Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Glory Of The Garden

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


donna baker said...

Sometimes, I ask myself why I do it some 30 years now. I guess because I still can, or maybe, I am compelled by the long line of gardeners that came before.

matron said...

The poem sums up an English garden so well and the gardeners who do all the work.There is joy even if you only have a window box to tend on a balcony of a flat.
Thanks for your comment about my mystery flowers.They are not of the onion genus,they have thick,long roots that grow on the surface and the leaves are bigger than rhubarb leaves,same shape but rough to the touch.Even the garden center I went to had no idea what it is but said they would find out for me.

MadSnapper said...

the last paragraph really touched my heart, Adam on his knees in the garden. a glorious garden. and we still have it, we have not managed to totally ruin it. Love the post and especailly the sink photo. beautiful.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Love Rudyard Kippling, Jo.... Thanks for sharing this gorgeous poem.

Hope you have a great day.

Patsy said...

Thank you for shareing. It would be sad if there were no garden.

Betsy Brock said... of my very favorites!

George said...

This is such a beautiful site. I love your photos and the whole presentation brings a great deal of peace. I love you Brits and I'm glad you are bringing your sense of garden beauty to our fair land. I am on my way to yours in about three weeks. I'm hiking coast to coast from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. During the meantime, keep those posting coming. They are spellbinding.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what lovely photos you have on your blog! Hope your property there in Tennessee is drying out.


George said...

Thanks for sharing this poem with us. It puts a garden (and England) in proper perspective.

Sunny said...

A delightful combination of pictures and poem.
Sunny :)

Susan Freeman said...

Wonderful poem! Rudyard Kipling is a favorite of mine. Now I'm off to start tending my own garden this morning!

Susan and Bentley

Barbara said...

I have this poem (bought from Rudyard Kiplings old home) hanging at home. Am always planning to post it but keep putting it off. Reminder here that I must do it.