The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

A Neglected Garden

Barren the garden lies, undressed;

Long weeds like serpents coil and squeeze

Forsaken loves of faithless bees,

Boughs broken, to the ground are pressed;

Columbines, heartsease, picotees

No more greet evening from the West,

Nor lilies give their beauty to the night --

Where are the roses of our lost delight?

Deep rooted, to the sun they glow

In a new world's eternal Spring;

Low at our feet the tendrils cling,

High as the Himalayan snow

The birds among their branches sing;

From crag and strand and plain they grow,

France, utmost Africa, the cold North Sea,

Mesopotamia and Gallipoli.

Let the neglected garden lie

There is no need for English flowers,

These, by a right divine, are ours,

These bloom forever under every sky,

Droop in no drought, thirst for no showers,

These by no frosts of Autumn die,

Immortal loveliness for the bleak years,

Fed with our heart's blood, watered with our tears.