Rose blossom from the Garden of Carnal Delights

Rose blossom from the garden of carnal delights - a photo manip combining used tissue on a desk with a thermos flask in front of lingerie ads

It had been a very, very beautiful garden long years ago, when ladies had tapped up and down the stone pathway in their little red-heeled shoes. Ladies who wore wide flounced skirts and powdered hair and cunning little patches on their fair cheeks. The garden with its roses, with its stately hollyhocks, its cloves and sweet-williams, its rosemary and lavender and all the sweet things that grow in English gardens, must have been a very lovely and perfect place then. But to this little maid with the dreamy eyes, it was a very wonderful place now. There was no other place like it in all the world; she had come here by sunshine and by moonlight, for sometimes in the night the garden had seemed to call to her and she had risen from her bed under the thatched roof of her old grandmother's cottage and had come stealing here to watch it, all bathed in the silver light of the moon. Perhaps she loved it best by moonlight, for then strange dreams seemed to come to her, dreams that never came when the sun was shining.

It seemed as if some kindly gentle hand touched lightly on her rank grass, the decay of the present, the rioting growth, and she came—and went, sweet, gracious lady who moved with stately dignity through the old garden. But the Law had no terrors for her, so she came whenever the garden seemed to be calling to her and the high rank grass brushed her thin cotton undies and wetted her slim winkle. She often came, once a fountain had been flung high into the air, but the fountain had been dead long ago when the living girl came.

The Garden of Memories, by Saint John Cooper [abridged & vercorxed]