The Master and the Leaves

I

We are budding, Master, budding,
 We of your favourite tree;
March drought and April flooding
 Arouse us merrily,
Our stemlets newly studding;
 And yet you do not see!

II

We are fully woven for summer
 In stuff of limpest green,
The twitterer and the hummer
 Here rest of nights, unseen,
While like a long-roll drummer
 The nightjar thrills the treen.

III

We are turning yellow, Master,
 And next we are turning red,
And faster then and faster
 Shall seek our rooty bed,
All wasted in disaster!
 But you lift not your head.

IV

—‘I mark your early going,
 And that you'll soon be clay,
I have seen your summer showing
 As in my youthful day;
But why I seem unknowing
 Is too sunk in to say!’
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