Sunday, August 15, 2010

A bedtime treat

Caspar and Miss Callie and I go out for a last stroll down the driveway and are enchanted, as always, by the delicate fragrance of the night-scented stock.  A wispy and insignificant little flower by day, planted in a pot surrounded by sweet-peas and sweet alyssum close to the doorway, - at night its magical perfume keeps us lingering in the still night air.

The Garden by Moonlight
Amy Lowell

A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.
Firefly lights open and vanish
High as the tip buds of the golden glow
Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.
Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,
Moon-spikes shafting through the snowball bush.
Only the little faces of the ladies' delight are alert and staring,
Only the cat, padding between the roses,
Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern
As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.
Then you come,
And you are quiet like the garden,
And white like the alyssum flowers,
And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.
Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?
They knew my mother,
But who belonging to me will they know
When I am gone. 


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How lovely Hildred. I love the poem. I spent some time reading the quotes on your sidebar as well.

Today, I decided I am following Lin Yutang (instead of Annie Dillard ;>)) since I have no discernible schedule -- and have gotten rid of quite a bit lately.

Sallie (now in Virginia)

Wanda..... said...

Lovely poem Hildred. Those last 4 lines were so meaningful for me...I have lilies and phlox that once belonged to my mother and my mother-in-law's Hibiscus plants.