WHEN scarlet strawberries first were seen

A-blush their clustering leaves between

I thought that never fruit could be

Delicious as the strawberry.

When cherries ripened firm and fine,

The blackbirds shared their feast with mine

And summer's sunshine seemed to glow

On satin skin and heart of snow.

When, threaded close on slender stems,

The currants gleamed like priceless gems,

When peaches held the velvet cheek

The south wind's coy caress to seek,

The loveliest, which I could not choose,

Unwilling one fair gift to lose,

Where frost and fire, and old and new,

And night and day, and dusk and dew,

Had blent to tinge the living sap,

And shape the cup for nature's lap,

Now near and far the apple's wealth

Is servitor of joy and health.

And all along the vineyard's line,

The purple grapes are sweet as wine;

For He who pledges daily bread,

With bounty hath our table spread,

And as the singing winds go by,

The drifting odors make reply,

And brook and forest, mount and flood,

Chant, "Praise the Lord, for he is good."

Christian at Work