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 trimmed,

And every grace

Of swaying tendril, springing leaf,

May lose its place.

O you whose life of joy seems left,

With beauty shorn;

Whose aspirations lie in dust,

All bruised and torn,

Rejoice, though each desire, each dream,

Each hope of thine,

Will fall and fade; it is the hand

Of Love Divine

That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks

With tenderest touch,

That you, whose life has borne some fruit,

Might now bear much.

Annie Johnson Flint