,
an humble little house covered with bell-flowers
and a wife and a son who shall resemble Thee.

[Pg 280] I should wish to live many years, free from hates,
and make my verses, as the rivers
that moisten the earth, fresh and pure.
Lord, give me a path with trees and birds.

I wish that you would never take my mother,
for I should wish to tend her as a child
and put her to sleep with kisses, when somewhat old
she may need the sun.
R. Arevalo Martinez


My flower-room is such a little place,
Scarce twenty feet by nine, yet in that space
I have met God; yea, many a radiant hour
Have talked with Him, the All-Embracing Cause,
About His laws.
And he has shown me, in each vine and flower,
Such miracles of power
That day by day this flower-room of mine
Has come to be a shrine.

Fed by the self-same soil and atmosphere,
Pale, tender shoots appear,
Rising to greet the light in that sweet room.
One speeds to crimson bloom,
One slowly creeps to unassuming grace,
One climbs, one trails,
[Pg 281] One drinks the light and moisture,
One exhales.
Up through the earth together, stem by stem,
Two plants push swiftly in a floral race,
Till one sends forth a blossom like a gem,
And one gives only fragrance.
In a seed,
So small it scarce is felt within the hand,
Lie hidden such delights
Of scents and sights,
When by the elements of Nature freed,
As paradise must have at its command.

From shapeless roots and ugly bulbous things,
What gorgeous beauty springs!
Such infinite variety appears,
A hundred artists in a hundred years
Could never copy from a floral world
The marvels that in leaf and bud lie curled.
Nor could the most colossal mind of man
Create one little seed of plant or vine
Without assistance from the First Great Plan,
Without the aid divine.

Who but a God
Could draw from light and moisture, heat and cold,
And fashion in earth's mold,
A multitude of blooms to deck one sod?
[Pg 282] Who but a God?
Not one man knows
Just why the bloom and fragrance of the rose,
Or how its tints were blent;
Or why the white camellia, without scent,
Up through the same soil grows;
Or how the daisy and the violet
And blades of grass first on wild meadows met.
Not one, not one man knows,
The wisest but suppose.
This flower-room of mine
Has come to be a shrine,
And I go hence
Each day with larger faith and reverence.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Vestured and veiled with twilight,
Lulled in the winter's ease,
Dim, and happy, and silent,
My garden dreams by its trees.

Urn of the sprayless fountain,
Glimmering nymph and faun,
Gleam through the dark-plumed cedar,
Fade on the dusky lawn.

[Pg 283] Here is no stir of summer,
Here is no pulse of spring;
Never a bud to burgeon,
Never a bird to sing.

Dreams—and the kingdom of quiet!
Only the dead leaves lie
Over the fallen roses
Under the shrouded sky.

Folded and fenced with silence
Mindless of moil and mart,
It is twilight here in my garden,
And twilight here in my heart.
Rosamund Marriott Watson


The path runs straight between the flowering rows,
A moonlit path hemmed in by beds of bloom,
Where phlox and marigolds dispute for room
With tall, red dahlias and the briar rose.
'Tis reckless prodigality which throws
Into the night these wafts of rich perfume
Which sweep across the garden like a plume.
Over the trees a single bright star glows.
Dear garden of my childhood, here my years
Have run away like little grains of sand;
[Pg 284] The moments of my life, its hopes and fears
Have all found utterance here, where now I stand;
My eyes ache with the weight of unshed tears,
You are my home, do you not understand?
Amy Lowell


I heard a woodthrush in the dusk
Twirl three notes and make a star—
My heart that walked with bitterness
Came back from very far.

Three shining notes were all he had,
And yet they made a starry call—
I caught life back against my breast
And kissed it, scars and all.
Sara Teasdale


Teach me, Father, how to go
Softly as the grasses grow;
Hush my soul to meet the shock
Of the wild world as a rock;
But my spirit, propt with power,
Make as simple as a flower.
Let the dry heart fill its cup,
Like a poppy looking up;
[Pg 285] Let life lightly wear her crown,
Like a poppy looking down,
When its heart is filled with dew
And its life begins anew.

Teach me, Father, how to be
Kind and patient as a tree.
Joyfully the crickets croon
Under shady oak at noon;
Beetle, on his mission bent,
Tarries in that cooling tent.
Let me, also, cheer a spot,
Hidden field or garden grot—
Place where passing souls can rest
On the way and be their best.
Edwin Markham


"See this my garden,
Large and fair!"
—Thus, to his friend,
The Philosopher.

"'Tis not too long,"
His friend replied,
With truth exact,—
[Pg 286] "Nor yet too wide.
But well compact,
If somewhat cramped
On every side."

Quick the reply—
"But see how high!—
It reaches up
To God's blue sky!"
John Oxenham

[Pg 287]


[Pg 297]


[Pg 302]

The Riverside Press


U. S. A.

Transcriber's Notes:

Punctuation and obvious spelling errors repaired, but variant spellings retained.

Inconsistent indentations within a poem were retained.

In original, book title "Melody of Earth" appears twice at beginning, and "Index of Titles" and "Index of Authors" headings appear twice before their respective indexes. These redundancies were removed.

Shaemas O Sheel: name occurs consistently with no punctuation after the O.

Spaces were removed from spaced contractions: for example, "'t was" to "'twas," "that 's" to "that's," "did n't" to "didn't."

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Melody of Earth, by Various


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