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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Christina G. Rossetti
 
        Before green apples blush,
  Before green nuts embrown,
Why, one day in the country
  Is worth a month in town.
  1
        Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
  Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
  From morn to night, my friend.
  2
        I watched a rose-bud very long
  Brought on by dew and sun and shower,
  Waiting to see the perfect flower:
Then when I thought it should be strong
  It opened at the matin hour
And fell at even-song.
  3
        I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun,
And crocus fires are kindling one by one.
  4
        In the parching August wind,
  Cornfields bow the head,
Sheltered in round valley depths,
  On low hills outspread.
  5
        It’s surely summer, for there’s a swallow:
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken.
  6
        O, roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime;
But pluck an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.
  7
        One by one the flowers close,
Lily and dewy rose
Shutting their tender petals from the moon:
The grasshoppers are still; but not so soon
Are still the noisy crows.
  8
        Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
  Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
  They will not keep you standing at that door.
  9
        Somewhere or other there must surely be
  The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart that not yet—never yet—ah me!
  Made answer to my word.
  10
        The lilies say: Behold how we
Preach without words of purity.
  11
        The loves that meet in Paradise shall cast out fear,
And Paradise hath room for you and me and all.
  12
        The rose saith in the dewy morn,
  I am most fair;
Yet all my loveliness is born
  Upon a thorn.
  13
        There is no time like Spring,
When life’s alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing,
Before cleft swallows speed their journey back
Along the trackless track.
  14
        This life is but the passage of a day,
This life is but a pang and all is over;
But in the life to come which fades not away
Every love shall abide and every lover.
  15
        We met, hand to hand,
  We clasped hands close and fast,
As close as oak and ivy stand;
  But it is past:
Come day, come night, day comes at last.
  16
  Alas that we must dwell, my heart and I, so far asunder!  17
  Flowers preach to us if we will hear.  18
  I have a room whereinto no one enters save I myself alone. There sits a blessed memory on a throne; there my life centres.  19
  O Lord, who art our guide even unto death, grant us, I pray Thee, grace to follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. In little daily duties to which Thou callest us, bow down our wills to simple obedience.  20
 
 
  Silence more musical than any song.  21
  The loves that meet in paradise shall cast out fear; and paradise hath room for you and me and all.  22
  There is no time like spring, that passes by, now newly born, and now hastening to die.  23
  They praise my rustling show, and never see my heart is breaking for a little love.  24
 
 
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