Bulb Planting Time

Edgar Guest

Last night he said the dead were dead
And scoffed my faith to scorn;
I found him at a tulip bed
When I passed by at morn.

“O ho!” said I, “the frost is near
And mist is on the hills,
And yet I find you planting here
Tulips and daffodils.”

“‘Tis time to plant them now,” he said,
“If they shall bloom in Spring”;
“But every bulb,” said I, “seems dead,
And such an ugly thing.”

“The pulse of life I cannot feel,
The skin is dried and brown.
Now look!” a bulb beneath my heel
I crushed and trampled down.

In anger then he said to me:
“You’ve killed a lovely thing;
A scarlet blossom that would be
Some morning in the Spring.”

“Last night a greater sin was thine,”
To him I slowly said;
“You trampled on the dead of mine
And told me they are dead.”

Edgar Guest, 1881-1959


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