Ungathered

Never a leaf is shorn
But the vine surely misses:
From ministering night-dew torn,
From the sun’s kisses;

Dozing the warm light in,
In cool winds rustling greenly-
A leaflet with its leafy kin
Dwelling serenely.

Not every bud doth fall
With blighted leaves yet folden-
Never to wear its coronal
Or white or golden-

But from the mother-stem
Flutters a far, faint sighing:
Is it a tender requiem
Above the dying?

Who knows what dear regrets
Cling to the blossom broken?
Who knows what voiceless longing frets,
What love unspoken?

So, through the summer-shine,
Your frail, brief lives securely
Keep, all ye tender blossoms mine,
Looking up purely.

Enough to breath the air
Made sweet with your perfuming;
To see through golden days your fair
And perfect blooming;

The bees that round you hum,
The butterflies that woo you-
And happy, happy birds that come
And sing unto you.

by Ina D. Coolbrith

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