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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

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I stood in an ancient garden With high red walls around; Over them grey and green lichens In shadowy arabesque wound.

The topmost climbing blossoms On fields kine-haunted looked out; But within were shelter and shadow, With daintiest odours about.

There were alleys and lurking arbours, Deep glooms into which to dive. The lawns were as soft as fleeces, Of daisies I counted but five.

The sun-dial was so aged
It had gathered a thoughtful grace; 'Twas the round-about of the shadow That so had furrowed its face.

The flowers were all of the oldest That ever in garden sprung; Red, and blood-red, and dark purple The rose-lamps flaming hung.

Along the borders fringed
With broad thick edges of box Stood foxgloves and gorgeous poppies And great-eyed hollyhocks.

There were junipers trimmed into castles, And ash-trees bowed into tents; For the garden, though ancient and pensive, Still wore quaint ornaments.

It was all so stately fantastic Its old wind hardly would stir; Young Spring, when she merrily entered, Scarce felt it a place for her.

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