Some forty eves ago I saw them bloom,
The first of flow’ring branches, fresh and fair,
Appearing sudden in my upper room.
They breathed all heaven’s sweetness to me there.
And oft since then, while walking in the glade,
I drank those same white blossoms full and deep,
Joyed in their beauty, rested in their shade,
And yearned somehow to pluck them, hold, and keep.
But gazing up today, I saw them gone,
And summer’s greening leaf was on the bough;
Now noonday’s gleam o’ertook the purple dawn,
And men around me toiled with spade and plow.
“Rejoice,” said one, “that blossom’s time has ceased,
For only then the fruit, and harvest-feast.”