Sweetest of all the flowers
Are those that grew long ago;
Still in my memory freshly
Do breezes of childhood blow.
Blue are the skies as ever,
And full is the rich perfume
That wafts from the bygone summer,
Where grandmother's posies bloom.
The pink and the white sweet-william—
A gentle and stately warden
Grew close by the low stone door step
In grandmother's quaint old garden.
Tall are the tiger lilies,
With spotted and anthered face;
Their beauty is fierce and flaming-
Poets have sung their grace.
They stand by the many paned window,
Their heads reach the window seat;
No other flower blooms near them,
Grass grows around their feet.
Lonely and haughty and lovely,
A rival they could not pardon
That dared to grow in their sunlight
In grandmother's quaint old garden.
Meekest of all the blossoms,
How should I e'er forget
Your tender, insidious fragrance,
O pale little mignonette?
See where it grows in a circle,
And near it the marigolds yellow,
Each shaking its slender leaflets
And whispering to its fellow.
Even the pink wild roses,
Creep by the gentle warden,
And add to the color and perfume
Of grandmother's quaint old garden.
Here grow the morning glories,
Here the stout hollyhocks,
Here are the purple foxgloves
And crimson-striped four o'clocks.
Slender and bright coreopsis,
Little dear ladies' delights,
And the gay yellow evening primrose
That stays out so late o'nights.
My hand must forget its cunning,
My heart must begin to harden,
E'er I forget your beauties,
O grandmother's quaint old garden.
Eleanor IV. F. Bates.