"Who going through the vale of misery use it for a well."
Psalm lxxxiv, 6.
MOST fair in its peace was the garden, a haven of ancient delight,
Where shamrock and thistle were blended with roses of scarlet and white,
While knit to their varied companions, by bonds that were stronger than chance,
Dwelt maple and wattle, rejoicing the light-hearted lilies of France.
But a tempest swept over the garden, and smote, while they smiled, in its path;
It spared not the strong nor the lowly, but wrecked all their lives in its wrath;
And the flowers were stricken and scattered, no vestige of colour or form
Remained in the bleak desolation that lay in the tract of the storm.
And those who had loved, in their lifetime, and tended the plants from their youth,
With gladness and courage for sunshine, and nourished with honour and truth,
Bowed low in their grief in the garden, nor hoped through the days as they wept,
Till soft, and in mercy, a message came back from the flowers that slept.
"There's work yet to do in the garden, then, oh, by the love that ye bore,
Forget not that love in your sadness, we need it as much as before."
And those who had loved in the garden, returned to the garden again;
In sorrow they comforted sorrow, in anguish they laboured for pain.
And lo, as they toiled, came a vision, to bless through the years they must wait;
A garden that gladdened a City, shone bright through the gem-laden gate,
And up from the banks of the River, there bloomed to the steps of the Throne,
Their flowers, more radiant in beauty, than ever earth's gardens had known.