From POEMS by Annie Johnson Flint. Used by permission of the publishers, Evangelical Publishers, Toronto. The Disciplines of Life, by Raymond V. Edman (Minneapolis: World Wide Publ., 1948), p. 228.
It is the branch that bears the fruit
That feels the knife,
To prune it for a larger growth
And fuller life,
Though every budding twig be lopped
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf
Be lost a space.
Oh, thou whose life of joy seems reft,
Of beauty shorn,
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,
Rejoice, though each desire, each dream,
Each hope of thine
Shall fall and fade; it is the hand of love divine
That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That thou, whose life hast borne some fruit,
May now bear much.
- Annie Johnson Flint.