Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - In The Lower Garden

"In The Lower Garden" by H. S. Graham First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

Below is one of seven poems featured within The Christian Soldier section of the collection.

You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

In The Lower Garden
by H. S. Graham
(March 1916)

The Rose
Why do you leave me always here?
For me no usefulness is found;
I have no beauty anywhere;
Will you not tear me from the ground?

The Gardener
Watch ye the lilies how they grow,
They neither toil nor make complaint.
Look at their gentleness, and know
They are a strength to stay the faint.

The Rose
I do not see the lilies, Lord,
And I am weary of this waste.

The Gardener
Watch ye the grass upon the sward;
The lily never grows in haste.

The Rose
Yea, in the grass I see a stalk;
The bending leaves to left and right
Fashion a cross beside the walk.
Tell me the meaning of this sight.

The Gardener
The lily makes a cross because
I planted it to give a sign
That what the Word of God once was
Shall ever be the truth benign.

The Rose
See on the stem it bows its head
Stooping to open unto earth.

The Gardener
So on the cross the Saviour dead
Opened to man a second birth.

The Rose
Oh what a lovely yellow bloom,
Crown of the richest golden hue!
Light from the Garden's open Tomb,
Give me a golden flower too!

The Gardener
Know ye the spirit of your kind?
It is not Mine to make it so;
Colour and form are of the mind;
Ponder the lilies, how they blow!

The Rose
Now do I feel a bud of life
Springing from out my slender trail.

The Gardener
Soon you will bear the fruit of strife
That draws to earth the Holy Grail.

The Rose
Grant me the fulness of Thy grace,
An open heart, that ever knows
Wisdom and strength Thy love to trace,
Blossoming forth a full-blown rose.

The Gardener
Ponder the lilies! Pomp and pride,
Wisdom and honour, wealth and dress,
Solomon's glory never vied
With all the splendour they possess!

The Rose
Give me just wisdom, peace of mind,
To be the Watchman of my Tower.

The Gardener
There is no wisdom more to find
If you but know this golden flower!

The Rose
While the pure form I contemplate,
And note the humble drooping pose,
A stirring quickens my estate;
The bud becomes a full-blown rose.

The Gardener
Thou must let fall thy petals too,
And thou shalt be both pure and great;
Thy ruddy splendour, royal hue,
Betokens Life Illuminate!

The Rose
O Thou to whom all hearts are pure,
Thy prescience telleth my desire!

The Gardener
The lily tells you to endure
And pray the Spirit to inspire.

The Rose
This have I done, Lord, from the first,
But this is finite, where we dwell,
For Living Water, Lord, I thirst;
Thou art the Water and the Well!

The Gardener
There is a life beyond the grave;
Leave all, unite with Me, and rise
Upwards, and bless the One who gave
The lily power to make men wise!

A 'Tracer' was a phosphorescent machine-gun bullet which glowed in flight, indicating course as an aid to artillery.

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Muse in Arms

Christian Soldier