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Poetry Pleases: The Gardener

An apprentice relaxes after working on a garden, pleased with his proud and careful plan. But in Arthur Gilliland's thoughtful poem there is a Gardener to point out that the Maker has a much greater and all-embracing plan.

The apprentice, toil well done,
Stretched, relaxed, and smiled his satisfaction.
The earth was richly moist beneath his feet,
In his hands he smelt the promise:
The seed was sown - the rain, the sun
He knew would be lively companions
To his proud and careful plan.

Toil well done the apprentice surveyed the plot,
Stirring and showing the makings of a miracle.
Roses with their bright seductiveness
Would soon enrich the air and summon bees -
In turn giving sweetness to the comb;
And blossom laden trees would then bend low,
Freely offering fruit to grasping hands.

Toil done, the apprentice frowned
To see unwelcome life uncomfortably crouch
Among well-tended growth from which he sought
His recompense, reward.
Unwelcome, ugly life he thought, to rob his children,
Steal their right, grow fat on undeserved philanthropy.
Such ugly life must wither, starve and die.

His raised and angry hand was stayed:
The Gardener reproached with firm, but kindly, words,
"No, look with care! Do you not see beauty
In what you despise? Your eye might not be pleased,
But these, too, are created to the Maker's plan -
And will have their use if you but care to try.
Weep - are they not our rejected fellow men?


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