Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/232

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He thought it an uneventful life

Thus tied to a single tree ; He envied birds, going to and fro,

And fish, swimming merrily.

"O restless one !" said the patient Lord, " Once more I will grant thy will." So the severed leaf on a wild wind went Over meadow and vale and hill,

Flitting to and fro like a yellow bird, With a tinge of blood on its breast ;

But he grumbled sore at his busy life, And clamored for idle rest.

"O fitful leaf!" said the Forest Lord,

"Thou shalt know neither peace nor calm, Till I lay thee down in thy last repose In sound of the forest psalm.

" Seize him and bind him, ye Sprites of Air,

Pin him with snow-flakes down, Over the bed where the crocus sleeps, Under its coverlet brown.

" Thus he shall shelter the patient ones

Who wait as the good Lord wills, Who question not what His wisdom does Under shadow of seeming ills."

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