[loose newspaper clipping of a poem]
Only a little shriveled seed�
It might be a flower or grass or weed;
Only a box or earth on the edge
Of a narrow, dusty window-ledge;
Only a few scant summer showers;
Only a few clear, shining hours�
That was all. Yet God could make
Out of these, for a sick child�s sake,
A blossom-wonder as far and sweet
As ever broke at an angel�s feet.
Only a life of barren pain,
Wet with sorrowful tears for rain;
Warmed sometimes by a wandering gleam
Of joy that seemed but a happy dream.
A life as common and brown and bare
As the box of earth in the window there;
Yet it bore at last the precious bloom
Of a perfect soul in a narrow room�
Pure as the snowy leaves that fold
Over the flower�s heart of gold.
-Henry Van Dyke.