HOW would it seem, I wonder,

If the meadow near and far

Had never a buttercup,

And never a daisy star?

Never a sweet, wild violet,

And never a primrose gay?

Only the grasses needful

For making the useful bay?

If in the still, green forest

There wasn't a wild song-bird;

If robin and thrush and wren

Nobody ever heard;

If all was for simple use,

Nothing for beauty or joy—

Oh! How weary were life

Without some pleasant alloy!

But nature teaches us ever

A lesson that's far more sweet.

See how the crimson poppies

Follow the golden wheat!

Wheat for the bread of the world,

Poppies for beauty alone;

Wheat and poppies together

In every age and zone.

Always the morning-glories

Cling to the cotton plant,

While over the snowy harvest

Thrushes and blackbirds chant..

The strength of the forest trees

To the duties of life belong;

But their cool, green palaces

Are for the wild bird's song.

Take to thy heart the lesson,

Man with the downcast eyes!

Many an innocent joy

Bright in thy pathway lies.

Still let thy daily labor

Beauty and pleasure greet,

Just as the idle poppy

Brightens the fields of wheat.

Just as the morning-glories

Climb up the cotton plant,

Just as the birds when building

Unto their labor chant;

The stress of thy daily labor

With beauty and love renew;

Busily toil in the wheat field,

But gather the poppies too.



Lillie R. Barr.