Leaves Compared with Flowers
A tree's leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bar, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.
But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.
Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.
I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.
Leaves and bar, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darker mood.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(13 February 1879 - 2 March 1949)
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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
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(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)