A tree’s leaves may be ever so good.
So may its bark, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root.
It never will show much flower or fruit.
But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.
Some giant trees have bloom so small.
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.
I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.
Leaves and bark, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the bark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darket mood.