Ballade of True Wisdom

Quotations Day 3

I’ve been spending most of the day in my garden. With temperatures  ranging from 33 degrees on the patio at the back to 36 in front of our white garage door, it isn’t the ideal weather for physical effort. But as rain is expected (actually it’s started now), I thought it best to get on with a few of the jobs that were piling up.

Being of a literary turn of mind ( as I’m sure many of you will have noticed), thinking about the garden made me think about books too  – books about gardens or with ‘garden’ in the title. A few spring to mind:


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Constant Gardener by John le Carré

A Child’s Garden of Verses (Poems) by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

If we extend the thought process to include things that grow in gardens, like trees, flowers and grass, we get a few more. In fact, the list may be almost endless! Here are just a few of the titles:


The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley

I’m not saying I’ve read all of those, or even that they are books I would read in the ordinary course of events. However, it just goes to show how powerful a connection there is between literature and horticulture.

And that brings me to my ‘thought for the day’ and the third of my choices of literary quotation. It’s part of a poem Ballade of True Wisdom by Andrew Lang, a Victorian poet and authority on folklore and fairy tales.

‘While others are asking for beauty or fame,
Or praying to know that for which they should pray,
Or courting Queen Venus, that affable dame,
Or chasing the Muses the weary and grey,

The sage has found out a more excellent way –
To Pan and to Pallas his incense he showers,
And his humble petition puts up day by day,
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers.

The sun has come out again – so back to the


🙂 🙂 🙂







9 thoughts on “Ballade of True Wisdom

  1. That was a lovely quote and a nice post connecting literature with nature… I love nature… Nothing I miss more in Ireland than a good Estonian forest… :)… and sauna, and food, and … hehehe…
    And.. Pallas is my surname (the one that’s in the passport) – I always found it to be such a weird and awkward name but at the same time it’s kind of awesome as well 🙂


  2. It’s smothering hot over here as well with a balmy 34 degrees. Horrid, but at least my cucumbers are growing! I’m very much a garden person as well and I definitely think there’s a correlation between people who love nature and people who love to read or write. I notice that a lot of readers and writers actually have a little place in their garden (if possible) for it to get as much inspiration out of it as possible. Did you know it’s scientifically proven that looking at green things (aka nature) makes you sleep better?
    *Looking at your blog’s background now before going to bed* 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s