Within a walled enclosure, green with box, I found a garden of all beauty made. A world of flowers grew there; every shade Of colour fell upon the curious rocks That gave the garden an enchanted look. Here blue and purple muscari unrolled Their slender spires of blue and purple gold; Here sweet alyssum the winds of morning shook; Here tulips spread their gaudy chalices; Here bright anemones, with coloured flames, Flared up among the other blossoms’ names, A glory and a wonder to the bees; And here was every flower that ever grew, And every colour that the rainbow knew.
But this was not enough. I found a gate, And, entering, I was in another world. Here the imagination might unfurl Its wings, and fly beyond the common state Of human life, and find a new estate In the dominion of the sun, and be A radiant and resplendent entity. Here was the fairyland of fable; great Green trees, like giants standing in the sun, With trunks of silver and with leaves of gold, Whose branches all mysterious stories told Of fairies and their doings, every one. Here were the pools where water-nymphs arise, And mirrors for the stars to see their eyes.
This was the garden of the hidden things, The secret garden of the hidden springs.
“The Secret Garden” was first published in The Sketch in 1926.
Not where the grasses shiver on the plain, Nor where the rustling banners toss their glint, Nor in the shimmer of a silk-lined tent, But where a thousand rifles lash the rain, And lead leaps singing through the leaden sleet, Your heart was stilled for evermore, O sweet.
Not where the evening hangs her purple fringes, Nor where the dawn breaks like a rose in flame, Nor where the lovers carve their tale of names On some unfooted shore of singing syringes, But where the wave shall never lift your feet, You lie at peace for evermore, O sweet.
Not where the nightingale makes music meet, Nor where the hyacinthine woods are gay, Nor where the dim laurels shed their spray, But where the drums are muffled in the street, Your heart was stilled for evermore, O sweet.
O world of over-burdened loveliness, That asked not of him half he had to give! And thou, whose dulcet singing lips are mute, But hast, as one whom beauty doth not bless, Given all, gone on before us to the grave— There is no pain like beauty, and no rest.