Thursday 1 February 2024

The Glory of the Garden…Rudyard Kipling.

                                         The Glory of the Garden

OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye. 
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You'll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-" Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray 
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!

And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away ! 

Rudyard Kipling

This is one of my favourite poems in which Rudyard Kipling describes England through an extended metaphor of a well loved garden!

The poem begins with the writer describing England as a garden in all its glory, with “stately views”.  Although there are beautiful shrubs and peacocks, there are also tool sheds and other similar features. And he tells how the gardeners all have different jobs; some might look after growing the plants, others move soil and sand etc. They are hard working people, all doing their best to make this country good. 

And then Kipling tells us that we need to make sure that we are doing all we can for our country…that it might be hard work but eventually our hands will grow strong and our backs will be painless. And then we will be brought into the glory of the garden…and he hopes that the glory of the garden will last forever!


  1. I enjoyed this post very much. Perfect photographs to accompany this lovely poem have even, so it seems, encouraged the sun to shine in this small corner.

  2. Lovely poem and great photos
    Alison in Wales x

  3. Just lovely! Thank you so much for this poem and the pictures!

  4. I had to laugh at myself, I can't understand poetry (adhd or something) and was half way through your post before I realised this was a poem!! but what lovely thoughts are within and your pictures are beautiful :)

  5. A fabulous poem. I love Rudyard Kipling. His house Bateman’s is well worth a visit. B x

  6. I enjoyed the poem and the photos you used to illustrate it. I particularly like the heathers in the kettle! (Blogger isn't allowing me to sign in just now. )



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