A Sonnet for Gardeners
John C. Streed
While musing through the hours for that which could,
While factions strive, and conflicts ever reign,
Promote the needful cause of social good,
My thoughts will oft return to gardeners plain.
Midst fashion vain and scandaled public eye,
Midst TV guile and market search for gold,
The gardener’s quiet work does pacify
And soothe the tired heart with practice old.
Most rare the scene of brawling garden club,
Of matron fierce, or plantsman shouting doom.
No bloody bruise, at worst a quiet snub
When judges praise the neighbor’s winning bloom.
Due honor, then, to those who, stiff with toil,
Do show how well to live this mortal coil.
The Garden Trees are Busy
Arthur Henry Hallam
The garden trees are busy with the shower
That fell ere sunset; now me thinks they talk,
Lowly and sweetly as befits the hour,
One to another down the grassy walk.
Hark the laburnum from his opening flower
This cherry-creeper greets in whisper light,
While the grim fir, rejoicing in the night,
Hoarse mutters to the murmuring sycamore.
What shall I deem their converse? would they hail
The wild grey light that fronts yon massive cloud,
Or the half bow, rising like pillared fire?
Or are they sighing faintly for desire
That with May dawn their leaves may be o'erflowed,
And dews about their feet may never fail?
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify your self in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens, yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
A morning fair, a blue sky clear of cloud;
A riot of tomatoes, multihued.
The appled branches full of promise bowed;
The garden beds with heady scents imbued.
The collard plants put forth new tender leaves—
Survivors of the doily-making pest
And trumpet vines meander through the eaves
While we with scale the bounty manifest.
The day’s work done, yet still we lingered late:
For summer’s lease hath all too short a date.