Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Flower (c. 1855)

 

Once in a golden hour

 

I cast to earth a seed.

 

Up there came a flower,

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The people said, a weed.

   
 

To and fro they went

 

Thro’ my garden bower,

 

And muttering discontent

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Cursed me and my flower.

   
 

Then it grew so tall

 

It wore a crown of light,

 

But thieves from o’er the wall

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Stole the seed by night.

   
 

Sow’d it far and wide

 

By every town and tower,

 

Till all the people cried,

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"Splendid is the flower!"

   
 

Read my little fable:

 

He that runs may read.

 

Most can raise the flowers now,

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For all have got the seed.

   
 

And some are pretty enough,

 

And some are poor indeed;

 

And now again the people

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Call it but a weed.