YEARS are the seedlings which we careless sow
In Time’s bare garden. Dead they seem to be–
Dead years! We sigh and cover them with mould,
But though the vagrant wind blow hot, blow cold,
No hint of life beneath the dust we see;
Then comes the magic hour when we are old,
And lo! they stir and blossom wondrously.
Strange spectral blooms in spectral plots aglow!
Here a great rose and here a ragged tare;
And here pale, scentless blossoms without name,
Robbed to enrich this poppy formed of flame;
Here springs some hearts’ease, scattered unaware;
Here, hawthorn-bloom to show the way Love came;
Here, asphodel, to image Love’s despair!
When I am old and master of the spell
To raise these garden ghosts of memory,
My feet will turn aside from common ways
Time’s Garden, by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay (1875-1928)