The Choice

Original Text: 
Katharine Tynan, Collected Poems (London: Macmillan, 1930): 243-44. 9720.d.402 Cambridge University Library
1When skies are blue and days are bright
2A kitchen-garden's my delight,
7Before the thrush good-night hath said
8And the young Summer's put to bed.
9The currant-bushes' spicy smell,
10Homely and honest, likes me well.
11The while on strawberries I feast,
12And raspberries the sun hath kissed.
13Beans all a-blowing by a row
14Of hives that great with honey go,
16The plundering bee his honey-field.
18And the delicious mint and sage,
19Rosemary, marjoram, and rue,
20And thyme to scent the winter through.
21Here are small apples growing round,
22And apricots all golden-gowned,
23And plums that presently will flush
25Cherries in nets against the wall,
26Where Master Thrush his madrigal
27Sings, and makes oath, a churl is he
28Who grudges cherries for a fee.
31Her sweet balls for to lay in clothes
32That wrap her as the leaves the rose.
33Take roses red and lilies white,
34A kitchen-garden's my delight;


3] box: "genus (Buxus) of small evergreen trees or shrubs ... specially B. sempervirens, the Common or Evergreen Box-tree, a native of Europe and Asia; a shrub with deep-green leaves of a thick leathery texture" (OED "box," sb. 1, 1). Back to Line
4] blowsy: blown-about, untidy, blowzy. Back to Line
5] Lauds: first liturgical service of the day, celebrated usually well before dawn. Back to Line
6] corncrake: the landrail, a harsh-sounding summer bird. Back to Line
15] mignonette: sweet-smelling, blossomy reseda. Back to Line
17] borage: a blue-flowered plant used to make cordial drinks. Back to Line
24] Burning Bush: God revealed himself in a burning bush to Moses on Horeb. Back to Line
29] orris: flower-de-luce. Back to Line
30] pomander: "A mixture of aromatic substances, usually made into a ball, and carried in a small box or bag ... in the hand or pocket, or suspended by a chain from the neck or waist, esp. as a preservative against infection" (OED). Back to Line
35] gillyflowers: clove-scented wallflowers, pinks.phlox: colorful flower. Back to Line
36] cote: small cottage.irised: rainbow-coloured. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Tynan's Poems (1901).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: