The Singing Garden


C.J. Dennis

NOW golden days of autumn are no more.
    Down on the forest ruthless Winter frees—
First with far rumblings, waxing to a roar—
    His shouting winds that riot thro’ the trees,
        Raging like savage seas.
Bedraggled now the gown this garden wore;
Lost are those evanescent gems she bore;
        Lost, half the melodies.

A grey thrush, every morn hops round the door,
    His wise head cocked inquiringly aslant;
Magpie and robin, these are shy no more,
    And every songster, as his fare grows scant,
        Becomes a mendicant.
Small their demands upon the larder’s store
On these dark, sodden days or mornings hoar,
        Cruel to bird and plant.

A strange and ghostly silence came last night,
    After the wind’s wild clamour and the rain;
And now, at dawn, a coverlet of white
    Swathes many a long, fantastic forest lane
        And unfamiliar plain.
Beneath the burden spar and sapling slight
Bow down, revealing many a vista bright
        In this once green domain.

The silence shouts in this new, muffled world
    After the tempest’s nerve-destroying din . . . 
Here, like three pixies, impudently curled
    In a giant’s pallet, sheets up to each chin,
        Three pert violas grin . . . 
The forest is a lady richly pearled,
Else a white penitent in pure robes furled,
        And newly cleansed of sin.

The Singing Garden - Contents    |     Birdland on the Dole

Back    |    Words Home    |    C.J. Dennis Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback