Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OAK; A FRAGMENT, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON

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THE OAK; A FRAGMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It is the last survivor of a race
Last Line: This oak has no companion!...
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Oak Trees

... IT is the last survivor of a race
Strong in their forest-pride when I was young.
I can remember when, for miles around,
In place of those smooth meadows and corn-fields,
There stood ten thousand tall and stately trees,
Such as had braved the winds of March, the bolt
Sent by the summer lightning, and the snow
Heaping for weeks their boughs. Even in the depth
Of hot July the glades were cool; the grass,
Yellow and parch'd elsewhere, grew long and fresh,
Shading wild strawberries and violets,
Or the lark's nest; and overhead the dove
Had her lone dwelling, paying for her home
With melancholy songs; and scarce a beech
Was there without a honeysuckle link'd
Around, with its red tendrils and pink flowers;
Or girdled by a briar rose, whose buds
Yield fragrant harvest for the honey-bee.
There dwelt the last red deer, those antler'd kings...
But this is as a dream, -- the plough has pass'd
Where the stag bounded, and the day has look'd
On the green twilight of the forest trees.
This oak has no companion!...

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