This week is Garden Week in Melbourne.
I'd never known these peaceful hours
Till on a summer long ago
I won the gift of friendly flowers,
And learned their ways, and came to know
From what drab earth may beauty grow.
But since I learned, as might the bees,
A garden's myriad mysteries
Of alchemy when seeds are sown,
I've known delights I've never known.
Endless delights the garden holds:
A still pool fringed by marigolds;
A rose-lined walk; a shaded lawn;
A dew-wet iris in the dawn --
The gift of color tulips win
In the dark night; how seeds begin
In downy cradles, snugly set;
The incense of one violet.
"A garden is a livesome thing,"
The poet sang. Well might he sing,
Knowing what love and loveliness
One simple garden may express.
"God walks in mine," the poet cried.
By whom shall such words be denied?
Never by him whose secret heart
Holds all a garden may impart.
Had I the choice to walk with kings
Or walk alone where lilac swings
Its censers, wreathed in wondrous scent,
I'd walk alone, and know content.
Yet, might I walk alone? He knows
Who, where some well-loved garden grows,
Feels, at a flash, his heart set free
In beauty-bidden ecstasy --
As if, unheralded, unguessed,
An accolade of peace had crowned --
A sudden gift of grace had blest
The garden's glory, and he found
His feet on consecrated ground.
First published in The Herald, 7 April 1933