Sunday 22 January 2017

Come Into The Garden Maud

COME into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,       
And the musk of the rose is blown.

Commonly known as a Victorian music hall song it was written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and published in 1855. It was part of a longer poem, Maud, a morose work based on Tennyson's unrequieted love for Charlotte Rosa Baring. It immediately offended Victorian mores due to its suggestive themes and was banned from further publication for eight years. It took on new life when set to music by Michael Balfe and became a favourite of music hall audiences.

Charlotte lived at Harrington Hall in Lincolnshire. The 17th and 18th century gardens were restored in the late 20th century by the Price family and head gardener Philip aka the madgardener.

There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate.        
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”
 And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;”       
And the lily whispers, “I wait.”

The slender acacia would not shake       
  One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
  As the pimpernel doz’d on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
  Knowing your promise to me;        
The lilies and roses were all awake,
  They sigh’d for the dawn and thee.

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
  Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
  Were it earth in an earthy bed;       
My dust would hear her and beat,
  Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
  And blossom in purple and red.

From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
  That whenever a March-wind sighs       
He sets the jewel-print of your feet
  In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
  And the valleys of Paradise.

It is speculated Tennyson proposed and was rejected. Charlotte married a politician. Maud was often recited by Tennyson throughout his life.

Image credits:


  1. Beautiful words.
    Beautiful garden!
    So nice in the midst of a particularly drizzly dreary winter.

  2. I'm with Charlotte, lovely words but too full on, would have sent me running too - Ha ha But was she happy with her politician?!
    Only teasing a beautiful poem and garden :)
    Wren x

    1. I think she might have led him on, there are letters in which she describes the fun of teasing him, or he might have misread the situation, as naive young men can do.

  3. I would have definitely married her garden. I may have to go back and look at/read this post multiple times in the coming months.

    1. Marrying a garden, I see where I went wrong.