To J. H. and E. W. H.
by Susan Coolidge
Nourished by peaceful suns and gracious dew,
Your sweet youth budded and your sweet lives grew,
And all the world seemed rose-beset for you.
The rose of beauty was your mutual dower,
The stainless rose of love, an early flower,
The stately blooms of ease and wealth and power.
And treading thus on pathways flower-bestrewn,
It well might be, that, cold and careless grown,
You both had lived for your own joys alone.
But, holding all these fair things as in trust,
Gently you walked, still scattering on the dust
Of harder roads, which others tread, and must, --
Your heritage of brightness; not a ray
Of noontide sought you out, but straight away
You caught and halved it with some darker day:
And as the sweet saint's loaves were turned, 't is said,
To roses, so your roses turned to bread,
That hungering souls and weary might be fed.
Dear friends, my poor words do but paint you wrong,
Nor can I utter, in one trivial song,
The goodness I have honored for so long.
Only this leaf, a single petal flung,
One chord from a full harmony unsung,
May speak the life-long love that lacks a tongue.
Roberts Brothers, Boston