“And there’s talk in the houses, and people dancing in rings…”

This week, we had three beautiful days of unseasonable sunshine and warmth, prompting overeager bulbs to break the soil at the edges of my garden. Meanwhile, at the cathedral, a nightmare of feathers, wings, and horns perched above the Bishop’s Garden watches, waits, and warns.


The golden groom dismounts; the war is done.
The persephonic matrons, long withdrawn,
Betray the bride, let fly their veils as one,
and race like reckless robins round the lawn.
The bulbs trod under boot cry out: oh run
oh praise him raise him high hymenaeon
So spring steals in, the beaming, spendthrift son
who flatters us, and slinks away by dawn.

Heinz Warneke, “The Prodigal Son,” dedicated in the Bishop’s Garden in 1961.

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

2 thoughts on ““And there’s talk in the houses, and people dancing in rings…”

  1. Those bulbs may be right on time — it’s length of days as much as warmth that brings them along, and some do bloom very early. I have early crocuses and snowdrops now, and should have my Lenten Roses soon.


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