It is the branch that bears the fruit that feels the knife;
To prune it for a larger growth, a fuller life.
Though every budding twig be lopped, and every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf, be lost a space.
O thou, whose life of joy seems reft of beauty – shorn,
Whose aspirations lie in dust, all bruised and torn;
Rejoice! Though each desire, each dream, each hope of thine,
Shall fall and fade; it is the hand of Love Divine,
That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks with tenderest touch,
That thou, whose life has borne some fruit may’st now bear much!
Annie Johnson Flint