Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE IVY; ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG FRIEND, by BERNARD BARTON

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THE IVY; ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG FRIEND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dost thou not love, in the season of spring
Last Line: Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Ivy

DOST thou not love, in the season of spring,
To twine thee a flowery wreath,
And to see the beautiful birch-tree fling
Its shade on the grass beneath?
Its glossy leaf, and its silvery stem;
Oh dost thou not love to look on them?

And dost thou not love, when leaves are greenest,
And summer has just begun,
When in the silence of moonlight thou leanest,
Where glist'ning waters run,
To see, by that gentle and peaceful beam,
The willow bent down to the sparkling stream?

And oh! in a lovely autumnal day,
When leaves are changing before thee,
Do not nature's charms, as they slowly decay,
Shed their own mild influence o'er thee?
And hast thou not felt, as thou stood'st to gaze,
The touching lesson such scene displays?

It should be thus, at an age like thine;
And it has been thus with me;
When the freshness of feeling and heart were mine,
As they never more can be:
Yet think not I ask thee to pity my lot,
Perhaps I see beauty where thou dost not.

Hast thou seen, in winter's stormiest day,
The trunk of a blighted oak,
Not dead, but sinking in slow decay,
Beneath time's resistless stroke,
Round which a luxuriant ivy had grown,
And wreath'd it with verdure no longer its own?

Perchance thou hast seen this sight, and then,
As I, at thy years might do,
Pass'd carelessly by, nor turned again
That scathed wreck to view:
But now I can draw, from that mouldering tree,
Thoughts which are soothing and dear to me.

Oh smile not! nor think it a worthless thing,
If it be with instruction fraught;
That which will closest and longest cling,
Is alone worth a serious thought!
Should aught be unlovely which thus can shed
Grace on the dying, and leaves not the dead?

Now, in thy youth, beseech of Him
Who giveth, upbraiding not,
That his light in thy heart become not dim,
And his love be unforgot;
And thy God, in the darkest of days will be
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee!

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