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      Gardening

           THE DESERTED GARDE

          by  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

          I mind me in the days departed,
          How often underneath the sun
          With childish bounds I used to run
            To a garden long deserted
          
          The beds and walks were vanished quite;
          And wheresoe'er had struck the spade,
          The greenest grasses Nature laid
            To sanctify her right.
          
          I called the place my wilderness,
          For no one entered there but I;
          The sheep looked in, the grass to espy,
            And passed it ne'ertheless.
          
          The trees were interwoven wild,
          And spread their boughs enough about
          To keep both sheep and shepherd out,
            But not a happy child.
          
          Adventurous joy it was for me!
          I crept beneath the boughs, and found
          A circle smooth of mossy ground
            Beneath a poplar tree.
            
          Old garden rose-trees hedged it in,
          Bedropt with roses waxen-white
          Well satisfied with dew and light
            And careless to be seen.
          
          Long years ago it might befall,
          When all the garden flowers were trim,
          The grave old gardener prided him
            On these the most of all.
          
          Some lady, stately overmuch,
          Here moving with a silken noise,
          Has blushed beside them at the voice
            That likened her to such.
          
          And these, to make a diadem,
          She often may have plucked and twined,
          Half-smiling as it came to mine
            That few would look at them.
            
          Oh, little thought that lady proud,
          A child would watch her fair white rose,
          When buried lay her whiter brows,
            And silk was changed for shroud!
          
          Nor thought that gardener, (full of scorns
          For men unlearned and simple phrase,)
          A child would bring it all its praise
            By creeping through the thorns!
          
          To me upon my low moss seat,
          Though never a dream the roses sent
          Of science or love's compliment,
            I ween they smelt as sweet.
          
          It did not move my grief to see
          The trace of human step departed:
          Because the garden was deserted,
            The blither place for me!...