A little girl through field and wood
Went plucking flowerets here and there,
When suddenly beside her stood
A lady wondrous fair!
The lovely lady smiled, and laid
A wreath upon the maiden's brow;
'Wear it, 'twill blossom soon,' she said,
'Although 'tis leafless now.'
The little maiden older grew
And wandered forth of moonlight eves,
And sighed and loved as maids will do;
When, lo! her wreath bore leaves.
Then was our maid a wife, and hung
Upon a joyful bridegroom's bosom;
When from the garland's leaves there sprung
Fair store of blossom.
And presently a baby fair
Upon her gentle breast she reared;
When midst the wreath that bound her hair
Rich golden fruit appeared.
But when her love lay cold in death,
Sunk in the black and silent tomb,
All sere and withered was the wreath
That wont so bright to bloom.
Yet still the withered wreath she wore;
She wore it at her dying hour;
When, to the wondrous garland bore
Both leaf, and fruit, and flower!