The apple-thief grows old and dies;
they bury him within a hill;
his body burns the grass and dries
the earth to bone; with steady eyes
his own bone face looks upward still.

So long in this bare hill he stays
that like an hourglass rib and limb
run into dust: he still displays
his bald smile and bony gaze
but nothing more is left of him.

Now on a troubled morning these
must throb like hearts in the hill-breast:
the shrinking thief looks up and sees
threefold the roots of appletrees
piercing the darkness towards his rest.

And all his thievish senses wake:
he smells the brother-thieves above;
can bite the blood that comes to shake
his ashen hovel; hears the ache
of cruelty of homing love.

And sees the triple boughs, on each
one apple hanging; envies those 
with resolution and with reach 
to pluck them; longs for living speech
to tell them why an apple grows.

But he is dust and he is bone
and he is dumb and full of dread
to feel himself no more alone
and that his poisoned earth has grown
the very fruit on which he fed.

Orchard and vineyard now arise,
and valiant wheat, where he decayed;
the petalled birds of paradise
breed in the grottos of his eyes;
and in his mouth are olives laid.