Adversity makes them glow

Swamp maples in early fall.

Swamp maples in early fall.

“New Englanders are like the pasture slopes

Behind their barns. You put them down as sober,

And then one day you’ll wake up, and you find them

Red and golden maples of October.

It takes adversity or coming close

To trouble and hard times to make them glow,

Then they really flower as swamp maples

Flower on the edge of frost and snow.’’

From “New Englanders Are Maples,’’ by Robert P.T. Coffin (1892-1955)