My Hidden Garden.
A hedge of silence shields it from the passer-by,
We only hold its mystic key, my brooding heart and I,
Here blow the lilies of my dreams, fair and unspotted yet
In the sheltered place, where long ago their fragile stems were set.
O! dreams of youth unsullied
By bitterness or strife,
Dreams of the pure in spirit,
Ye are the lilies of life.
Lilies woven of sunlight,
And the silver woof of the rain,
A soul of immaculate purity
Lilies like snowflakes lying
Where never a foot hath trod,
Spotless fingers unravelling
The mysteries of God.
Dreams are the soul’s white lilies
Fragrant and wet with dew,
They are the fairy visions
Earth dreamed when the world was new.
And here, where the silence feeds them,
Seen but by my heart and me,
The stainless lilies of my dreams
Blossom in purity.
And in my hidden garden grow brave flowers of romance,
Knights of imagination, with pennon, sword and lance,
They could not breathe the outer air, nor search for Holy Grails,
But here their arms are strong, and here their chivalry avails,
Their gallant chargers paw the ground, their broidered banners fly
As we buckle their golden armour on, my brooding heart and I.
And here, in my hidden garden, is a doubly-sheltered shrine
Where all the sunshine of all the years is garnered, and is mine,
For on a tree enchanted a single blossom glows
And lights the world with regal warmth, ’tis Love’s own crimson rose.
O! Rose of Love, red Rose of Love,
Dyed with a heart’s emotion,
The subtle fume of thy crimson bloom
Like a necromancer’s potion
Kindles the fire in my passionate veins
And lights like a torch my being,
Reveals new joys, and new powers to feel
New worlds, and new eyes for seeing,
Till I lose myself, and can only find
Where my life and its hopes were planted
A universe, stored with the glamour poured
From a blood-red rose enchanted.
And here in a shadowy alley where no alien footsteps tread
Like cool green moss on my bruised heart grow my memories of the dead,
Softer than farewell kisses, cooler than twilight’s shade
They cover, with tender verdure the scars that death hath made,
Mosses and golden lichen, like sweet thoughts together pressed,
Each delicate tuft a remembrance flowering among the rest,
Thoughts that I dare not face elsewhere smile at me in the gloom,
And from seeds of bitter pain there springs this miracle of bloom.
And here is a lake of crystal where I bathe my soul and lave,
Naked and unashamed in its unpolluted wave,
A pure and plumbless lake wherein, Self, like a pebble cast
By a mighty hand, sinks down, down, down, and is out of sight at last.
And here, in my hidden garden, safe-hedged from the passers-by
We wander for many a lovely hour, my brooding heart and I.
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 171-175