Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Flower (c. 1855)


Once in a golden hour


I cast to earth a seed.


Up there came a flower,


The people said, a weed.


To and fro they went


Thro’ my garden bower,


And muttering discontent


Cursed me and my flower.


Then it grew so tall


It wore a crown of light,


But thieves from o’er the wall


Stole the seed by night.


Sow’d it far and wide


By every town and tower,


Till all the people cried,


"Splendid is the flower!"


Read my little fable:


He that runs may read.


Most can raise the flowers now,


For all have got the seed.


And some are pretty enough,


And some are poor indeed;


And now again the people


Call it but a weed.