[From Mannin #9,1917]


Somewhere in France

There was a garden fair to see,
With billows of flowering Barbary,
And isles of almond and jasmine bowers
And borders of earliest April flowers;
Here and there
Where the earth was bare
Were little white stakes with names thereon,
In the white spring sunshine pale and wan,
And a gardener old on his bended knee,
Smoothing the earth so tenderly.
' O vain is your care, old man,' I said,
'What hope that life should arise from the dead'?
'There is no death,' with a smile he replied;
'God's life in the seeds for a time may bide,
But under the rays of the summer sun
They will rise in glory, every one.'

Somewhere in France

Was another garden-a lonely rood
In the broken heart of a mangled wood,
And all around
Upon every mound
Were little white crosses with names thereon,
In the pale white sunshine cold and wan;
No man might see the Gardener there,
Yet I found the marks of His loving care.
I bent me down those names to spell
Dear English names that we knew so well-
And I whispered the words with bated breath,
Of the gardener old, 'There is no death'!
And I bared my head and looked at the sun,
And I gave God thanks for every one;
For I knew that the happy dead would rise
To flower in the garden of Paradise.

F. B. K. [Frederick Bishop Kermode]

This appeared in the Isle of Man Times, April, 1917, and is here republished by special request.


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