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Nothing But Leaves

( Originally Published 1868 )


NOTHING but leaves : the Spirit grieves
Over a wasted life
Sins committed while conscience slept;
Promises made, but never kept ;
Hatred, battle, and strife
Nothing but leaves.

Nothing but leaves : no garnered sheaves
Of life's fair ripened grain ;
Words, idle words, for earnest deeds.
We sow our seedólo ! tares and weeds:
We reap with toil and pain
Nothing but leaves.

Nothing but leaves : memory weaves
No veil to screen the past ;
As we retrace our weary way,
Counting each lost and misspent day,
We find sadly at last,
Nothing but leaves.

And shall we meet the Master so,
Bearing our withered leaves?
The Saviour ooks for perfect fruit :
We stand before him, humbled, mute,
Waiting the word he breathes
" Nothing but leaves."

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