April Airs: A Book of New England Lyrics

by Bliss Carman


 

THE GARDEN OF SAINT ROSE


 

THIS is a holy refuge,
The garden of Saint Rose,
A fragrant altar to that peace
The world no longer knows.

Below a solemn hillside,

5
Within the folding shade
Of overhanging beech and pine
Its walls and walks are laid.

Cool through the heat of summer,
Still as a sacred grove,

10
It has the rapt unworldly air
Of mystery and love.

All day before its outlook
The mist-blue mountains loom,
And in its trees at tranquil dusk

15
The early stars will bloom.

Down its enchanted borders
Glad ranks of color stand,
Like hosts of silent seraphim
Awaiting love’s command.

20

Lovely in adoration
They wait in patient line,
Snow-white and purple and deep gold
About the rose-gold shrine.

And there they guard the silence,

25
While still from her recess
Through sun and shade Saint Rose looks down
In mellow loveliness.

She seems to say, "O stranger,
Behold how loving care

30
That gives its life for beauty’s sake,
Makes everything more fair!

"Then praise the Lord of gardens
For tree and flower and vine,
And bless all gardeners who have wrought

35
A resting place like mine!"