With April Arbutus, To A Friend

A poem by Arthur Sherburne Hardy

Fairer than we the woods of May,
Yet sweeter blossoms do not grow
Than these we send you from our snow,
Cramped are their stems by winter's cold,
And stained their leaves with last year's mould;
For these are flowers which fought their way
Through ice and cold in sun and air,
With all a soul might do and dare,
Hope, that outlives a world's decay,
Enduring faith that will not die,
And love that gives, not knowing why,
Therefore we send them unto you;
And if they are not all your due,
Once they have looked into your face
Your graciousness will give them place.
You know they were not born to bloom
Like roses in a crowded room;
For though courageous they are shy,
Loving but one sweet hand and eye.
Ah, should you take them to the rest,
The warmth, the shelter of your breast,
Since on the bleak
And frozen bosom of our snows
They dared to smile, on yours who knows
But that they might not dare to speak!

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