A tree’s leaves may be ever so good,

So may its bar, so may its wood;

But unless you put the right thing to its root

It never will show much flower or fruit

 

But I may be one who does not care

Ever to have tree bloom or bear.

Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,

Leaves and bark maybe tree enough.

 

Some giant trees have bloom so small

They might as well have none at all

Late in life I have come on fern.

Now lichens are due to have their turn.

 

I bade men tell me which in brief,

Which is fairer, flower or leaf.

They did not have the wit to say,

Leaves by night and flowers by day.

 

Leaves and bar, leaves and bark,

To lean against and hear in the dark.

Petals I may have once pursued.

Leaves are all my darker mood.

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