In An Annisquam Garden

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 garment's 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.

The pink rose drops its petals on
The moonlit lawn, the moonlit lawn;
The moon, like some wide rose of white,
Drops down the summer night.
No rose there is
As sweet as this-
Thy mouth, that greets me with a kiss.

The lattice of thy casement twines
With jasmine vines, with jasmine vines;
The stars, like jasmine blossoms, lie
About the glimmering sky.
No jasmine tress
Can so caress
Like thy white arms' soft loveliness.

About thy door magnolia blooms
Make sweet the glooms, make sweet the glooms;
A moon-magnolia is the dusk
Closed in a dewy husk.
However much,
No bloom gives such
Soft fragrance as thy bosom's touch.

The flowers blooming now will pass,
And strew the grass, and strew the grass;
The night, like some frail flower, dawn
Will soon make gray and wan.
Still, still above,
The flower of
True love shall live forever, Love.

Thin, chisel-fine a cricket chipped
The crystal silence into sound;
And where the branches dreamed and dripped
A grasshopper its dagger stripped
And on the humming darkness ground.

A bat, against the gibbous moon,
Danced, implike, with its lone delight;
The glowworm scrawled a golden rune
Upon the dark; and, emerald-strewn,
The firefly hung with lamps the night.

The flowers said their beads in prayer,
Dew-syllables of sighed perfume;
Or talked of two, soft-standing there,
One like a gladiole, straight and fair,
And one like some rich poppy-bloom.

The mignonette and feverfew
Laid their pale brows together:-'See!'
One whispered: 'Did their step thrill through
Your roots?'-'Like rain.'-'I touched the two
And a new bud was born in me.'

One rose said to another:-'Whose
Is this dim music? song, that parts
My crimson petals like the dews?'
'My blossom trembles with sweet news-
It is the love of two young hearts.'

The Garden Of Dreams

Not while I live may I forget
That garden which my spirit trod!
Where dreams were flowers, wild and wet,
And beautiful as God.

Not while I breathe, awake, adream,
Shall live again for me those hours,
When, in its mystery and gleam,
I met her 'mid the flowers.

Eyes, talismanic heliotrope,
Beneath mesmeric lashes, where
The sorceries of love and hope
Had made a shining lair.

And daydawn brows, whereover hung
The twilight of dark locks: wild birds,
Her lips, that spoke the rose's tongue
Of fragrance-voweled words.

I will not tell of cheeks and chin,
That held me as sweet language holds;
Nor of the eloquence within
Her breasts' twin-mooned molds.

Nor of her body's languorous
Wind-grace, that glanced like starlight through
Her clinging robe's diaphanous
Web of the mist and dew.

There is no star so pure and high
As was her look; no fragrance such
As her soft presence; and no sigh
Of music like her touch.

Not while I live may I forget
That garden of dim dreams, where I
And Beauty born of Music met,
Whose spirit passed me by.

The Haunted Garden

THERE a tattered marigold
And dead asters manifold,
Showed him where the garden old
Of time bloomed:
Briar and thistle overgrew
Corners where the rose once blew,
Where the phlox of every hue
Lay entombed.
Here a coreopsis flower
Pushed its disc above a bower,
Where once poured a starry shower,
Bronze and gold:
And a twisted hollyhock,
And the remnant of a stock,
Struggled up, 'mid burr and dock,
Through the mold.
Flower-pots, with mossy cloak,
Strewed a place beneath an oak,
Where the garden-bench lay broke
By the tree:
And he thought of her, who here
Sat with him but yesteryear;
Her, whose presence now seemed near
And the garden seemed to look
For her coming. Petals shook
On the spot where, with her book,
Oft she sat.—
Suddenly there blew a wind:
And across the garden blind,
Like a black thought in a mind,
Stole a cat.
Lean as hunger; like the shade
Of a dream; a ghost unlaid;
Through the weeds its way it made,
Gaunt and old:
Once 't was hers. He looked to see
If she followed to the tree.—
Then recalled how long since she
Had been mold.

Spurge and sea-pink, hyssop blue,
Dragonhead of purple hue;
Catnip, frosted green and gray,
With blue butterflies a-sway,
These may point you out the way.

These and Summer's acolytes,
Crickets, singing days and nights,
Tell you the old road again;
And adown the tangled lane
Lead you to her window-pane.

Goldenrod and goldenglow
Crowd the gate in which you go;
To your arm they cling and catch,
Kiss the hand that lifts the latch,
Guide you to her garden-patch.

O'er the fence the hollyhock
Leans to greet you; and the stock
Looks as if it thought, 'I knew
You were coming. Gave the cue
To the place to welcome you.'

And the crumpled marigold
And the dahlia, big and bold,
With Sweet Williams, white and red,
Nod at you a drowsy head
From the sleepy flowerbed.

Where all day the brown bees croon,
Honey-drunk; and stars and moon
All night long lean down to hear,
In the silence far and near,
Whippoorwills a-calling clear.

While adown the dewy dark
Flits a flame, a firefly spark,
Leading to a place of myrrh,
Where, in lace and lavender,
Waits the Loveliness of her.

Love In A Garden

Between the rose's and the canna's crimson,
Beneath her window in the night I stand;
The jeweled dew hangs little stars, in rims, on
The white moonflowers each a spirit hand
That points the path to mystic shadowland.

Awaken, sweet and fair!
And add to night try grace!
Suffer its loveliness to share
The white moon of thy face,
The darkness of thy hair.
Awaken, sweet and fair!


A moth, like down, swings on th' althæa's pistil,
Ghost of a tone that haunts its bell's deep dome;
And in the August-lily's cone of crystal
A firefly blurs, the lantern of a gnome,
Green as a gem that gleams through hollow foam.

Approach! the moment flies!
Thou sweetheart of the South!
Come! mingle with night's mysteries
The red rose of thy mouth,
The starlight of thine eyes.
Approach! the moment flies!


Dim through the dusk, like some unearthly presence,
Bubbles the Slumber-song of some wild bird;
And with it borne, faint on a breeze-sweet essence,
The rainy murmur of a fountain's heard
As if young lips had breathed a perfumed word.

How long, my love, my bliss!
How long must I await
With night, that all impatience is,
Thy greeting at the gate,
And at the gate thy kiss?
How long, my love, my bliss!

The Lost Garden

Roses, brier on brier,
Like a hedge of fire,
Walled it from the world and rolled
Crimson 'round it; manifold
Blossoms, 'mid which once of old
Walked my Heart's Desire.

There the golden Hours
Dwelt; and 'mid the bowers
Beauty wandered like a maid;
And the Dreams that never fade
Sat within its haunted shade
Gazing at the flowers.

There the winds that vary
Melody and marry
Perfume unto perfume, went,
Whispering to the buds, that bent,
Messages whose wonderment
Made them sweet to carry.

There the waters hoary
Murmured many a story
To the leaves that leaned above,
Listening to their tales of love,
While the happiness thereof
Flushed their green with glory.

There the sunset's shimmer
'Mid the bowers, dimmer
Than the woods where Fable dwells,
And Romance her legends tells,
Wrought dim dreams and dimmer spells,
Filled with golden glimmer.

There at night the wonder
Of the moon would sunder
Foliage deeps with breast of pearl,
Wandering like a glimmering girl,
Fair of form and bright of curl,
Through the trees and under.

There the stars would follow,
Over hill and hollow,
Spirit shapes that danced the dew
From frail cups of sparry hue;
Firefly forms that fleeter flew
Than the fleetest swallow.

There my heart made merry;
There, 'mid bloom and berry,
Dreamed the dreams that are no more,
In that garden lost of yore,
Set in seas, without a shore,
That no man may ferry.

Where perhaps her lyre,
Wreathed with serest brier,
Sorrow strikes now; sad its gold
Sighing where, 'mid roses old,
Fair of face and dead and cold
Lies my Heart's Desire.