George Leveson Gower
In Freya's Garden


In Freya's fragrant garden
The souls of babes unborn,
That Time has dared not harden
By Life's chill, glimmering morn,
Slumber and laugh and play.

There, amid cool, long grasses,
By sounds of rushing streams,
For them the summer passes
From dreams to happy dreams,
Nor changes any day.

Strange snowy blossoms falling
Crown every golden head,
There is no sad recalling
Of joyous days long dead,
For there no Past is known;

No hours by them are numbered,
No Future makes them fear,
No sin that long has slumbered
Cries out until they hear,
And claims them for its own.

Freya, mild-eyed and queenly,
Passes from each to each,
reeting each soul serenely,
Yet has no need for speech,
For each child understands;

And as by each she lingers
They gaze in her fair race,
And their soft baby fingers
Are drawn by her calm grace
To clasp her mother hands.

Life's messenger some morning,
The lady-bird, draws nigh,
And without sign or warning
Toward some soul must fly
And light on lips or brow:

Out from the green recesses
It needs must follow then,
Leave Freya's warm caresses
For the rough walks of men
It had not known till now;

Leave that bright sunlit garden
For the hard road of Life,
Where man must strive for pardon
Through wrath and sin and strife
From the stern God above.

And farther still and farther
That world of gardens seems,
Until we deem it rather
A memory-land of dreams
Than the first home of Love;

Still looking back in fancies
We turn to it again,
And in such sudden trances
Forget our earthly pain,
Forget our loves and hates:

Yet it is gone for ever
That gracious flowery land,
In life or death men never
Within its close may stand
For fast are barred the gates. 


Freyja Seeking Her Husband by Nils Blommér 1852