In this old garden where I walk
Laughter and tears I find
Pursue me, and in silence talk
Sweet memories in my mind.
Here are red roses dropping blood!
I see Adonis fly,
And hear from every crimson bud
Warm Cytherea sigh.
And there are lilies lost in thought
Whose leaves divinely grieve,
As in each chalice closely-caught
I mark the tears of Eve.
I move along from flower to flower
And pluck them wonderingly,
When sunset chimes the golden hour
Of twilight's reverie.
I twine the lily and the rose
With sprays of milky may,
And violets whose odor flows
Fresh from the Appian Way.
A sigh breaks from the ruby rose,
I hear a step all-light
Ring rapture where the evening glows
Upon the heart of night.
It nears, and from the garden spring
Delicious dreams and true.
I stand in Eden marvelling,
Yet knowing it is you.
I pause....I wait....The minutes die
And drop out one by one.
Your step, film-footed, falters by
As it has ever done.
Blind-eyed with tears the shadows crowd
Upon my helpless head.
I make the flowers my bridal shroud....
Joy lives and yet is dead.
The mirthful stars spin bliss above.
I weep in agony,
Weaving the pall of hopeless love
Here in Gethsemane.
First published in The Bulletin, 18 October 1917