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presented to the


Miss Nancy Davidson


In Praise of

Compiled by

Temple Scott

New York

The Baker & Taylor Co.


Published, March, 19x0






The editor takes pleasure in expressing his
grateful thanks to the publishers of Collier's
Weekly for courteous permission to include
the poem by Mr. Bliss Carman ; to Mr.
Bliss Carman for his courtesy ; to The John
Lane Co. for permission to reprint the poem
by Laurence Hope ; to Mr. Mitchell Ken-
nedy for permission to include the poem by
Mr. J. G. Neihardt, and to The Macmil-
lan Co. for permission to reprint the poem
by Mr. Robert Bridges.



Introduction 13

The Garden of Joy and Delight 21

The Garden of Love 63

The Garden of Home 105

Gardens Lost and Found . 151

The Garden of Peace 165

The Garden of God and the Soul . .181


" WITHOUT Sun I keep silence," says an old
sun-dial. "Though silent I speak," says another.
In these two mottoes lies the secret of the power
and the living charm of all gardens ; a secret, the
meaning of which is precipitated by the alchemy
of silence. For a garden is silent to the ear
only; to every other sense it is eloquent and ex-
quisitely musical. " Silence," says Carlyle, " is
the element in which all great things fashion
themselves together; that at length they may
emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the day-
light of life." It is in silence that a Garden
blossoms, without boasting of what it is going to
do. Once it has blossomed it speaks the univer-
sal language that all can understand.

A Garden is our happiest means for evoking
Nature's mystic as well as Nature's sensible
music. It is in itself the consummate eloquence
of the living silence of sunlight a silence in
which sunlight, with the aid of earth's elements,
expresses itself in the lovely colors of flowers.
What sound is to the ear that color may be said



to be to the eye; and a garden, lovingly tended,
may become a very orchestra of colors which
varies its symphonic movements with the varying
seasons of the year. Flowers may be said to be
the words of the poetry of sunlight, and their
colors its music. They come and they go; but
in the interval a perfect expression has found
utterance, and the vision or song, call it what
you will, has spoken its appeal, has revealed its

A garden is also eloquent to the ear, for it is
the home of song-birds. Here come and nest the
happy people of the sky, accompanying, with
their vocal music, the thoughts and emotions
which the garden, by its silence, breathes into us.
They pipe their lays to our mood either of morn-
ing exultation or of evening's meditation. The
mystery is that they come upon us not as in-
truders or disturbers in this retreat of quietude,
but rather as companions in labor or as friends
in sympathy. I know no more joyous encourager
to effort than the lark's song falling down from
a brilliant summer evening's sky; and I know of
no more deeply touching sense of kinship with
nature than that which comes over us with the
parting trills of the thrush on some golden,



tremblingly, peaceful autumnal evening, when his
notes strike the stilled air at intervals as if they
were the call of some far-distant Angelus.

" Come unto me all ye that labor and are
heavy-laden," says the Garden, " and I will give
you rest." Not the rest of apathy, nor yet the
listlessness of ennui, but the recuperative rest,
the rest that we so need after the tiring turmoil
of the day's labor in the city's forges. And the
Garden will keep its word. Its silence and its
perfumes are as a healing balm. And yet it is
a busy silence, for it is the silence of creation, in
which life is growing into blossoming, and in
which spirit is transforming itself into splendid
matter. This wonderful operation, as it im-
presses itself on you, will touch you to responsive
impulses, and your rest will be energizing. This
is the true delight we experience from gardens,
that it makes us aware of our own creative pow-
ers and through this of our kinship with God.

We say that a garden is delightful, but are
rarely conscious of what we mean by the word.
If we analyze the sensation we shall find that
it is born of seeing the sheer beauty of life which
a garden is forever revealing. For here we be-
come somehow aware of the joy of mere living.


In the splendid modesty of the rose we are
touched with the sense of its utter contentment
to live and to die, if but it has fulfilled itself of
its color and perfume. In its fulfillment we see
its glory. We sense this dimly at first, but later,
when we have dwelt in gardens more frequently,
we are able to spell out the mystical language
the garden is speaking through its flowers and
trees and bushes and shrubs. " Would you know
what I am ? " asks the rose, in effect, and its life
of a day is the answer, and the only answer. It
has given itself in explaining itself. Is there any
other explanation possible? Not in the labora-
tories of men of science, nor yet in learned trea-
tises will you find the secret of the rose ; but you
will find it in a garden if you look for it with
the eyes of your soul. And in finding its secret,
you will have found your own secret also. That
is why a garden impresses us with a feeling of
sanctity; and that also is why a garden is delight-
ful. It helps you to find yourself. The mystery
of all things is the mystery of your self; and
through self-realization you come to a knowl-
edge of the beauty in all life, which is to blossom
with fragrance " in purple and red." For the
secret of life lies not so much in being as it does



in becoming; in growing by ever new expressions
of the many-sided meaning of being. And out
of the consciousness of growth is born your joy.

" In green old gardens, hidden away

From sight of revel, and sound of strife
Here have I leisure to breathe and move,

And to do my work in a nobler way;

To sing my songs, and to say my say;

To dream my dreams, and to love my love ;

To hold my faith and to live my life,

Making the most of its shadowy day."

This confession of the poet to the many appeals
to which a garden responds, to the many aspects
of our nature which it satisfies, explains what I
have tried to hint of its fulfilling influences. In
a garden we are free of the stress and sight of
men's sordid bickerings; we are released from
the prison of depressing and debilitating conven-
tions. In a Garden we are brought into primal
relations with primal things; we understand the
joy of simply living, like children do, and the
one response to that is song. The blitheness of
being is in our blood. Here we may dream our
dreams forgetful of our past failures, heartened
by the encouraging hope here given us of what we


may do. Responsive to the revealing mystery of
the place our hearts open to love, and we find
peace in an abiding faith. For we also are of
the company of life ; what the rose can do, surely
we may succeed in doing. Because of these
influences a garden is strength-giving, strength-
renewing. Life is, as it were, at its fountain-
head here. Nature and Nature's God are en-
gaged in the mystery of creation the ground is
holy ground the growing bush is the burning
bush out of which God's voice comes to bid us
take heart and be of good courage. And with
it all is here also ineffable peace; the peace of
gladness and the peace of rest.

" Here I untrammel,

Here I pluck loose the body's cerementing,
And break the tomb of life; here I shake off
The bur o' the world, man's congregation shun,
And to the antique order of the dead
I take tongueless vows ; my cell is set
Here in thy bosom; my little trouble is ended
In a little peace."

Here also, however, we may take the speech-
ful vows, not to the antique order of the dead,
but to the antique order of the living. To gar-



dens gravitate as by a natural impulse all true
lovers. Beneath the canopy of their leafy bow-
ers vows have been exchanged and troths plighted
which have meant all that life holds for mortals.
The Garden of Peace of the present is the Gar-
den of Love of the Past. Memory pauses to live
again its youth's happiness and its youth's pas-
sion ; and the landscape takes on anew the radi-
ance of the glory of bygone days.

And what more fitting place for children than
a garden ? The mere apposition of the words
" children " and " garden " satisfies our sense of
the fitness of things. Surely a garden was first
made for children for those pure in heart who
live in innocence, and for those chastened in
spirit whom experience has taught that the child-
like life is nearest to the true life. Thus from
the Garden of Peace through the Garden of
Love we plant our Garden of Joy. And in the
Garden of Joy men and women, like Enoch of
old, walk with God.

" A Garden is a lovesome thing, God wot !
Rose plot,
Fringed pool,
Ferned grot



The veriest school

Of peace; and yet the fool

Contends that God is not

Not God ! in gardens ! when the eve is cool ?

Nay, but I have a sign;

'Tis very sure God walks in mine."



The Garden of Joy and Delight





The Garden of Alcinoiis

(Translation from the Moorish by Walter Harris of Tangier)

Close to the gates a spacious garden lies,
From storms defended and inclement skies.
Four acres was the allotted space of ground,
Fenced with a green enclosure all around.
Tall thriving trees confessed the fruitful mould;
The reddening apple ripens here to gold.
Here the blue fig with luscious juice o'erflows,
With deeper red the full pomegranate glows;
The branch here bends beneath the mighty pear,
And verdant olives flourish round the year.
The balmy spirit of the western gale
Eternal breathes on fruits, untaught to fail;
Each dropping pear a following pear supplies,
On apples apples, figs on figs arise:
The same mild season gives the blooms to blow,
The buds to harden, and the fruits to grow.

Ordered vines in equal ranks appear,
With all the united labours of the year;
Some to unload the fertile branches run,
Some dry the blackening clusters in the sun;



Others to tread the liquid harvest join;
The groaning presses foam with floods of wine ;
Here are the vines in early flower descried,
Here grapes discoloured on the sunny side,
And there in autumn's richest purple dyed;

Beds of all various herbs, for ever green,
In beauteous order terminate the scene.

Two plenteous fountains the whole prospect

crowned :

This through the garden leads its stream around,
Visits each plant, and waters all the ground.
HOMER'S The Odyssy, Bk. VII.

So on a day, right in the morwe tyde,

Unto a gardyn that was ther bisyde,

In which that they hadde maid hir ordinaunce

Of vitaille, and of other purveiaunce,

They goon and playe here al the longe day;

And this was on the sixte morwe of May,

Which May hadde peynted with his softe shouers

This gardyn, full of leves and of floures,

And craft of mannes hand so curiously

Arrayed hadde this gardyn, trewely,

That never was ther gardyn of swich prys



But if it were the verray Paradys.
The odour of floures and the fresshe sighte
Wolde hav maked any herte lighte
That ever was born, but if to greet oiknesse,
Or to greet sorwe, helde it in distresse;
So full it was with beautee with pleasaunce.

The Canterbury Tales.

The Franklin s Tale.

The garden was by mesuryng

Right evene and square; in compassing

It was as long as it was large.

Of fruyt hadde every tree his charge,

But it were any hidous tree,

Of which ther were two or three.

There were, and that wote I full well,

Of pome garnettys a full gret dell,

That is a fruyt full well to lyke,

Namely to folk whanne they ben sike.

And trees there were of gret foisoun

That baren nottes in her sesoun

Such as men note mygges call,

That swote of savour ben withhalle;



And almanderes gret plnete,

Fyges, and many a date tree,

These waxen, if men hadde nede,

Thorough the gardyn in length and brede,

There was eke waxyng many a spice,

As clowe-gelofre, and lycorice,

Gyngevre, and greyn de Paradys,

Canell, and setewale of prys,

And many a spice delitable,

To eten whan men rise fro table.

And many homly trees ther were

That peches, coynes, and apples beere,

Medlers, plowmes, perys chesteynis,

Chen's, of which many oon fayne is,

Notes, aleys, and bolas,

That for to seen it was solas;

With many high lorer and pyn

Was renged clene all that gardyn,

With cipres and with oliveris,

Of which that nygh no plente heere is.

There were elmes grete and stronge,

Maples, asshe, oke, aspe, planes longe,

Pyne ew, popler, and lyndes faire,

And othere trees full many a payre

What shude I tel you more of it?

There were so many trees yit,



That I shulde al encombred be
Or I had rekened every tree.

These trees were sette, that I devyse,
One from another in assyse;
Fyve fadome or sixe, I trowe so;
But they were hye and great also,
And for to kepe out wel the sonne
The croppes were so thicke y-ronne,
And every braunche in other knette,
And ful of grene leves sette,
That sonne myght there none discende,
Lest it the tender grasses shende.
There myght men does and roes y-se,
And of squyrels ful grat plente
From bowe to bowe alwaye lepynge;
Connes there were also plaiynge,
That comyn out of her clapers
Of sondrie colours and maners,
And maden many a tourneiyng
Upon the fresshe grasse spryngyng.
In places sawe I welles there
In whiche there no frogges were,
And fayre in shadowe was every welle.
But I ne can the nombre telle
Of stremys smal, that by devyse



Myrthe had done come through condyse;
Of vvhiche the water in rennyng
Gan make a noyse ful lykyng.

About the brinkes of these welles
And by the streme over al elles
Spronge up the grasse, as thicke y-set
And softe as any veluet,
On whiche men myght his lemmon lay
As on a fetherbed to pley,
For the erthe was ful softe and swete
Through moisture of the welle wete
Spronge up the sote grene gras
As fayre, as thicke, as myster was.
But moche amended it the place
That therthe was of suche a grace
That it of floures hath plente,
That bothe in somer and wynter be.
There sprange the vyolet al newe,
And fresshe pervynke riche of hewe,
And floures yelowe, white and rede,
Suche plente grewe there never in mede.
Ful gaye was al the grounde, and queynt
And poudred, as men had it peynt
With many a fresshe and sondrie floure,
That casten up ful good savour.



I wol nat longe holde you in fable
Of al this garden delectable,
I mote my tonge stynted nede;
For I ne maye withouten drede
Naught tellen you the beaute al,
Ne halfe the bounte there with al.

" The Romaunt of the Rose

A garden saw I ful of blosmy bowes
Up on a river in a grene mede,
There as ther swetnesse evermore y-now is;
With floures white, blewe, yelwe, and rede,
And colde welle-stremes, no-thyng dede,
That swommen ful of smale fisches lighte,
With fynnes rede and scales silver-brighte.

On every bough the briddes herde I synge,

With voys of aungel in her armonye;

Som besyede hem hir briddes forth to brynge.

The litel conyes to hir play gunne hye;

And further al aboute I gan aspye

The dredful roo, the buk, the hert and hynde,

Squerels and bestes smale of gentil kynde.



Of instruments of strenges in acord
Herde I so playe a ravisshyng swetnesse,
That God, that maker is of al and Lord,
Ne herde never beter, as I gesse;
Therewith a wynd, unnethe it myghte be lesse,
Made in the leves grene a noyse softe,
Acordant to the foules songe on-lofte.

The air of that place so attempre was
That never was grevaunce of heat ne cold;
There wex eek every holsom spice and gras;
Ne no man may ther wexe seek ne old,
Yit was ther joye more a thousand fold
Than man can telle ; ne never wolde it myghte,
But ay cleer day to any mannes sighte.
The Parlement of Foules.

Then did I see a pleasant Paradize,
Full of sweete floures and daintiest delights,
Such as on earth man could no more devize,
With pleasures choyce to feed his cheerefull

sp rights:

Not that, which Merlin by his magicke slights
Made for the gentle Squire, to entertaine
His fayre Belphoebe, could this gardine staine.



But O short pleasure, bought with lasting paine !
Why will hereafter anie flesh delight
In earthlie blis, and joy in pleasures vaine,
Since that I saw this gardine wasted quite,
That where it was scarce seemed anie sight?
That I, which once that beautie did beholde,
Could not from teares my melting eyes with-

The Ruines of Time.

There the most daintie Paradise on ground

It selfe doth offer to his sober eye,

In which all pleasures plenteously abound,

And none does others happinesse enoye;

The painted flowres, the trees upshooting hye,

The dales for shade, the hilles for breathing


The trembling groves, the christall running by,
And, that which all faire workes doth most

The arb which all that wrought appeared in

no place.


One would have thought (so cunningly the rude
And scorned partes were mingled with the


That nature had for wantonesse ensude
Art, and that Art at nature did repine;
So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the others worke more beautify;
So difFring both in willes agreed in fine:
So all agreed, through sweete diversity,
This Gardin to adorne with all variety.

And in the midst of all a fountaine stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might bee,

So pure and shiny th^t the silver flood

Through every channel running one might see ;

Most goodly it with curious ymageree

Was overwrought, and shapes of naked boyes,

Of which some seemed with lively jollitee
To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
Whyles others did themselves embay in liquid

And over all of purest gold was spread
A trayle of yvie in his native hew;

For the rich metall was so coloured,

That wight who did not well avis'd it vew



Would surely deeme it to bee yvie trew:
Low his lascivious arms adown did creepe,

That themselves dipping in the silver dew,
Their fleecy flowres they fearefully did steepe,
Which drops of Christall seemed for wan-
tones to weep.

Infinit streames continually did well

Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,

And shortly grew into so great quantitie,
That like a little lake it seemed to bee;

Whose depths exceeded not three cubits hight,
That through the waves one might the bottom


All pav'd with Jaspar shining bright,
That seemed the fountaine in that sea did
sayle upright.

The Faerie Queene, Bk. II, Canto XII.

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a crowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly



After summer merrily:

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,

And Phoebus 'gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs

On chaliced flowers that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin

To ope their golden eyes:
With everything that pretty bin,

My lady sweet; arise:
Arise, arise.


Under the greenwood tree,

Who loves to lie with me,

And tune his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat,

Come hither, come hither, come hither;

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.



Who doth ambition shun,

And loves to live i' the sun,

Seeking the food he eats,

And pleased with what he gets,

Come hither, come hither, come hither;

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.


Thus, thus begin the yearly rites
Are due to Pan on these bright nights;
His morn now riseth and invites
To sports, to dances, and delights:

All envious and profane, away,

This is the shepherd's holyday.

Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground
With every flower, yet not confound;
The primrose drop, the spring's own spouse,
Bright day's eyes and the lips of cows;
The garden-star, the queen of May,
The rose, to crown the holyday.

Drop, drop, you violets; change your hues,
Now red, now pale, as lovers use;



And in your death go out as well
As when you lived unto the smell:
That from your odour all may say,
This is the shepherd's holyday.

The Shepherd's Holyday.

My Garden sweet, enclosed with walles strong,
Embanked with branches to sytt and take my rest ;
The knots so enknotted, it cannot be exprest,
With arbors and ayles so pleasant and so dulce.


If they to whom God gives fair gardens knew
The happy solace which sweet flowers bestow ;

Where pain depresses, and where friends are few,
To cheer the heart in weariness and woe.


Me so oft my fancy drew
Here and there, that I ne'er knew
Where to place desire before
So that range it might no more;



But as he that passeth by
Where, in all her jollity,
Flora's riches in a row
Do in seemly order grow,
And a thousand flowers stand
Bending as to kiss his hand ;
Out of which delightful store
One he may take and no more;
Long he pauseth doubting whether
Of those fair ones he should gather.

First the Primrose courts his eyes,
Then a Cowslip he espies;
Next the Pansy seems to woo him,
Then Carnations bow unto him;
Which whilst that enamoured swain
From the stock intends to strain
(As half- fearing to be seen),
Prettily her leaves between
Peeps the Violet, pale to see
That her virtues slighted be;
Which so much his liking wins,
That to seize her he begins.

Yet before he stooped so low
He his wanton eye did throw



On a stem that grew more high,
And the Rose did there espy.
Who, beside her precious scent,
To procure his eyes content
Did display her goodly breast,
When he found at full exprest
All the good that Nature showers
On a thousand other flowers;
Wherewith he affected takes it,
His beloved flower he makes it,
And without desire of more
Walks through all he saw before.

So I wandering but erewhere
Through the garden of this Isle,
Saw rich beauties I confess,
And in number numberless.
Yea, so differing lovely too,
That I had a world to do,
Ere I would set up my rest,
Where to choose and choose the best.

Flos Florum.



I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown,
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness;
And all the spring-time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie,
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For, in the flaxen lilies' shade,
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e'en seem to bleed
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print there roses on my lip,
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold ;
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.


The Nymph Complaining for the Death of
her Fawn.



The Garden

Now vainly men themselves amaze,
To win the palm, the oak, or bays;
And their incessant labours see
Crowned from some single herb, or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close,
To weave the garlands of repose !

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then

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