Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TRAILING ARBUTUS, by HENRY ABBEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TRAILING ARBUTUS, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: In spring, when branches of woodbine
Last Line: Of noble, unselfish deeds.
Subject(s): Arbutus; Trees; Mayflowers

IN spring, when branches of woodbine
Hung leafless over the rocks,
And the fleecy snow in the hollows
Lay in unshepherded flocks,

By the road where the dead leaves rustled,
Or damply matted the ground,
While over me gurgled the robin
His honeyed passion of sound,

I saw the trailing arbutus
Blooming in modesty sweet,
And gathered store of its richness
Offered and spread at my feet.

It grew under leaves, as if seeking
No hint of itself to disclose,
And out of its pink-white petals
A delicate perfume rose,

As faint as the fond remembrance
Of joy that was only dreamed;
And like a divine suggestion
The scent of the flower seemed.

I had sought for love on the highway,
For love unselfish and pure,
And had found it in good deeds blooming,
Though often in haunts obscure.

Often in leaves by the wayside,
But touched with a heavenly glow,
And with self-sacrifice fragrant,
The flowers of great love grow.

O lovely and lowly arbutus!
As year unto year succeeds,
Be thou the laurel and emblem
Of noble, unselfish deeds.

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