In Dove Cottage Garden

ON the terrace lies the sunlight,
Fretted by the shade
Of the wilding apple-orchard
Wordsworth made.
Sunlight falls upon the aspen,
And the cedar glows
Like the laurel or the climbing
Christmas rose.
Downward through green-golden windows
Let your glances fall;
You ’d not guess there was a cottage
There at all.
Bines of bryony and bramble
Overhang the green
Of the crowding scarlet-runner,
And the bean.
But I mark one quiet casement,
Ivy-covered still.
There he sat, I think, and loved this
Little hill;
Loved the rocky stair that led him
Upward to the seat
Coleridge fashioned; loved the fragrant,
High retreat
In the wood above the garden.
There he walked, and there
In his heart the beauty gathered
To a prayer.
Looking down into the garden,
I can seem to see,
In among her Christmas roses,
Deeper joy and truer service,
Fuller draught of life,
Came, I doubt not, to the sister
And the wife.
Laurel, it may be, too early
On his brow he set;
And the thorn of life too lightly
Could forget.
Dorothy, wild heart and woman,
Chose the better way,
Met the world with love and service
Every day.
Life for love, and love for living;
And the poet’s part
Is to give what cometh after
To his art.
But the shadow from the fellside
Falls, and all the scene
Melts to indistinguishable
Showers of golden light on Grasmere
Tremble into shade;
While the garden grasses gather
Blade with blade ;
And one patient robin-redbreast,
Waiting, waiting long,
Seals the twilight in the garden
With a song.
P. H. Savage.