Oft have I walked these woodland paths,
Without the blessed foreknowing
That underneath the withered leaves
The fairest buds were growing.
To-day the south-wind sweeps away
The types of autumn's splendor,
And shows the sweet arbutus flowers, -
Spring's children, pure and tender.
O prophet-flowers! - with lips of bloom,
Outvying in your beauty
The pearly tints of ocean shells, -
Ye teach me faith and duty!
Walk life's dark ways, ye seem to say,
With love's divine foreknowing
That where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.
--Albert Laighton (1829-1887)