Littell's Living Age/Volume 128/Issue 1657/Under the Apple-Tree

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A dome of blossom rises overhead,
Piled like the snows upon some Alpine height,
And blushing with such tints of pink and red
As summer clouds may wear in vesper light.

Dew-spangled — pierced with sudden shafts of gold
That slide between the latticed boughs below;
A little world of bloom, that seems to fold
Birds, bees, and sunbeams in a tender glow.

Life is so sweet beneath this fairy bower
That the full heart must tremble in its bliss,
And fear lest wanton breeze or hasty shower
Should harm one petal by a careless kiss.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Under the apple-tree I stand alone,
In the strange stillness of an autumn day:
Where have the swallows and the brown bees flown?
What cruel hand hath snatched my blooms away?

The sullen, silver-rifted sky looks down
Between grey branches, — not a golden gleam
Falls on the scanty leaves, grown sere and brown;
And I am haunted by that flowery dream!

O foolish heart I — beside the mossy root
Lie the rich spoils that put thy grief to shame!
He takes the blossom, but He gives the fruit,
That men may magnify His worthy name.

He gives a treasure for a vanished toy,
Filling the soul before its void is known;
A solid blessing for a fragile joy
His hand bestows: — make thou His gifts thine own.

Sarah Doudney
Good Words.