Early garden
by Sr Mary Stephen

My high look-out serves me well

as all the birds can tell,

when, quick glance behind

over the shoulder, well programmed

for ‘watch out’,

they chuck or trill, as they slip

under a treeful of sunshine.


A thrush stops, looks up,

then, with a happy rush

dashes towards my window

as though he knows I am writing about him.

But, does he know, can he guess

that I know he is composing

a song to sing for me?


Hryhorii Skovoroda

Hryhorii Skovoroda, was an eighteenth century philosopher of Ukrainian Cossack origin who lived and worked in the Russian Empire. He was a poet, a teacher and a composer of liturgical music.  Andrei Walton read this poem at our CONCERT OF HOPE.


Spring has come in its full bloom,

Winter leaves behind its gloom,

Flowering trees in all the parks

Draw the nightingales and larks.


Sorrow and sadness flee away!

You have no place in this new day!

Flee to swamps there to be drowned,

Forever lost deep underground!


Fly to hell, and run your course,

Fertile gardens are not yours!

My soul is like a blossoming tree,

Full of joy and bursting free.


Happy is the faithful man,

Whose sin is overcome.

His soul abides where God resides,

His soul rests in God’s paradise.


Flowers there are beautiful,

The fruit produced is bountiful.

In spring as all the trees blossom,

The leaves are green and so fulsome.


O God, You always suffice! O God,

You are my paradise!

Innocence forms my tree’s roots,

Peace and love are its fruits.


My soul is like a willow tree,

You are the water feeding me.

Come water me, and feed my soul,

Come my heart now to console.


There is no more to fear for me,

Sin is my sole distress.

Mortify all sin in me.

For this leads me to happiness.


The Garden of Divine Songs, Song 3

Translation Dr Ivan Pavlii