The Garden

A poem by Lola Ridge

Bountiful Givers,
I look along the years
And see the flowers you threw...
And sprigs of gray
Sparse heather of the rocks,
Or a wild violet
Or daisy of a daisied field...
But each your best.

I might have worn them on my breast
To wilt in the long day...
I might have stemmed them in a narrow vase
And watched each petal sallowing...
I might have held them so - mechanically -
Till the wind winnowed all the leaves
And left upon my hands
A little smear of dust.

I hid them in the soft warm loam
Of a dim shadowed place...
In a still cool grotto,
Lit only by the memories of stars
And the wide and luminous eyes
Of dead poets
That love me and that I love...
Deep... deep...
Where none may see - not even ye who gave -
About my soul your garden beautiful.

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