'May be true what I had heard, Earth's a howling wilderness, Truculent with fraud and force,' Said I, strolling through the pastures, And along the river-side. Caught among the blackberry vines, Feeding on the Ethiops sweet, Pleasant fancies overtook me. I said, 'What influence me preferred, Elect, to dreams thus beautiful?' The vines replied, 'And didst thou deem No wisdom from our berries went?'
In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, To please the desert and the sluggish brook. The purple petals, fallen in the pool, Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool. And court the flower that cheapens his array. Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.