Sonnet from the Portuguese 44 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers
Plucked in the garden, all the summer through
And winter, and it seemed as if they grew
In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers,
So, in the like name of that love of ours,
Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,
And which on warm and cold days I withdrew
From my heart’s ground. Indeed, those beds and bowers
Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue,
And wait thy weeding; yet here’s eglantine,
Here’s ivy!— take them, as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.
Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a sumer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
White Iris by Bliss Carman
White Iris was a princess
In a kingdom long ago,
Mysterious as moonlight
And silent as the snow.
She drew the world in wonder
And swayed it with desire,
Ere Babylon was builded
Or a stone laid in Tyre.
Yet here within my garden
Her loveliness appears,
Undimmed by any sorrow
Of all the tragic years.
How kind that earth should treasure
So beautiful a thing—
All mystical enchantment,
To stir our hearts in spring!
Summer Night by Lord Tennyson
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lie the Earth all Danäe to the stars,
And all thy heart lies upon to me.
Now glides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake;
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.
Moonlight by Paul Etienne
Moonlight never ceases to amaze and delight me, something that gives the illusion the glow is self possessed.
To have and to hold trust is to say ‘I feel quite safe’
More so, it feels OK to say I know.
Then how so I waver when someone says I know.
To trust and believe in oneself is to say no to embarrassment and shame.
To say OK, that’s me – no cobwebs, no closets, naked and bare for all to see,
To stand up and say no one has a hold on me.
From here on, I move on out of darkness
Into the morning light, where children laugh and grown-ups smile
And say what a delight to see the shine so bright.
New start, a bright light, a thirsty mind, an eagerness to say
I want to grow, and stand strong with angels with eyes so bright, you become a shining light
What a delight to say I am.
To fly to heavens never flown before
To be humble and content and to be able to strive at a steady pace
To say from deep within, I love myself
And look after myself as a mother looks after her new born child
To hold and comfort, and then to say you are quite safe over here
It’s true to say I have wasted so much time in life, so I shall not let time waste me.
Upon Westminster Bridge, Sept 3 1802, by William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
The Herdsman by Jini Fiennes
The Herdsman has my heart
Yet I stand by
The Herdsman has my heart
Yet I am still
He does not know my face
He does not feel my care
He does not know that I am there
His follow is to tilth and fold
To fertiliser bag and young store sold
I have seen his hand in grain
I have seen his feet tread lane
I have seen his hair grease hat
I have seen his stick stub rat
The Herdsman has my heart
The Herdsman has no hold
The Herdsman’s hands are free
I just grow old.
The Glory of the Garden by Rudyard Kipling
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You will find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks:
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.
And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:–”Oh, how beautiful!” and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick.
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.
Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hand and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!