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The Village Garden

Amy Levy 1861 (London) – 1889 (London)



To E.M.S.

Here, where your garden fenced about and still is,
Here, where the unmoved summer air is sweet
With mixed delight of lavender and lilies,
Dreaming I linger in the noontide heat.

Of many summers are the trees recorders,
The turf a carpet many summers wove;
Old-fashioned blossoms cluster in the borders,
Love-in-a-mist and crimson-hearted clove.

All breathes of peace and sunshine in the present,
All tells of bygone peace and bygone sun,
Of fruitful years accomplished, budding, crescent,
Of gentle seasons passing one by one.

Fain would I bide, but ever in the distance
A ceaseless voice is sounding clear and low;--
The city calls me with her old persistence,
The city calls me--I arise and go.

Of gentler souls this fragrant peace is guerdon;
For me, the roar and hurry of the town,
Wherein more lightly seems to press the burden
Of individual life that weighs me down.

I leave your garden to the happier comers
For whom its silent sweets are anodyne.
Shall I return? Who knows, in other summers
The peace my spirit longs for may be mine?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Amy Levy

Amy Levy was a British essayist, poet, and novelist best remembered for her feminist positions and her homosexual romances during the Victorian era. more…

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