New York Nocturnes and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


My Garden


I have a garden in the city’s grime
Where secretly my heart keeps summer time;

Where blow such airs of rapture on my eyes
As those blest dreamers know in Paradise,

Who after lives of longing come at last

Where anguish of vain love is overpast.

When the broad noon lies shadeless on the street,
And traffic roars, and toilers faint with heat,

Where men forget that ever woods were green,
The wonders of my garden are not seen.


Only at night the magic doors disclose
Its labyrinths of lavender and rose;

And honeysuckle, white beneath its moon,
Whispers me softly thou art coming soon;

And led by Love’s white hand upon my wrist

Beside its glimmering fountains I keep tryst.

O Love, this moving fragrance on my hair,—
Is it thy breath, or some enchanted air

From far, uncharted realms of mystery
Which I have dreamed of but shall never see?


O Love, this low, wild music in my ears,
Is it the heart-beat of thy hopes and fears,

Or the faint cadence of some fairy song
On winds of boyhood memory blown along?

O Love, what poignant ecstasy is this

Upon my lips and eyes? Thy touch,—thy kiss.