Across the road a garden grew,
And bent among the flowers,
A spare old man stooped to his task
Or he sat and dreamed for hours.
He had slaved away his early youth
In a pharmacy day and night.
A pallid drudge year in, year out,
He was starved for color and light.
He had no time for romance,
He grew to shun mankind.
Too stingy to spend emotion,
He closed his heart and mind.
He reaped the fruits of frustration,
In that dull round of care.
A life out of doors, the learned man said,
Might bring surcease from despair.
The gay nasturtiums stirred his heart,
Velvet dahlias woke his pride
The roses he loved like children,
The lily was his bride.
He left this mortal plane long since,
But the garden calls him still:
He walks there when the moon is low,
A bent form, dim and chill.