To a Vine on a Spire
by William James Roe

Grow, little vine, aye, upward go,
Leaving the stolid earth below;
Leaving the tender gardener’s care
That set thee, frail and feeble, there;
Upward beyond the burly rush
Into the calm of heaven’s hush.
Close cling thy tendrils to the spire,
With every touch but mounting higher.
Yet, little vine, thou art like us;
Thou wilt grow contemptuous;
Wilt learn the winter snow to hate
That gave thee rest, yet bade thee wait;
Indignant with the winds of spring
That made thy tendrils closer cling,
And scornful of the summer sky
Because one sunbeam passed thee by,

Then, little vine, when at the top
Of the tall spire, thou must stop.
‘Tis vain for thee though planets glow,
Thy only star is earth below.
Yes, little vine, thou art like us;
We too have grown contemptuous;
So all the thoughts of man are vain,
And time shall mock our poor disdain;
When we must stay our further flight
To mourn there are no wings in height,
And we shall hang out heavy head
To loathe the languor earth has fed.

And is this all, O sister vine?
Are my pure longings only thine?
Does the same power thy spirals turn
In the same way my longings burn?
And is the end of my desire
Where thought, grown languid, mounts no higher?
I look, the fading flame of day
A moment on the peak doth play,
And there, the glowing cross around,
A rest, my sister, thou hast found.
Thy weary head no longer toss,
Thou canst not rise above the cross.
There is thy rest, O little vine,
And there as surely shall be mine.