Garden Prize Poems – Christmas Term 1917


Down in a, still old-world garden of sunshine,
Shake the sweet petals from roses o’er blown;
Carry them out on the wide sheltered terrace,
Lay them down there on the smooth sun-warmed stone.
Past virgin lilies and blue larkspurs tall,
Gather sweet herbs by the old sunny wall
Simples familiar in old witches’ rhyme­
Rosemary, lavender, marjoram, thyme,
Mint, sweet verbena, and silver-leaved sage
Fleeting scent, fill the air
Treasure so rich and rare­;
Alchemy potent in every age,
Scatter them down ‘mongst the shrivelling rose petals,
Where on the terrace the proud peacocks pace,
Gather them only when sunbeams have mellowed them,
Lay them away in a cedar-wood case.

Bleak sunless mornings of greyness and cold,
When gardens lie dreary and dark and alone;
Choked with the rotting leaves, sodden and old,
Biting winds sobbing through trees leafless blown­
Memories waking,
Hearts that are aching,
Weary for colours and brightness long known.

Sweet perfumed fragments then carry then far away,
Back to an old walled garden of flowers.
Peace and contentedness shine through the livelong day
Flooding with sunshine the bee-murmuring bowers.
Dreamful the garden in brightness reposes,
Softly a little breeze sings by the roses
Music of Iong hidden fancies and rhyme
Rosemary, lavender, marjoram, thyme,
Mint, sweet verbena, and silver-leaved sage­
Bidding remember,
Charming December,
Magic long-learnt in a far golden age.




The mist lies blue upon the eastern hills,

And scarcely have the low stars slipped away

To win new radiance for the coming night.

A stillness deeply still enfold, the earth,

The dim, grey garden seems a land of ghosts,

So indistinct and colourless it lies.

The very birds are silent, though last night

Was full of voices caving, “This is Spring.”


But hark! a tiny murmur – “Yea. be, comes!”

Scarce audible, yet ah! the world has heard.

The dew-like snowdrops gemming dewy lawns

Shiver in pure delight, the hawthorn bud,

Must needs burst forth to look at him who comes,

The brown earth thrills, glad that her coronet

Of golden crocuses (in emerald set)

Is donned already, since she looks more fair

In his eyes, crowned thus – And now a note,

The newest whisper of a coming song,

A little chirp, another and yet more.

The spell is broken, and a flush of light.

The colour of a baby’s cheek, appears,

Carol and radiance grow from spark to fire,

Till whether this my garden is a song

Or else incarnate Glory – or the two

I cannot tell. For I am past all thought,

I see no living thing, yet he is here.

For one sweet moment he is song and day.

Then the sun dawns – And Pan has gone his way.



Sing to God ye children sing,

Worship ye the new born King;

Sing ye in Jerusalem

Jesu’s born in Bethlehem.


Sing to God ye children sing

Worship ye the new born King.


Go, ye hear your Mother say

­Worship Him my child, to-day.

Go, ye hear the church bells ringing;

And the choir so sweetly singing.


Sing to God, &c.


Mary was His mother good;

Joseph for his father stood.

He did in a manger lie

With some oxen standing by.


Sing to God, &e.


When the Shepherds came to bring

Praise and honour to their King;

They were quite surprised to see

The heavenly babe so frail and wee.
Sing to God, &c.