Garden And Gardener

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

To weed the Garden of the Mind
Of all rank growths of doubt and sin,
And let faith's flowers thrive and win
To blossom; and, through faith, to find
That lilies, too, can toil and spin,
And roses work for good and right;
That even the frailest flower that fills
A serious purpose, as God wills,
Is all man needs to give him light,
Is all he needs for all his ills.
Here is a Garden gone to flowers
While one beside it runs to weeds
Yet both were sown with similar seeds:
What was it? Did the World, or Hours,
Bring forth according to their needs?
Or was it that the Gardener
Neglected one? or did not care
What growths matured to slay and snare?
Thinking, whatever might occur,
Labour, perhaps, would manage there.
But Labour looked and took his ease,
Saying, "To-morrow I will do;
Will weed my Garden." And in view
Of all that work sat down at peace,
Waiting for something to ensue.
Whose fault? The Gardener's? Haply no
He sowed with fairest flowers the soil.
And yet, whence came the weeds that spoil
From Heaven! brought by winds that blow.
God give us all the gift to toil!

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