In The People's Park
Many's the time I've found your face
Fresh as a bunch of flowers in May,
Waiting for me at our own old place
At the end of the working day.
Many's the time I've held your hand
On the shady seat in the People's Park,
And blessed the blaring row of the band
And kissed you there in the dark.
Many's the time you promised true,
Swore it with kisses, swore it with tears:
'I'll marry no one without it's you -
If we have to wait for years.'
And now it's another chap in the Park
That holds your hand like I used to do;
And I kiss another girl in the dark,
And try to fancy it's you!
CHOKED with ill weeds my garden lay a-dying,
Hard was the ground, no bud had heart to blow,
Yet shone your smile there, with your soft breath sighing:
'Have patience, for some day the flowers will grow.'
Some weeds you killed, you made a plot and tilled it;
'My plot,' you said, 'rich harvest yet shall give,'
With sun-warmed seeds of hope your dear hands filled it,
With rain-soft tears of pity bade them live.
So, weak among the weeds that had withstood you,
One little pure white flower grew by-and-by;
You could not pluck my flower--alas! how should you?
You sowed the seed, but let the blossom die.
In The Rose Garden
RED roses bright, pink roses and white
That bud and blossom and fall;
The very sight of my heart's delight
Is more than worth them all!
Is worth far more than the whole sweet store
That ever a garden grew--
She plucked the best to die at her breast,
But it laughed and it bloomed anew!
The red rose lay at her lips to-day,
And flushed with the joy thereof;
She said a word that the white rose heard,
And the white rose paled with love.
But the west wind blows, and my lady goes,
And she leaves the world forlorn;
And every rose that the garden grows,
Might just as well be a thorn!
BIRDS in the green of my garden
Blackbirds and throstle and wren,
Wet your dear wings in the tears that are Spring's
And so to your singing again!
Birds in my blossoming orchard,
Chaffinch and goldfinch and lark,
Preen your bright wings, little happy live things;
The May trees grow white in the park!
Birds in the leafy wet woodlands,
Cuckoo and nightingale brown,
Sing to the sound of the rain on green ground--
The rain on green leaves dripping down!
Fresh with the rain of the May-time,
Rich with the promise of June,
Deep in her heart, where the little leaves part,
Love, like a bird, sings in tune!
The Enchanted Garden
OH, what a garden it was, living gold, living green,
Full of enchantments like spices embalming the air,
There, where you fled and I followed--you ever unseen,
Yet each glad pulse of me cried to my heart, 'She is there!'
Roses and lilies and lilies and roses again,
Tangle of leaves and white magic of blossoming trees,
Sunlight that lay where, last moment, your footstep had lain--
Was not the garden enchanted that proffered me these?
Ah, what a garden it is since I caught you at last--
Scattered the magic and shattered the spell with a kiss:
Wintry and dreary and cold with the wind of the past,
Ah that a garden enchanted should wither to this!
A Garden Of Girls
KATE is like a violet, Gertrude's like a rose,
Jane is like a gillyflower smart;
But Laura's like a lily, the purest bud that blows,
Whose white, white petals veil the golden heart.
Girls in the garden--one and two and three--
One for song and one for play and one--ah, one for me!
Gillyflowers and violets and roses fair and fine,
But only one a lily, and that one lily mine!
Bertha is a hollyhock, stately, tall, and fair,
Mabel has the daisy's dainty grace,
Edith has the gold of the sunflower on her hair,
But Laura wears the lily in her face.
Girls in the garden--five and six and seven--
Three to take, and three to give, but one--ah! one is given--
Hollyhocks and daisies, and sunflowers like the sun,
But only one a lily, and that one lily won.
The Garden Refused
There is a garden made for our delight,
Where all the dreams we dare not dream come true.
I know it, but I do not know the way.
We slip and tumble in the doubtful night,
Where everything is difficult and new,
And clouds our breath has made obscure the day.
The blank unhappy towns, where sick men strive,
Still doing work that yet is never done;
The hymns to Gold that drown their desperate voice;
The weeds that grow where once corn stood alive,
The black injustice that puts out the sun:
These are our portion, since they are our choice.
Yet there the garden blows with rose on rose,
The sunny, shadow-dappled lawns are there;
There the immortal lilies, heavenly sweet.
O roses, that for us shall not unclose!
O lilies, that we shall not pluck or wear!
O dewy lawns untrodden by our feet!
1 The garden mould was damp and chill,
2 Winter had had his brutal will
3 Since over all the year's content
4 His devastating legions went.
5 Then Spring's bright banners came: there woke
6 Millions of little growing folk
7 Who thrilled to know the winter done,
8 Gave thanks, and strove towards the sun.
9 Not so the elect; reserved, and slow
10 To trust a stranger-sun and grow,
11 They hesitated, cowered and hid
12 Waiting to see what others did.
13 Yet even they, a little, grew,
14 Put out prim leaves to day and dew,
15 And lifted level formal heads
16 In their appointed garden beds.
17 The gardener came: he coldly loved
18 The flowers that lived as he approved,
19 That duly, decorously grew
20 As he, the despot, meant them to.
21 He saw the wildlings flower more brave
22 And bright than any cultured slave;
23 Yet, since he had not set them there,
24 He hated them for being fair.
25 So he uprooted, one by one
26 The free things that had loved the sun,
27 The happy, eager, fruitful seeds
28 That had not known that they were weeds.
A Kentish Garden
THERE is a grey-walled garden, far away
From noise and smoke of cities, where the hours
Pass with soft wings among the happy flowers,
And lovely leisure blossoms every day.
There, tall and white, the sceptral lily blows;
There grow the pansy, pink, and columbine,
Brave hollyhocks, and star-white jessamine,
And the red glory of the royal rose.
There greeny glow-worms gem the dusky lawn,
The lime-trees breathe their fragrance to the night,
Pink roses sleep, and dream that they are white,
Until they wake to colour with the dawn.
There, in the splendour of the sultry noon,
The sunshine sleeps upon the garden bed
Where the white poppy droops a drowsy head
And dreams of kisses from the white full moon.
And there, some days, all wild with wind and rain,
The tossed trees show the white side of their leaves,
While the great drops drip from the ivied eaves,
And birds are still--till the sun shines again.
And there, all days, my heart goes wandering,
Because there, first, my heart began to know
The glories of the summer and the snow,
The loveliness of harvest and of spring.
There may be fairer gardens; but I know
There is no other garden half so dear;
Because 'tis there, this many, many a year,
The sacred, sweet, white flowers of memory grow!
In the great green park with the wooden palings -
The wooden palings so hard to climb,
There are fern and foxglove, primrose and violet,
And green things growing all the time;
And out in the open the daisies grow,
Pretty and proud in their proper places,
Millions of white-frilled daisy faces,
Millions and millions--not one or two.
And they call to the bluebells down in the wood:
'Are you out--are you in? We have been so good
All the school-time winter through,
But now it's playtime,
The gay time, the May time;
We are out and at play. Where are you?'
In the gritty garden inside the railings,
The spiky railings all painted green,
There are neat little beds of geraniums and fuchsia
With never a happy weed between.
There's a neat little grass plot, bald in places,
And very dusty to touch;
A respectable man comes once a week
To keep the garden weeded and swept,
To keep it as we don't want it kept.
He cuts the grass with his mowing-machine,
And we think he cuts it too much.
But even on the lawn, all dry and gritty,
The daisies play about.
They are so brave as well as so pretty,
You cannot keep them out.
I love them, I want to let them grow,
But that respectable man says no.
He cuts off their heads with his mowing-machine
Like the French Revolution guillotine.
He sweeps up the poor little pretty faces,
The dear little white-frilled daisy faces;
Says things must be kept in their proper places
He has no frill round his ugly face -
I wish I could find his proper place!