Pansies

A poem by R. C. Lehmann

Tufted and bunched and ranged with careless art
Here, where the paving-stones are set apart,
Alert and gay and innocent of guile,
The little pansies nod their heads and smile.

With what a whispering and a lulling sound
They watch the children sport about the ground,
Longing, it seems, to join the pretty play
That laughs and runs the light-winged hours away.

And other children long ago there were
Who shone and played and made the garden fair,
To whom the pansies in their robes of white
And gold and purple gave a welcome bright.

Gone are those voices, but the others came.
Joyous and free, whose spirit was the same;
And other pansies, robed as those of old,
Peeped up and smiled in purple, white and gold.

For pansies are, I think, the little gleams
Of children's visions from a world of dreams,
Jewels of innocence and joy and mirth,
Alight with laughter as they fall to earth.

Below, the ancient guardian, it may hap,
The kindly mother, takes them in her lap,
Decks them with glowing petals and replaces
In the glad air the friendly pansy-faces.

So tread not rashly, children, lest you crush
A part of childhood in a thoughtless rush.
Would you not treat them gently if you knew
Pansies are little bits of children too?

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