by John Greenleaf Whittier
O sacred flowers of faith and hope,
As sweetly now as then
Ye bloom on many a birchen slope,
In many a pine dark glen.
Behind the seawall’s rugged length,
Unchanged, your leaves unfold,
Like love behind the manly strength
Of the brave hearts of old.
So live the fathers in their sons,
Their sturdy faith be ours,
And ours the love that overruns
Its rocky strength with flowers.
The Pilgrim’s wild and wintry day
Its shadow round us draws;
The Mayflower of his stormy bay,
Our Freedom’s struggling cause.
But warmer suns ere long shall bring
To life the frozen sod;
And, through dead leaves of hope, shall spring
Afresh the flowers of God!
Note: The Mayflower is also the subject of a longer poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.