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Charles Dickens

The Ivy Green

O, a dainty plant is the ivy green,

That creepeth o'er ruins old!

Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,

In his cell so lone and cold.

The walls must be crumbled, the stones decayed.

To pleasure his dainty whim;

And the mouldering dust that years have made

Is a merry meal for him.

Creeping where no life is seen,

A rare old plant is the ivy green.

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,

And a staunch old heart has he!

How closely he twineth, how tight he clings

To his friend, the huge oak tree!

And slyly he traileth along the ground,

And his leaves he gently waves,

And he joyously twines and hugs around

The rich mould of dead men's graves.

Creeping where grim death has been,

A rare old plant is the ivy green.

Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,

And nations have scattered been;

But the stout old ivy shall never fade

From its hale and hearty green.

The brave old plant in its lonely days

Shall fatten upon the past;

For the stateliest building man can raise

Is the ivy's food at last.

Creeping on where time has been,

A rare old plant is the ivy green.