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In spring when branches of woodbine
Hung leafless over the rocks,
And fleecy snow in the hollows
Lay in unshepherded flocks,

 

By the road where dead leaves rustled,
Or damply matted the ground,
While over me lifted the robin
His honey'd passion of sound,

 

I came upon trailing arb├╣tus
Blooming in modesty sweet,
And gathered store of its riches
Offered and spread at my feet.

 

It grew under leaves, as if seeking
No hint of itself to disclose,
And out of its pink-white petals
A delicate perfume rose.

 

As faint as the fond remembrance
Of joy that was only dreamed,
And like a divine suggestion
The scent of the flower seemed.

 

I sought for love on the highway,
For love unselfish and pure,
And found it in good deeds blooming,
Tho' often in haunts obscure.

 

Often in leaves by the wayside,
But touched with a heavenly glow,
And with self-sacrifice fragrant
The flowers of great love grow.

 

O lovely and lowly arbutus!
As year unto year succeeds,
Be thou the laurel and emblem
Of noble, unselfish deeds!