Love Of A GardenOn this page, you will find three poems; the first ones by poet Louise Seymour Jones, and, the last by V. Sackville-West. It is very obvious how much these poets express their love of gardens, and some of the necessary work that must be done in order to reap the full enjoyment of their bounties. And, we have also added some garden quotations for your further delight.
Who Loves A Garden
Poet - Louise Seymour Jones
Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.
Poet - Louise Seymour Jones
Spring flowers are long since gone.
Summer's bloom hangs limp on every terrace.
The gardener's feet drag a bit on the dusty path
and the hinge in his back is full of creaks.
More verses on gardens:
God Almighty first planted a garden; and indeed,
it is the purest of human pleasures.
It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man,
without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks.
He who plants a garden plants happiness.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.
How fair is a garden amid
the toils and passions of existence.
The GardenBy V. Sackville-West
Small pleasures must correct great tragedies,
Therefore of gardens in the midst of war
I boldly tell. Once of the noble land
I dared to pull the organ-stops, the deep
Notes of the bass, the diapason's range
Of rich rotation, yielding crop by crop;
Of season after season as the wheel
Turned cyclic in the grooves and groves of time;
I told the classic tools, the plough, the scythe,
In husbandry's important ritual,
But now of agriculture's little brother
I touch the pretty treble, pluck the string,
Making the necklace of a gardener's year,
A gardener's job, for better or for worse
Strung all too easily in beads of verse.
No strong no ruthless plough-share cutting clods,
No harrow toothed as the saurian jaws,
Shall tear or comb my sward of garden theme,
But smaller spade and hoe and lowly trowel
And ungloved fingers with their certain touch.
(Delicate are the tools of gardener's craft,
Like a fine woman next a ploughboy set,
But none more delicate than gloveless hand,
That roaming lover of the potting-shed,
That lover soft and tentative, that lover
Desired and seldom found, green-fingered lover
Who scorned to take a woman to his bed.)
So to such small occasions am I fallen,
And in the midst of war,
(Heroic days, when all the pocket folk
Were grabbed and shaken by a larger hand
And lived as they had never lived before
Upon a plane they could not understand
And gasping breathed an atmosphere too rare,
But took it quickly as their native air,
Such big events
That from the slowly opening fount of time
Dripped from the leaky faucet of our days,)
I tried to hold the courage of my ways
In that which might endure,
Daring to find a world in a lost world,
A little world, a little perfect world,
With owlet vision in a blinding time,
And wrote and thought and spoke
These lines, these modest lines, almost demure,
What time the corn still stood in sheaves,
What time the oak
Renewed the million dapple of her leaves.
Yet shall the garden with the state of war
Aptly contrast, a miniature endeavour
To hold the graces and the courtesies
Against a horrid wilderness. The civil
Ever opposed the rude, as centuries'
Slow progress laboured forward, then the check,
Then the slow uphill climb again, the slide
Back to the pit, the climb out of the pit,
Advance, relapse, advance, relapse, advance,
Regular as the measure of a dance;
So does the gardener in little way
Maintain the bastion of his opposition
And by a symbol keep civility;
So does the brave man strive
To keep enjoyment in his breast alive
When all is dark and even in the heart
Of beauty feeds the pallid worm of death.
Much toil, much care, much love and many years
Went to the slow reward; a grudging soil
Enriched or lightened following its needs:
Potash and compost, stable-dung, blood, bones,
Spent hops in jade-green sacks, the auburn leaves
Rotted and rich, the wood-ash from the hearth
For sticky clay; all to a second use
Turned in a natural economy,
And many a robin perched on many a sod
Watched double-trenching for his benefit
Through the companionable russet days,
But only knew the digger turned the worm
For him, and had no foresight of the frost
Later to serve the digger and his clod
Through winter months, for limitations rule
Robins and men about their worms and wars,
The robin's territory; and man's God.
But the good gardener with eyes on ground
(Lifted towards the sunset as he scrapes
His tools at day's end, looks into the west,
Examining the calm or angry sky
To reckon next day's chance of fair or ill,
Of labour or of idleness enforced,)
Sees only what he sees, oh happy he!
Makes his small plot his arbiter, his bourn,
Being too lightly built to suffer pain
That's unremitting, pain of broken love,
Or pain of war that tears too red a hole.
He will endure his trials willy-nilly,
The plaguy wind, the cold, the drought, the rain,
All, to his mind, ill-timed and in excess,
But finds a sanctuary. He knows, he knows
The disappointments, the discomfitures,
The waste, the dash of hopes, the sweet surprise
Sprung in forgotten corner; knows the loss,
Attempts defeated, optimism balked;
He may not pause to lean upon his spade,
And even in the interruption brought
By friends, he will not stroll
At simple ease, but ever dart his eyes
Noticing faults, and feeling fingers twitch,
Eager to cut, to tie, correct, promote,
Sees all shortcomings with the stranger's eye,
An absent-minded host with inward fret,
The most dissatisfied of men, whose hope
Outran achievement and is leading yet.
(Still there are moments when the shadows fall
And the low sea of flowers, wave on wave,
Spreads to the pathway from the rosy wall
Saying in coloured silence, "Take our all;
You gave to us, and back to you we gave.
"You dreamed us, and we made your dream come true.
We are your vision, here made manifest.
You sowed us, and obediently we grew,
But, sowing us, you sowed more than you knew
And something not ourselves has done the rest.")
Unlike the husbandman who sets his field
And knows his reckoned crop will come to birth
Varying but a little in its yield
After the necessary months ensealed
Within the good the generative earth,
The gardener half artist must depend
On that slight chance, that touch beyond control
Which all his paper planning will transcend;
He knows his means but cannot rule his end;
He makes the body: who supplies the soul?
Sometimes, as poet feels his pencil held,
Sculptor his chisel cutting effortless,
Painter his brush behind his grasp impelled,
Unerring guidance, theory excelled,
When rare Perfection gives a rounded Yes,
So does some magic in his humbler sphere,
Some trick of Nature, slant of curious light,
Some grouped proportion, splendid or severe
In feast of Summer or the Winter sere,
Show the designer one thing wholly right.
Music from notes and poetry from verse
Grow to a consummation rare, entire,
When harmony resolves without disperse
The broken pattern of the universe
And joins the particles of our desire.
Hint of the secret synthesis that lies
So surely round some corner of our road;
That deepest canon of our faith, the prize
We look for but shall never realise;
Suspected cipher that implies a code.
Rosetta Stone of beauty come by chance
Into the testing hands of gardener's loves,
Rich hieroglyphic of significance
Only denied to our poor ignorance.
—Those orchards of Rosetta and their doves!
Should we resolve the puzzle, lose the zest,
Should we once know our last our full intent,
If all were staringly made manifest,
The mystery and the elusive quest,
Then less than ever should we be content.
The Morning Glory climbs towards the sun
As we by nature sadly born to strive
And our unending race of search to run,
Forever started, never to be won,
—And might be disappointed to arrive.
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