John Freeman

(1880-1929 / England)

Merrill's Garden


There is a garden where the seeded stems of thin long grass are bowed
Beneath July's slow rains and heat and tired children's trailing feet;
And the trees' neglected branches droop and make a cloud beneath the cloud,
And in that dark the crimson dew of raspberries shines more sweet than
sweet.

The flower of the tall acacia's gone, the acacia's flower is white no more,
The aspen lifts his pithless arms, the aspen leaves are close and still;
The wind that tossed the clouds along, gray clouds and white like feathers
bore,
Lets even a feather faintly fall and smoke spread hugely where it will.

But though the acacia's flower is gone and raspberries bear bright fruit
untasted,
Beauty lives there, oh rich and rare, past the sum of eager June.
The lime tree's pyramid of flower and leaf and yellow flower unwasted
Rises at eve and bars the breast wild-heaving of the timid moon.

Now the tall pear-trees unrebuked lift their green fingers to the sky;
Their lower boughs are crossed like arms of templars in long stony sleep.
Their arms are crossed as though the wind, returning from wild war on high,
Had touched them with an angry breath, or whispered from his cavern deep.

A foxglove lifts her bells and bells silent above the singing grass,
Still the old marigold her light sprinkles like riches to the poor.
Snapdragon still his changeling blossom shakes with the burden of the bees,
And the strong bindweed creeps and winds and springs on high a conqueror.

* * * * *

Would now her eyes grieve to behold snapdragon, foxglove, marigold
Daily diminish in their sweet and bindweed wreathing over all--
Weed and grass and weed and grass, friendless, melancholy, cold,
Wreathing the earth like wreathing snow from bare wall to low greening
wall?

Old were her eyes that lingered on old trees and grass and flowers trim.
She smelt the ripe pears when they drooped and fell and broke upon the
path.
Old were her thoughts of things of old; her present thoughts were few and
dim;
Her eyes saw not the things she saw; she listened, to no living breath.

Her youth and prime and autumn time bloomed in her thought all light and
sweet:
No wallflower more of sweet could hold, of sunny light no marigold.
Fruit on her mind's boughs ripened full, in summer's and calm autumn's
heat:
Then fell, for there came none to pick; but winter came, and she was old.

Now if her sons come they will find--not her: her empty garden only,
The wallflower done and snapdragon still swinging with the greedy bees,
Marigold glittering in the grass, scant foxglove ringing faintly, lonely,
Close red fruit beading the long boughs and bindweed wreathing where it
please.

A tawny lean cat _Marmalade_ slinks like a panther through the tall
Thin bending grass and watches long a scholar thrush rehearsing song;
Or children running in the sun hunt and hunt a well lost ball;
But most the garden sleeps away the day, but still, when eves are long,

When eves are long and no moon rises, and nervous, still, is all the air,
That small stiff figure moves again, silent amid the hushing grass;
In the firm-carven lime tree's shade she moves, and meets her old thoughts
there,
Then in the deepening dark is lost, or her light steps unnoted pass.

Only that careless garden keeps secure her memory though it sleeps,
And the bright flowers and tyrant weed and tall grass shaking its loud seed
Less lovely were if wanting her who like a living thought still creeps
And sees what once she saw and music hears of her living sons and dead.

Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Merrill's Garden by John Freeman )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The America Flag., Harold R Hunt Sr
  2. Euphoric Nights By Bo-Edward Lawrence, Bo Edward Lawrence
  3. Storms do not last., Harold R Hunt Sr
  4. Crime repeats itself., Harold R Hunt Sr
  5. The American dream, Harold R Hunt Sr
  6. I Fly, Harold R Hunt Sr
  7. Fissures Of Imagination, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. Girl-child., Bieze Josephat
  9. Main Street U.S.A., Harold R Hunt Sr
  10. Cabin in the woods., Harold R Hunt Sr

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Touched by an Angel, Maya Angelou
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  9. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]