Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
V. Trees: Flowers: Plants
The Use of Flowers
Mary Howitt (1799–1888)
GOD might have bade the earth bring forth
  Enough for great and small,
The oak-tree and the cedar-tree,
  Without a flower at all.
We might have had enough, enough        5
  For every want of ours,
For luxury, medicine, and toil,
  And yet have had no flowers.
Then wherefore, wherefore were they made,
  All dyed with rainbow light,        10
All fashioned with supremest grace,
  Upspringing day and night:—
Springing in valleys green and low,
  And on the mountains high,
And in the silent wilderness        15
  Where no man passes by?
Our outward life requires them not,—
  Then wherefore had they birth?—
To minister delight to man,
  To beautify the earth;        20
To comfort man,—to whisper hope,
  Whene’er his faith is dim,
For who so careth for the flowers
  Will care much more for him!

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