The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


The Quest of the Arbutus


For days the drench of noiseless rains,
Then sunshine on the vacant plains,
And April with her blind desire
A vagrant in my veins!

Because the tardy gods grew kind,

Unrest and care were cast behind;
I took a day, and found the world
Was fashioned to my mind.

The swelling sap that thrilled the wood
Was cousin to my eager blood;

I caught the stir of waking roots,
And knew that life was good.

But something in the odors fleet,
And in the sap’s suggestion sweet,
Was lacking,—one thing everywhere

To make the spring complete.

At length within a leafy nest,
Where spring’s persuasions pleaded best,
I found a pale, reluctant flower,
The purpose of my quest.

And then the world’s expectancy
Grew clear: I knew its need to be
Not this dear flower, but one dear hand
To pluck the flower with me.