Alice Brown

(1856-1948 / United States)

A Benedictine Garden - Poem by Alice Brown

Through all the wind-blown aisles of May,
Faint bells of perfume swing and fall.
Within this apple-petalled wall
(A gray east, flecked with rosy day)
The pink laburnum lays her cheek
In married, matchless, lovely bliss,
Against her golden mate, to seek
His airy kiss.

Tulips, in faded splendor drest,
Brood o'er their beds, a slumbrous gloom.
Dame Peony, red and ripe with bloom,
Swells the silk housing of her breast.
The Lilac, drunk to ecstasy,
Breaks her full flagons on the air,
And drenches home the reeling bee
Who found her fair.

O cowled Legion of the Cross,
What solemn pleasantry is thine,
Vowing to seek the life divine
Through abnegation and through loss!
Men but make monuments of sin
Who walk the earth's ambitious round;
Thou hast the richer realm within
This garden ground.

No woman's voice takes sweeter note
Than chanting of this plumed choir.
No jewel ever wore the fire
Hung on a dewdrop's quivering throat.
A ruddier pomp and pageantry
Than world's delight o'erfleets thy sod;
And choosing this, thou hast in fee
The peace of God.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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