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The Secret Rose Garden, by Florence Lederer, [1920], at

p. 36




BEHOLD how this drop of sea-water
Has taken so many forms and names;
It has existed as mist, cloud, rain, dew, and mud,
Then plant, animal, and perfect man;
And yet it was a drop of water
From which these things appeared.
Even so this universe of reason, soul, heavens, and bodies,
Was but a drop of water in its beginning and ending.

. . . When a wave strikes it, the world vanishes;
And when the appointed time comes to heaven and stars,
Their being is lost in not being.

p. 37


IN Being's silver sea
Lustrous pearls of knowledge are washed up
On the shore of speech,
And dainty shells bring poems in their curving forms
To strew the beach with beauty.

Each wave that breaks in foaming arcs
Casts up a thousand royal pearls
That hold strange murmuring voices,
Gems of devotion, joy, and love.

Yet though a thousand waves
At every moment rise and fall,
Scattering pearls and shells,
Yet are there ever more and more to come,
Nor is that sea of Being less by one sheer drop.


IN the sea of ’Uman, the pearl oysters
Rise to the surface from the lowest depths,
And wait with opened mouths.
Then arises from the sea a mist,

p. 38

Which falls again in raindrops
Into the mouths of the shells
(At the command of the Truth).
Straightway is each closed as by a hundred bonds,
And the shells sink back again
Into the ocean's depths,
Bearing in their hearts the pearl drops
Which the divers seek and find.

The sea is Being, the shore the body;
The mist, grace, and the rain, knowledge of the Name;
Human Wisdom is the diver
Who holds enwrapped in his garment
A hundred pearls;
The soul in a swift lightning's flash
Bears to the listening ear voices and messages
From the shells of knowledge;
Then when the husks are opened,
Behold the royal shimmering pearls!

Next: Part IV. The Journey