Narrative Poems, part 6, Pennsylvania Pilgrim
He read the herbal signs of nature's page,
As once he heard in sweet Von Merlau's' bowers
Fair as herself, in boyhood's happy hours,
The pious Spener read his creed in flowers.
"The dear Lord give us patience!" said his wife,
Touching with finger-tip an aloe, rife
With leaves sharp-pointed like an Aztec knife
Or Carib spear, a gift to William Penn
From the rare gardens of John Evelyn,
Brought from the Spanish Main by merchantmen.
"See this strange plant its steady purpose hold,
And, year by year, its patient leaves unfold,
Till the young eyes that watched it first are old.
"But some time, thou hast told me, there shall come
A sudden beauty, brightness, and perfume,
The century-moulded bud shall burst in bloom.
"So may the seed which hath been sown to-day
Grow with the years, and, after long delay,
Break into bloom, and God's eternal Yea!
"Answer at last the patient prayers of them
Who now, by faith alone,