Who plants a seed, he little knows
What warm arousing light is lit,
What spring of living water flows,
What forces leap to nurture it.
Who plants a seed, what thought has he
Of timid sprout, of leaflets young.
Of sturdy trunk and branching tree,
Of noble forest far outflung?
What dream has he who plants a seed
Of blossoms ravishing the air,
Of shade that cools, of fruits that feed,
Of agelong blessings hidden there?
And he who plants the seed of thought,
Some eager truth, some daring plan,
Never he knows what he has wrought
Of never-ending good to man.
Through subtle channels winding swift
The foodful currents gladly run,
And all the heavens bring their gift
Of tender breezes, rain, and sun.
It feels the elemental fears,
The frost the storm the barren skies;
And yet throughout the growing years
Its roots extend, its branches rise;
Until, one knows not how or when,
Through all the world the thought has spread,
And myriads of grateful men
Pluck from the branches overhead.
Oh, happy he who plants a seed
With promises of fruitage fraught;
But his a happier, holier deed
Who plants in human souls a thought.