Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
V. Trees: Flowers: Plants
The Ivy Green
Charles Dickens (1812–1870)
 
O, A DAINTY plant is the ivy green,
  That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
  In his cell so lone and cold.
The walls must be crumbled, the stones decayed,        5
  To pleasure his dainty whim;
And the mouldering dust that years have made
  Is a merry meal for him.
      Creeping where no life is seen,
      A rare old plant is the Ivy green.        10
 
Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,
  And a staunch old heart has he!
How closely he twineth, how tight he clings
  To his friend, the huge oak-tree!
And slyly he traileth along the ground,        15
  And his leaves he gently waves,
And he joyously twines and hugs around
  The rich mould of dead men’s graves.
      Creeping where grim death has been,
      A rare old plant is the Ivy green.        20
 
Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,
  And nations have scattered been;
But the stout old ivy shall never fade
  From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant in its lonely days        25
  Shall fatten upon the past;
For the stateliest building man can raise
  Is the ivy ’s food at last.
      Creeping on where Time has been,
      A rare old plant is the Ivy green.        30
 
 
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