Gardens

THE APRIL GARDENERS

There will be lilies here in late July
Tall mottled scarlet lilies. You and I
Will be far hence, a thousand miles away,
In our new home. So, not for us will sway
The budded stems. And not for us will spread
The perfect blossoms, brazing rows of red.
And other hands that ours will pluck them.

It does not matter. It is good to share,
And we shall find our loveliness out there.

But now today our pleasure is to make
More beauty in the world for beauty’s sake
And rear tall scarlet lilies on this lawn
For those who walk here after we are gone.

FLOWERS IN THE HOUSE

In June our house holds flowers everywhere,
For gardens have enough and some to spare,
Tall yellow lilies light a shadowed space
Within the hall. Pink peonies find place
Here in the sunny drawing room. Old jars
Of pottery lift up the homely stars
Of wild field daisies, mingled with the blue
Of irises, fresh-gathered in the dew.
Deep azure larkspur fills an orange vase.
Along a shelf the honeysuckle strays
And trails its heavy scented branches down,
And pansies flout with mocking faces droll
The sweet new roses in a silver bowl.
The world of June has loveliness to spare,
And so our house holds blossoms everywhere.

GRAPES

A week ago the clusters hung
Like smooth jade beads. The robins clung
With wistful air upon the vines,
Impatient for the early signs
Of juicy sweetness to appear.
Now, with the ripening of the year,
A richer color stains the side
Of each green ball, a redness dyed
With purple; and a bloom like mist
Has touched the spheres to amethyst.
A jeweled wall, the trellis runs
Across the garden, bright with suns
And dews and rains of summer time.
A promise now attained to prime,
Its fruitage glows upon the sight,
A denison, a rare delight.
I look and reach, and pause, and bless
The later season’s loveliness.

Christian Science Monitor – September 17, 1924

LATE SNOW IN THE GARDEN

The lilac-bush, just budded, wore a wreath of silver light,
And blue hyacinths shone palely through a
powdering of white,
And the crocuses were covered quite
completely out of sight.

A robin set the flakes ajar upon the apple tree,
And down they floated, sparkle-stars,
a loveliness to see;
A leaping squirrel scattered wide a drift
of ecstasy.

We knew our frosty miracle was sure to fade away
(Too high the sun had circled up), and yet
that April day
Was brighter for its wintry touch,
when spring had come to stay!

SPRING WINDOW GARDEN

Outside the pane, the snow is flying,
All promises of spring denying;
And where the garden slope is lifted,
In heaps the swirling flakes are drifted.
But here behind our thin protection,
Fresh miracles achieve perfection;
For crocuses lift dainty faces,
And freesias droop their languid graces,
And hyacinths in rosy clusters,
Serene, ignore the wind that blusters;
While all the lovely blooms together
Make mock of March’s wintry weather.

THE TRUE SIGNS

There’s a rose-bud in the meadow,
There’s a swallow on the wing;
There’s a gold-finch in the larches,
And he sings like anything.
There’s a butterfly a-flitting
Through the sunny garden-beds,
Where the crocuses and violets
Have raised their pretty heads.
The air is warm and drowsy,
And all the sky is clear;
Oh, the summer’s surely coming,
And I think it’s almost here!

Christian Science Monitor, Tuesday, March 12, 1935

PERVERSITY

Strange that in summer when the roses blow
I seem to see my garden deep in snow;
With brown and leafless see-stalks
springing tall,
And scarlet rose-hips clustered on the wall.

And then in winter when the snow is thick
I seem to see, beneath it, grass-grown brick,
With hollyhocks in bloom, serene and tall,
With crimson ramblers swaying on the wall.

1728 Regent Street, Madison, Wisconsin

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