Ivy Leaves

               I gathered from a grave
                     Where, plucked from mine, death cast
               A fair green life, –long years
                     Had healed the pain at last,–
Two dark and glossy ivy leaves, that grew
Where once my vain tears fell as thick as dew.

               To keep my ivy leaves
                     From a too swift decay,
               I set their slender stalks
                     In water, day by day
Renewed, and for the love I bore to them,
Spring’s brightest blossoms faded on the stem.

               I looked that they should die,
                     And with a gladdened thrill
               Of wonder saw them keep
                     This faultless freshness; still
A little paler grew the glossy green,
And light threads floating from each stem were seen.

               And as the filmy threads
                     To rootlets spread, I knew
               My ivy leaves would live,
                     Since severed still they grew.
From life’s sweet workings thus rebuke I got
For loveless heart and long-lamented lot.

Source: The English Woman’s Journal 6.32 (1 October 1860): 95.
(Available on Google Books)

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