CASSIODORUS IN HIS GARDEN.

THESE BRIGHT AND precious remnants soon must wither.
They bloom beyond their time—and so do I.
Dry winter comes; there will be no more flowers,
and I—I cannot live to see the spring.
Yet still I water them. My feeble strength
Can barely lift the jar filled just halfway;
The thirsty earth drinks down, absorbs, and mocks
The paltry moisture that I dribble out,
And winter laughs at me and marches closer,
Casting his shadow darker every day.
But I must labor, putting off the hour
When the last blossom drops, and no more bloom;
Though no one else will do it, I must tend
This useless acre, full of useless things
We cannot eat or burn, or build or kill with,
Only because there once was beauty here;
And though I shall not live beyond the winter,
Yet still I know by faith there will be spring.