(6 March 1855 - 1 March 1939 / Toronto)

Ripened Fruit

I KNOW not what my heart hath lost;
I cannot strike the chords of old,
The breath that charmed my morning life
Hath chilled each leaf within the wold.

The swallows twitter in the sky,
But bare the nest within the eaves;
The fledglings of my care are gone,
And left me but the rustling leaves.

And yet, I know my life hath strength,
And firmer hope and sweeter prayer,
For leaves that murmur on the ground
Have now for me a double care.

I see in them the hope of spring,
That erst did plan the autumn day;
I see in them each gift of man
Grow strong in years, then turn to clay.

Not all is lost–the fruit remains
That ripened through the summer's ray;
The nurslings of the nest are gone,
Yet hear we still their warbling lay.

The glory of the summer sky
May change to tints of autumn hue;
But faith that sheds its amber light
Will lend our heaven a tender blue.

O altar of eternal youth!
O faith that beckons from afar,
Give to our lives a blossomed fruit–
Give to our morns an evening star!

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