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 Sweet in the fresh green meadows
Sparrow and blackbird sung;
Above him their tinted petals
The blossoming orchards hung.
Around on the wonderful glory
The minister looked and smiled;
“How good is the Lord who gives us
These gifts from His hand, my child!
Behold in the bloom of apples
And the violets in the sward
A hint of the old, lost beauty
Of the Garden of the Lord! “
Then up spake the little maiden,
Treading on snow and pink:
“O father! these pretty blossoms
Are very wicked, I think.
Had there been no Garden of Eden
There never had been a fall;
And if never a tree had blossomed
God would have loved us all. “
‘Hush, child!’ the father answered,
“By His decree man fell;
His ways are in clouds and darkness,
But He doeth all things well.
And whether by His ordaining
To us cometh good or ill,
Joy or pain, or light or shadow,
We must fear and love Him still. “
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