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.
Edith Nesbit's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Despot by Edith Nesbit )
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Henry David Thoreau
(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Inspiration, Henry David Thoreau
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Alone, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If, Rudyard Kipling
Poem of the Day
- The Sweetness, Michael P. McParland
- Keep Heart, Francie Lynch
- Shall appeal, hasmukh amathalal
- collecting the crumbs you leave, Mandolyn ...
- The Storm, Michael P. McParland
- The Step, Michael P. McParland
- The Stars Are Smiling, Michael P. McParland
- The Scene, Michael P. McParland
- The Only One, Michael P. McParland
- The Night Glorious Light, Michael P. McParland