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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Ivy Green

By Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

OH, 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 wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,

To pleasure his dainty whim:

And the moldering 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 stanch 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,

As he joyously hugs and crawleth round

The rich mold 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.