“Out in the garden, there’s half of a heaven…”

From his perch on the south nave, this avian gardener overlooks the Bishop’s Garden and the nearby woods, but clearly he takes a much longer view. He’ll tell you all about it if you ask him.


I think that you shall never see
The garden fall when palmers flee.
The scales of summer groan and tilt;
The mite, the moth, the rain-dove wilt,
The hunchneck roses moan with thirst,
The medlar skullfruit split and burst,
But through the leafmeal, long asleep,
The eldritch from the wanwood creep,
Their twilight pastors freely led
By silkwaist suitors stirred from bed.
Their belts of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs
Give way to frond, and myrtle shoot,
And willow leaf, and brightripe fruit.
Through temples roiled by root and vine
They pass to pray, and so divine
Why revels must in autumn reign,
Why pilgrims pirouette in vain,
Why laggards must rehearse at last
The doom of some ecclesiast:
“The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields…”
So pinelights drift, like snows to come,
And mumbling lowly, shuffling numb,
They burrow into bowers veiled:
“Our fadelight feast again is failed.”
But seek no truth from sullen tree;
Recurrence clouds the memory.
We plait our laurels, fools by choice,
But only G-d can cry Rejoice.

(For all the entries in this series, hit the “looking up” tab.)

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