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An Autumn Garden

1403

Living my child-life over again,
With the further hope of a fallen delight,
Blithe as the birds and wise as the bees.

In green old gardens, hidden away
From sight of revel and sound of strife, -

Here have I leisure to breathe and move,
And to do my work in a nobler way;
To sing my songs, and to say my say;

To dream my dreams, and to love my love;
To hold my faith, and to live my life,
Making the most of its shadowy day.

Violet Fane (18

AN AUTUMN GARDEN
My tent stands in a garden
Of aster and golden-rod,
Tilled by the rain and the sunshine,
And sown by the hand of God, -
An old New England pasture
Abandoned to peace and time,
And by the magic of beauty
Reclaimed to the sublime.

About it are golden woodlands
Of tulip and hickory;
On the open ridge behind it
You may mount to a glimpse of sea,-
The far-off, blue, Homeric
Rim of the world's great shield,
A border of boundless glamor
For the soul's familiar field.

In purple and gray-wrought lichen
The boulders lie in the sun;
Along its grassy footpath,
The white-tailed rabbits run. ·

The crickets work and chirrup Through the still afternoon; And the owl calls at twilight Under the frosty moon.

The odorous wild grape clambers
Over the tumbling wall,
And through the autumnal quiet
The chestnuts open and fall.
Sharing time's freshness and fragrance,
Part of the earth's great soul,
Here man's spirit may ripen
To wisdom serene and whole.

Shall we not grow with the asters?
Never reluctant nor sad,
Not counting the cost of being,
Living to dare and be glad.
Shall we not lift with the crickets
A chorus of ready cheer,
Braving the frost of oblivion,
Quick to be happy here?

The deep red cones of the sumach And the woodbine's crimson sprays Have bannered the common roadside For the pageant of passing days. These are the oracles Nature Fills with her holy breath, Giving them glory of color, Transcending the shadow of death.

Here in the sifted sunlight
A spirit seems to brood
On the beauty and worth of being,
In tranquil, instinctive mood;
And the heart, athrob with gladness
Such as the wise earth knows,
Wells with a full thanksgiving
For the gifts that life bestows:

An Autumn Garden

1405

For the ancient and virile nurture
Of the teeming primordial ground,
For the splendid gospel of color,
The rapt revelations of sound;
For the morning-blue above us
And the rusted gold of the fern,
For the chickadee's call to valor
Bidding the faint-heart turn;

For fire and running water,
Snowfall and summer rain;
For sunsets and quiet meadows,
The fruit and the standing grain;
For the solemn hour of moonrise
Over the crest of trees,
When the mellow lights are kindled
In the lamps of the centuries.

For those who wrought aforetime,
Led by the mystic strain
To strive for the larger freedom,
And live for the greater gain;
For plenty and peace and playtime,
The homely goods of earth,
And for rare immaterial treasures
Accounted of little worth;

For art and learning and friendship,
Where beneficent truth is supreme,
Those everlasting cities
Built on the hills of dream;
For all things growing and goodly
That foster this life, and breed
The immortal flower of wisdom
Out of the mortal seed.

But most of all for the spirit
That can not rest nor bide
In stale and sterile convenience,
Nor safety proven and tried,

But still inspired and driven,
Must seek what better may be,
And up from the loveliest garden
Must climb for a glimpse of sea.

Bliss Carman (1861

UNGUARDED

THE Mistress of the Roses

Is haply far away,
And through her garden closes

What strange intruders stray.

See on its rustic spindles

The sundrop's amber fire! And the goldenrod enkindles

The embers on its spire.

The dodder's shining tangle

From the meadow brook steals in, Where in this shadowed angle

The pale lace-makers spin.

Here's Black-Eyed Susan weeping

Into exotic air,
And Bouncing Bet comes creeping

Back to her old parterre.

Now in this pleasant weather

So sweetly reconciled-
They dwell and dream together,
The kin of court and wild.

Ada Foster Murray (18

THE DESERTED GARDEN
I MIND me in the days departed,
How often underneath the sun,
With childish bounds I used to run

To a garden long deserted.

The Deserted Garden

1407

The beds and walks were vanished quite;
And wheresoe'er had struck the spade,
The greenest grasses Nature laid

To sanctify her right.

I called the place my wilderness;
For no one entered there but I;
The sheep looked in, the grass to espy,

And passed it ne'ertheless.

The trees were interwoven wild,
And spread their boughs enough about
To keep both sheep and shepherd out,

But not a happy child.

Adventurous joy it was for me!
I crept beneath the boughs, and found
A circle smooth of mossy ground

Beneath a poplar tree.

Old garden rose-trees hedged it in,
Bedropt with roses waxen-white,
Well satisfied with dew and light

And careless to be seen.

Long years ago, it might befall,
When all the garden flowers were trim,
The grave old gardener prided him

On these the most of all.

Some lady, stately overmuch,
Here moving with a silken noise,
Has blushed beside them at the voice

That likened her to such.

Or these, to make a diadem,
She often may have plucked and twined,
Half-smiling as it came to mind,

That few would look at them.

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