The Haunted Garden

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

There a tattered marigold
And dead asters manifold,
Showed him where the garden old
Of time bloomed:
Briar and thistle overgrew
Corners where the rose once blew,
Where the phlox of every hue
Lay entombed.

Here a coreopsis flower
Pushed its disc above a bower,
Where once poured a starry shower,
Bronze and gold:
And a twisted hollyhock,
And the remnant of a stock,
Struggled up, 'mid burr and dock,
Through the mold.

Flower-pots, with mossy cloak,
Strewed a place beneath an oak,
Where the garden-bench lay broke
By the tree:
And he thought of her, who here
Sat with him but yesteryear;
Her, whose presence now seemed near
Stealthily.

And the garden seemed to look
For her coming. Petals shook
On the spot where, with her book,
Oft she sat.
Suddenly there blew a wind:
And across the garden blind,
Like a black thought in a mind,
Stole a cat.

Lean as hunger; like the shade
Of a dream; a ghost unlaid;
Through the weeds its way it made,
Gaunt and old:
Once 't was hers. He looked to see
If she followed to the tree.
Then recalled how long since she
Had been mold.

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