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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
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page: 59

The Despot

  • THE garden mould was damp and chill,
  • Winter had had his brutal will
  • Since over all the year’s content
  • His devastating legions went.
  • Then Spring’s bright banners came: there woke
  • Millions of little growing folk
  • Who thrilled to know the winter done,
  • Gave thanks, and strove towards the sun.
  • Not so the elect; reserved, and slow
  • To trust a stranger‐sun and grow,
  • They hesitated, cowered and hid
  • Waiting to see what others did.
  • Yet even they, a little, grew,
  • Put out prim leaves to day and dew,
  • And lifted level formal heads
  • In their appointed garden beds.
  • The gardener came: he coldly loved
  • The flowers that lived as he approved,
  • That duly, decorously grew
  • As he, the despot, meant them to.
  • He saw the wildlings flower more brave
  • And bright than any cultured slave;
  • Yet, since he had not set them there,
  • He hated them for being fair.
  • So he uprooted, one by one
  • The free things that had loved the sun,
  • The happy, eager, fruitful seeds
  • That had not know that they were weeds.
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