God's garden is this dim old wood,
And hidden in its bosom
The bursting bud, the feathery leaf
And soft, sweet smelling blossom.

Ho! May is fair, and glorious June,
In rose leaves doth enfold her;
Their bloom is richer than my own,
But mine is sweeter, bolder.

God's garden is this dim old wood,
And I, the pretty vagrant,
I am the gardener He sends
To make it fair and fragrant.

Forgive And Forget

I'll tell you the sweetest thing, dear heart,
I'll tell you the sweetest thing-
'Tis saying to one that we love: 'Forgive
The careless words and the sting;
Forgive and forget, and be friends once more,
For the world is an empty place
Without the light of your warm, true eyes,
And the smile of your tender face.'

O the kissing and making up again,
And the tender whispering!
I'll tell you the sweetest thing, dear heart,
I'll tell you the sweetest thing.

I'll tell you the saddest thing, dear heart,
I'll tell you the saddest thing:
'Tis coming to one that we love full well,
Some tender message to bring.
And loitering, loitering, by the way-
Held back by a foolish pride-
Till it's all too late to say 'Forgive!'
When at length we reach her side.

For the ears are heavy and cannot hear,
And the chill lips cannot move
To whisper 'Peace,' though our hearts may break
With longing, and pain, and love,

O this coming too late with our tenderness!
O the passionate tears that spring!
I'll tell you the saddest thing, dear heart,
I'll tell you the saddest thing!

Then let us make haste to be friends again,
Make haste to fold to our breast
The one we have hurt by word and deed,
Though we loved that one the best.
'Forgive and forget! Forgive and forget!'
O warm in the tear-wet eyes
Is the glow and the gleam of a golden light
From the shores of Paradise.

O the kissing and making up again,
And the tender whispering!
I'll tell you the sweetest thing, dear heart,
I'll tell you the sweetest thing.

All On An April Morning

The teacher was wise and learned, I wis,
All nonsense she held in scorning,
But you never can tell what the primmest miss
Will do of a bright spring morning.

What this one did was to spread a snare
For feet of a youth unheeding,
As March, with a meek and lamb-like air,
To its very last hour was speeding.

Oh, he was the dullard of his class,
For how can a youth get learning
With his eyes aye fixed on a pretty lass
And his heart aye filled with yearning?

'Who finds 'mong the rushes which fringe a pool,'
She told him, 'the first wind blossom,
May wish what he will'-poor April fool,
With but one wish in his bosom.

Her gray eyes danced-on a wild-goose chase
He'd sally forth on the morrow,
And, later, she'd laugh in his sombre face,
And jest at his words of sorrow.

But penitence and a troubled mind
Were fruits of the night's reflection;
After all, he was simple, and strong, and kind-
'Twas wrong to flout his affection.

They met on the hill as she walked to school;
He said, unheeding her blushes,
'Here's the early flower your April fool
Found growing among the rushes.

'Take it or leave it as you will'-
His voice ringing out so clearly
Awoke in her heart a happy thrill-
'You know that I love you dearly.'

Day-dreams indulged as she taught the school
Held lovers kneeling and suing;
'Take it or leave it'-her April fool
Was masterful in his wooing.

He gave her the flower-she gave him a kiss-
His suit she had long been scorning;
But you never can tell what the primmest miss
Will do of a bright spring morning.

O the frozen valley and frozen hill make a coffin wide and deep,
And the dead river lies, all its laughter stilled within it, fast asleep.

The trees that have played with the merry thing, and freighted its breast with leaves,
Give never a murmur or sigh of woe-they are dead-no dead thing grieves.

No carol of love from a song-bird's throat; the world lies naked and still,
For all things tender, and all things sweet, have been touched by the gruesome chill.

Not a flower-a blue forget-me-not, a wild rose, or jasmine soft-
To lay its bloom on the dead river's lips, that have kissed them all so oft.

But look! a ladder is spanning the space 'twixt earth and the sky beyond,
A ladder of gold for the Maid of Grace-the strong, the subtle, the fond!

Spring, with the warmth in her footsteps light, and the breeze and the fragrant breath,
Is coming to press her radiant face to that which is cold in death.

Spring, with a mantle made of the gold held close in a sunbeam's heart
Thrown over her shoulders bonnie and bare-see the sap in the great trees start!

Where the hem of this flowing garment trails, see the glow, the color bright,
A stirring and spreading of something fair-the dawn is chasing the night!

Spring, with all love and all dear delights pulsing in every vein,
The old earth knows her, and thrills to her touch, as she claims her own again.

Spring, with the hyacinths filling her lap and violet seeds in her hair,
With the crocus hiding its satin head in her bosom warm and fair;

Spring, with the daffodils at her feet and pansies abloom in her eyes,
Spring, with enough of God in herself to make the dead to arise!

For see, as she bends o'er the coffin deep-the frozen valley and hill-
The dead river stirs,-ah, that ling'ring kiss is making its heart to thrill!

And then as she closer and closer leans, it slips from its snowy shroud,
Frightened a moment, then rushing away, calling and laughing aloud!

The hill where she rested is all abloom, the wood is green as of old,
And wakened birds are striving to send their songs to the Gates of Gold.

An April Fool Of Long Ago

In powdered wig and buckled shoe,
Knee-breeches, coat and waistcoat gay,
The wealthy squire rode forth to woo
Upon a first of April day.

He would forget his lofty birth,
His spreading acres, and his pride,
And Betty, fairest maid on earth,
Should be his own-his grateful bride.

The maid was young, and he was old;
The maid was good to look upon.
Naught cared she for his land or gold,
Her love was for the good squire's son.

He found her as the noonday hush
Lay on the world, and called her name.
She looked up, conscious, and her blush
A tender interest did proclaim.

For he was Hubert's sire, and she
To keep a secret tryst did go.
He said: 'Methinks she cares for me'-
That April fool of long ago.

The flattered squire his suit did press
Without delay. 'Say, wilt thou come,'
He said, with pompous tenderness,
'And share my wealth and grace my home?'

'Kind sir,' the lovely Betty cried,
'I'm but a lass of low degree.'
'The love that is controlled by pride
Is not true love at all,' quoth he.

'I hold a man should woo and wed
Where'er he wills-should please himself.'
'There is the barrier strong,' she said,
'Of pedigree, and place, and pelf.

'Could one so lowly hope to grace
Your home?' Right proud his air and tone:
'You're pure of heart and fair of face;
Dear Betty, you would grace a throne!'

'Since you so highly think of me'-
Her tears and laughter were at strife-
'You will not mind so much, maybe,
That I am Hubert's promised wife.'

Pale went the good squire's florid cheek,
His wrath flamed out-but Betty stood,
Brown-haired, red-lipped, blue-eyed and meek,
A sight to make a bad man good.

She won on him. 'But why this guile-
This secrecy?' His voice was rough.
'We feared,' she whispered, with a smile,
'You would not think me good enough.'

'An April fool am I. Come, come-
My offer stands. As Hubert's wife,'
He laughed, 'you'll share my wealth and home
And brighten up a lonely life.'

He kissed her cheek and rode away.
Unbroken was his heart, I wist,
For he was thinking of a day-
A day back in youth's rosy mist-

And of a form and of a face.
'My dear, dead love,' he whispered low,
The while he rode at sober pace,
That April fool of long ago.

Earth To The Twentieth Century

You cannot take from out my heart the growing,
The green, sweet growing, and the vivid thrill.
'O Earth,' you cry, 'you should be old, not glowing
With youth and all youth's strength and beauty still!'

Old, and the new hopes stirring in my bosom!
Old, and my children drawing life from me!
Old, in my womb the tender bud and blossom!
Old, steeped in richness and fertility!

Old, while the growing things call to each other,
In language I alone can understand:
'How she doth nourish us, this wondrous mother
Who is so beautiful and strong and grand!'

Old, while the wild things of the forest hide them
In my gray coverts, which no eye can trace!
Hunted or hurt, 'tis my task to provide them
Healing and soothing and a hiding place.

And then, my human children, could you listen
To secrets whispered in the stillness deep
Of noonday, or when night-dews fall and glisten-
'Tis on my bosom that men laugh and weep.

Some tell me moving tales of love and passion,
Of gladness all too great to be pent in-
The sweet, old theme which does not change its fashion-
Another cries out brokenly of sin.

While others filled with sorrow, fain to share it,
Hide tear-wet faces on my soft brown breast,
Sobbing: 'Dear Mother Earth, we cannot bear it,
Grim death has stolen all that we loved best!'

The old familiar cry of loss and sorrow
I hear to-day-I heard it yesterday-
Ay, and will hear in every glad to-morrow
That ye may bring to me, O Century.

I answer mourner, penitent, and lover,
With quick'ning stir, with bud and leaf and sap:
'Peace, peace,' I say, 'when life's brief day is over
Ye shall sleep soundly in your mother's lap.'

The loss, the longing of mankind I'm sharing,
The hopes, the joys, the laughter and the tears,
And yet you think I should be old, uncaring,
The barren, worn-out plaything of the years!

Past centuries have not trodden out my greenness
With all their marches, as you well can see,
Nor will you bring me withered age or leanness.
March on-what are your hundred years to me

While life and growth within me glow and flourish,
While in the sunshine and the falling rain
I, the great Mother, do bring forth and nourish
The springtime blossom and the harvest grain?

March on, O Century, I am safe holden
In God's right hand, the garner-house of truth-
The hand that holds the treasure rare and golden
Of life, and sweetness, and eternal youth!