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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Love & Gardening, Poetic Muses

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

Born on May 30, 1835, Austin served for many years as Britain’s Poet Laureate, beginning in 1896.  Known for his genuine and intimate love of nature, his books The Garden That I love and In Veronica's Garden brought him much acclaim for their open-air flavor and orderly charm.  
      Austin also wrote love poems, often to or about his wife Hester, who he met after first seeing her photograph while traveling abroad.  Engaged after just two meetings, they were constant companions for the last 50 years of his life and she became his primary proofreader, assistant, and muse.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Austin’s, 

    Love’s Blindness
Now do I know that Love is blind, for I
Can see no beauty on this beauteous earth,
No life, no light, no hopefulness, no mirth,
Pleasure nor purpose, when thou art not nigh.
Thy absence exiles sunshine from the sky,
Seres Spring's maturity, checks Summer's birth,
Leaves linnet's pipe as sad as plover's cry,
And makes me in abundance find but dearth.
But when thy feet flutter the dark, and thou
With orient eyes dawnest on my distress,
Suddenly sings a bird on every bough,
The heavens expand, the earth grows less and less,
The ground is buoyant as the ether now,
And all looks lovely in thy loveliness.

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