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The Old Oak
GB (1803-1881 / England)

The Old Oak

Here have I stood, the pride of the park,
In winter with snow on my frozen bark;
In spring ‘mong the flowers that smiling she spread,
And among my own leaves when summer was fled.
Three hundred years my top I have rais’d,
Three hundred years I have sadly gaz’d
O’er Nature’s wide extended scene;
O’er rushing rivers and meadows green,
For though I was always willing to rove,
I never could yet my firm foot move.

They fell’d my brother, who stood by my side,
And flung out his arms so wide, so wide;
How envy I him, for how blest is he,
As the keel of a vessel he sails so free
Around the whole of the monstrous earth;
But I am still in the place of my birth.
I once was too haughty by far to complain,
But am become feeble through age and pain;
And therefore I often give vent to my woes,
When through my branches the wild wind blows.

A night like this, so calm and clear,
I have not seen for many a year;
The milk-white doe and her tender fawn
Are skipping about on the moonlight lawn;
And there, on the verge of my time-worn root,
Two lovers are seated, and both are mute:
Her arm encircles his youthful neck,
For none are present their love to check.
This night would almost my sad heart cheer,
Had I one hope or one single fear.

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