The orchard grass is sunshine-barred,
And starry-white upon the sward
The pretty daisies lie;
I rest beneath a mossy tree,
And through its waving branches see
The sapphire of the sky.
I feel the balmy breeze of May
Soft-blowing down the grassy way,
And in the boughs above
The little birds break into song,
And praise, in thrilling strains and strong,
Spring's halcyon days of love.
The apple-blossoms fall around,
And fleck the daisy-chequered ground
As breezes softly blow;
I stretch a lazy hand aloft,
And grasp a cluster silken-soft,
Like rosy-tinted snow.
I look at every tender leaf,
And marvel why a life so brief,
To such sweet things is given;
Why not for them a longer space
To blossom gaily in their place,
Beneath the summer heaven?
Why not for them a longer time
To feel the sun at morning prime,
To see the moon at night?
To quiver by soft breezes stirred;
To listen when God's morning bird
Sings heavenward his delight?
Ah me, my heart! it must be so,
The blossom drops that fruit may grow,
The sweetness of the flower
Dies early on the vernal breeze,
That autumn-time may bless the trees
With gold and crimson dower.
Ah me; my heart! so must thou see
The flowery hopes that gladden thee,
In this thy morning prime,
Fade in the fair place where they grow,
Drop round thee swiftly like the snow
Of apple-blossom time.
But if they leave thee good and true,
And pure as when they blossomed new,
Then gladly let them go;
Where now these fairy blossoms be,
In God's good time thine eyes shall see
Thy life's fair harvest glow!