The Trailing Arbutus
I wandered lonely where the pine-trees madeAgainst the bitter East their barricade,And, guided by its sweetPerfume, I found, within a narrow dell,The trailing spring flower tinted like a shellAmid dry leaves and mosses at my feet.
From under dead boughs, for whose loss the pinesMoaned ceaseless overhead, the blossoming vinesLifted their glad surprise,While yet the bluebird smoothed in leafless treesHis feathers ruffled by the chill sea-breeze,And snow-drifts lingered under April skies.
As, pausing, o'er the lonely flower I bent,I thought of lives thus lowly, clogged and pent,Which yet find room,Through care and cumber, coldness and decay,To lend a sweetness to the ungenial dayAnd make the sad earth happier for their bloom.
John Greenleaf Whittier