In an old 'Pall Mall Gazette' I have found an account of a lost poem, by John Milton, which an Irish correspondent sent to the paper as a literary curiosity. As it is not included in any of the later editions of the poet's work, and as I am always impressed by the excellence of much in the daily papers which, from their ephemeral nature, must needs be soon forgotten, I include it here on the chance of introducing it to a few more people: -

I am old and blind,

Men point at me as smitten by God's frown,

Afflicted and deserted of my mind,

Yet am I not cast down.

I am weak - yet strong!

I murmur not that I no longer see. Poor, old, and helpless, I the more belong,

Father supreme, to Thee !

Omerciful One!

When men are furthest, then Thou art most near; When friends pass by, my weakness shun, Thy chariot I hear.

Thy glorious face

Is leaning towards me, and its holy light Shines in upon my lonely dwelling-place ;

And there is no more night.

On my bended knee

I recognise Thy purpose clearly shown. My vision Thou hast dimmed that I may see

Thyself - Thyself alone!

Ihave naught to fear ;

This darkness is the shadow of Thy wing. Beneath it I am almost sacred - here Can come no evil thing.

Oh ! I seem to stand

Trembling, where foot of mortal ne'er hath been ; Wrapped in the radiance of Thy wondrous hand,

Which eye hath never seen.

Visions come and go !

Shapes of resplendent beauty round me throng : From angel lips I seem to hear the flow

Of soft and holy song.

It is nothing now,

When Heaven is opening on my sightless eyes, When airs from Paradise refresh my brow,

That earth in darkness lies.

In a purer clime,

My being fills with rapture ; waves of thought Boll in upon my spirit: strains sublime

Break over me, unsought.

Give me now my lyre !

I feel the stirrings of a gift divine; Within my bosom glows unearthly fire,

Lit by no skill of mine. John Milton.

The tone of sublime joy fulness in this poem reminds me of the well-known lines on ' The Celestial Surgeon,' by R. L. Stevenson: -

If I have faltered more or less In my great task of happiness; If I have moved among my race And shown no glorious morning face; If beams from happy human eyes Have moved me not; if morning skies, Books, and my food, and summer rain Knocked at my sullen heart in vain :- Lord, Thy most pointed pleasure take, And stab my spirit broad awake; Or, Lord, if too obdurate I, Choose Thou, before that spirit die, A piercing pain, a killing sin, And to my dead heart run them in !

It is now nearly twenty years since Mr. Robinson wrote his preface to the English edition of Mons. Vil-morin's 'Vegetable Garden,' an invaluable book in every way, now out of print. I mentioned it before, but return to it here because, although I have been about a good deal, I have never seen a kitchen garden, old or new, planted and managed as Mr. Robinson recommends, and which seems to me admirable for anyone making a new vegetable garden. For the sake of those who have not the book, I quote the following: 'One point deserves the serious consideration of every owner of a garden, and that is the"muddle"method of planting the kitchen garden with fruit trees and bushes, and so cutting up the surface with walks, edgings, &c, that the very aim of the garden is missed. It is quite a mistake to grow fruit-trees over the kitchen-garden surface. We cannot grow vegetables well under them, and in attempting to do so we destroy the roots of the trees. This induces canker and other troubles, and is the main cause of our poor garden-fruit culture. One-fourth of the space entirely given to vegetables, divested of walks, large hedges, old frame grounds, old walls, rubbish, and other impediments, would give a far better supply. Such a spot well cultivated would be a pleasure to see. It is not merely the ugliness and the loss of the mixed garden which we have to deplore, but the troubles of the unfortunate gardener who has to look after such a garden in addition to other work. How is he to succeed with many things so hopelessly mixed up? Put the fruit-trees in one part - the higher ground, if any - and the remaining part devoted to vegetables, cultivating the ground in the best way, and having it always a fertile green vegetable garden. The vegetables, too, would be more wholesome from continual good light and air, for shade from ragged and profitless trees and bushes and hedges is one of the evils of this hopeless kind of garden. The broken crops, too (for the most part sickly patches) are not such as one can be proud of. Separation of the two things, complete and final, is the true remedy. There should not be the root of a fruit-tree in the way of a vegetable-grower.'

I agree with every word of this, but many of us have bought or inherited old gardens planted on the wrong system, and then it must be a compromise. The greatest difficulty is that under-gardeners will dig with a spade, and so cut the roots of the fruit-trees, which greatly injures them when they are young, and perhaps already making too little growth.I think fruit-trees, when once established, for this reason do best with the ground under them turfed, so long as there is a bare circle round the tree so that it can be manured, and mulched, in dry hot weather. Years ago Mr. Robinson advised me to sow pips of apples and pears, and one of these seedling pear-trees has fruited well this year and looks stronger and healthier than any other tree in the garden. In size and flavour the fruit also surpasses all the rest.

I have always found great difficulty in growing raspberries here. Every now and then, in a wet year, I get a certain number, but then they are more or less spoilt by the excess of rain. I am more and more convinced that, as with roses, they want better treatment than I have ever given them. In heavy soils, mulching with lawn-mowings is sufficient. Here, that is no use. I am sure they want heavily mulching with strong manure three times a year - in the early winter, at flowering time, and at fruiting time; though, perhaps, at the fruiting time, liquid manure would be best. In spite of what Professor Owen used to say when asked why he did not protect his fruit, 'They are the salaries of my orchestra, the wages of my choir,'I have wire-netted in a portion of my kitchen garden for the protection of the small fruit.

A kind neighbour and very clever gardener has written out for me a rotation of crops in the kitchen garden. Farmers pay great attention to this, but in smallish gardens it is often too much neglected.

Divide garden into five equal parts or sections. In No. 5 perennials should be grown, such as asparagus, globe artichokes, herbs, strawberries, &c. . . . and no rotation applied.

In the four remaining parts or sections the rotation of crops should be as follows the first year: -

'First Part, Or Section A

Generally such plants whose produce is stalks, leaves, or flowers.But cabbages, endive, lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, and (exceptionally) early potatoes, celery, and celeriac.

This section requires very heavy manuring, applied as follows before or during winter :-

The soil to be dug straight down, and the soil scattered on the manure, which must be laid on the inclined surface of what has been dug.(See diagram.)

First Part Or Section A 1

The spade must be inserted as upright as possible, and be driven in entirely till the foot is level with the soil to be dug. The soil thus dug will show only soil on the surface, but below the surface each layer of manure will occupy an inclined surface, and these inclined layers will overlap so that any plant put in will surely reach the manure at a depth varying from one (a) to six (b) inches.

'Second Part, Or Section B

Such plants as are cultivated for their roots : Carrots, onions, turnips, salsify, scorzonera, chicory. The soil, having been prepared as above the previous year, will be found full of rich decomposed mould. It should then be trenched, taking care that the upper spit is not mixed with the lower spit. It will then require no additional manure, root crops being best without it.

'Third Part, Or Section C

Such plants as are culti-vated for their seeds:Peas and beans.For these any addition of artificial manure or ashes may be applied (mulching after the bloom has commenced is recommended, not before).

'Fourth Part, Or Section D

To receive odds and ends: Seed beds or hotbeds; gourds or marrows grown on specially prepared places for their culture; also the reserve of flowers for autumn bedding. As the fourth section will become first section and grow A in the following year, the heavy manuring and the planting of biennials (broccoli) should here be anticipated.

Each of the four parts of the garden will receive the proper culture for A, B, C, and D in regular rotation. Thus the first section, which grows A the first year, will grow B the second year, C the third year, D the fourth year, and A again the fifth year, and so on.'