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Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Glory Of The Garden



Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You will find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks:
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows:
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick.
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!


Rudyard Kipling, 1911

11 comments:

Mama-Bug said...

What a wonderful poem about gardens! Perfection!

myomyohi said...

I love the bench among the flowers. This looks like a very peaceful spot.

Stacy said...

What sweet, sweet words!

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

This was wonderful Jo...I've never read it before now! I think I need to read more of Kipling's works ;)I hope your weekend was a good one.
Maura :)

Sandra said...

forget the garden, title this the glory of that bench. beautiful

Barbara Anne said...

I love the photo of bench and flowers and Kipling's poem is just wonderful. Some things about gardening don't change - like netting strawberries and that aching back!

Ta and hugs!

Patsy said...

I would just like to sit on that bench.

Betsy said...

what a lovely poem! and I love that green deacons bench!

Diane said...

Lovely image of the bench in the garden. What a wonderful place that would be to sit and contemplate!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

How lucky I am tonight to find your lovely site and gardens. This poem is beautiful and I throughly enjoyed it.
Thank you so much for joing my site. It is so very nice to meet you and I am looking forward to getting to know you.
Always
Maggie

L. D. Burgus said...

I really like the writing and I may have a bench that will be going green.