A Forsaken Garden By A C Swinburne

I love the musicality and sadness of this poem.

K Morris - Poet

I first came across Swinburne’s “A Forsaken Garden” while listening to BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please! It is one of those poems to which I return frequently and lines from which pop unbidden into my head

In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland,

At the sea-down’s edge between windward and lee,

Walled round with rocks as an inland island,

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea.

A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses

The steep square slope of the blossomless bed

Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses

Now lie dead.

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,

To the low last edge of the long lone land.

If a step should sound or a word be spoken,

Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest’s hand ?

So long have the grey bare walks lain guestless,

Through branches…

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