‘Hast thou been diligent to foster and save
The life of flower and tree?
How have the roses thriven,
The lilies I have given,
The pretty scented miracles that Spring
And Summer come to bring?
‘My garden is fair and dear,’
I said to God;
‘From thorns and nettles I have kept it clear.
Green-trimmed its sod.
The rose is red and bright,
The lily a live delight;
I have not lost a flower of all the flowers
That blessed my hours.’
‘What of the child I gave?’
God said to me;
‘The little, little one I died to save
And gave in trust to thee?
How have the flowers grown
That in its soul were sown,
The lovely living miracles of youth
And hope and joy and truth?’
‘The child’s face is all white,’
I said to God;
‘It cries for cold and hunger in the night:
Its little feet have trod
The pavement muddy and cold.
It has no flowers to hold,
And in its soul the flowers you set are dead.’
‘Thou fool!’ God said.

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