Why does the gardener run away in "Incident in a Rose Garden"?

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The gardener ran away because he encountered an embodiment of death. In the first part of the poem, where the gardener speaks to his master, he says that he has "encountered Death" in the garden, "among the roses." He says that Death was as "Thin as a scythe," and wore a "black coat / black gloves, and broad black hat." This description of death draws upon popular depictions of the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper carries a scythe with which to...

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