Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Barberry-Bush
By Jones Very (1813–1880)
 
THE BUSH that has most briers and bitter fruit:
Wait till the frost has turned its green leaves red,
Its sweetened berries will thy palate suit,
And thou mayst find e’en there a homely bread.
Upon the hills of Salem scattered wide,        5
Their yellow blossoms gain the eye in spring;
And, straggling e’en upon the turnpike’s side,
Their ripened branches to your hand they bring.
I’ve plucked them oft in boyhood’s early hour,
That then I gave such name, and thought it true;        10
But now I know that other fruit as sour
Grows on what now thou callest me and you:
Yet will thou wait, the autumn that I see
Will sweeter taste than these red berries be.
 
 
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