The Secret Garden

By George Sterling

            Hidden from all it lies
            But the revealing skies,
Whose highest star is lamp and warden here.
The leopards of the palace prowl not near,
            And foiled are cruel eyes.

            Marble has walled around
            The myrtle-given ground,
And cypress-tow'rs dismay the song of birds,
Where two find now the needlessness of words,
            And two alone are found.

            In dream or reverie
            Beyond the wood they see
The wind's wan hand, admitted or withdrawn,
Stirring the golden arras of the dawn
            Or dusk's red tapestry.

            Where the wind sorroweth
            It strews with drifting breath
The snow of petals or their cool turquoise.
Beauty that leaves the heart but tears for voice
            Has refuge here—and death.

            Whether the brown bees hum.
            Or leaf and lip are dumb,
The passion told is told beyond recall,
The silence made an answer unto all,
            When two alone may come.

            Love hears in this domain
            The moan from not of pain.
The roses of the bower and the face,
The scarlet of the flow'r and the embrace.
            Are brief, but not in vain.

            But whatso word love say,
            No word of love can stay
The long delight whose music is a sigh.
The rapture and Che beauty soon to die
            No clinging hands delay.

            For whether midnight moon
            Or light of afternoon
Weave silently the shadows of the flowers,
            And parting come too soon.

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