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The Garden by Moonlight by Amy Lowell


The garden Amy speaks of is the one surrounding her family's estate in Brookline, Massachusetts known as the garden of Sevenels. At the end of the poem, she looks back on her childless state.

Everyone remembers their childhood home. If you had a good childhood, this poem should bring tears of happiness to your cheek. It forces us to remember all the good times we had when we were young. We were free. At least, we felt free. We could run and play, smell things, eat things, and not feel guilty. It was like living a life of happiness and without worries. As an adult, we sometimes feel that we have to act or do things a certain way. "The Garden by Moonlight" brings these great memories back to us and shows us that maybe we can take a little bit of time out of our day to have some fun of our own.


The Garden by Moonlight

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.

Published in "Pictures of the Floating World" .

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