Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
VI. Consolation
Lines to the Memory of “Annie”
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896)
Who Died at Milan, June 6, 1860

   “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him.”
—JOHN xx. 15.    

IN the fair gardens of celestial peace
  Walketh a gardener in meekness clad;
Fair are the flowers that wreathe his dewy locks,
  And his mysterious eyes are sweet and sad.
Fair are the silent foldings of his robes,        5
  Falling with saintly calmness to his feet;
And when he walks, each floweret to his will
  With living pulse of sweet accord doth beat.
Every green leaf thrills to its tender heart,
  In the mild summer radiance of his eye;        10
No fear of storm, or cold, or bitter frost,
  Shadows the flowerets when their sun is nigh.
And all our pleasant haunts of earthly love
  Are nurseries to those gardens of the air;
And his far-darting eye, with starry beam,        15
  Watching the growing of his treasures there.
We call them ours, o’erwept with selfish tears,
  O’erwatched with restless longings night and day;
Forgetful of the high, mysterious right
  He holds to bear our cherished plants away.        20
But when some sunny spot in those bright fields
  Needs the fair presence of an added flower,
Down sweeps a starry angel in the night:
  At morn the rose has vanished from our bower.
Where stood our tree, our flower, there is a grave!        25
  Blank, silent, vacant; but in worlds above,
Like a new star outblossomed in the skies,
  The angels hail an added flower of love.
Dear friend, no more upon that lonely mound,
  Strewed with the red and yellow autumn leaf,        30
Drop thou the tear, but raise the fainting eye
  Beyond the autumn mists of earthly grief.
Thy garden rosebud bore within its breast
  Those mysteries of color, warm and bright,
That the bleak climate of this lower sphere        35
  Could never waken into form and light.
Yes, the sweet Gardener hath borne her hence,
  Nor must thou ask to take her thence away;
Thou shalt behold her, in some coming hour,
  Full blossomed in his fields of cloudless day.        40

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