As I was debating with myself about what to write this week, I came across a bit of trivia about Joseph Rudyard Kipling, the English author who wrote “The Jungle Book.” I found that he also wrote a beautiful poem titled ‘The Glory of the Garden.’ This led me to other poets, such as the well known Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Alfred Lord Tennyson and others. I had visions of a new gardening journal, scattered not just with seed packets, culture information and pictures, but now with bits of poetry tossed in between the entries as well.
I fell in love with Kipling’s poem and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy your first week of the New Year. May it bring you time to dream of new gardens; new visions of home, happiness and the myriad of colors that come with the changing of the seasons.
Joseph Rudyard Kipling, English author was born in Bombay, British India on December 30, 1865. He wrote several enduring favorite children's books including "The Jungle Book" and the poem, “The Glory of the Garden." Kipling received the Nobel Prize for literature; he was the first English language recipient.
The Glory of the Garden
OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You'll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.
And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-" Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.
Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !