A Chantey of Growing Green Things

Ye shall not hurt the grass of the earth
That grows so gently on down and hill —
When I had nowhere to lay my head
The lush green couch of it held me still,

And I blessed the softness of the grass
And the grateful shade of the wayside tree
On the highway to Jerusalem
And down the roads of Galilee.

The live oak shadowed me from the sun,
The sycamore and the lonely pine
Tented me off from the chill of dew
In the long night vigils that were mine.

There was never a green thing did me hurt
Though I suffered much from the ills of men,
So I love the lily of the vale,
And the little flowers of field and fen;
And even that barren fig I cursed
I afterward bade it bloom again

Till it bore like a tree in paradise. . . .
Yea, even the thorns they pressed on me
Grew rich with roses budded thick
To make their mute apology,

And sent a tender green about. "
The angels bowed in a shining row,
And all earth's things of growing green,
They heard the master and they bent low:

And when Death came to tether Life,
Leading it to its great, dark End,
The trees and the flowers sang in the dawn
For the Lord of All, was He not their friend?
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