Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE NOBLE OLD ELM, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: O big old tree, so tall an' fine
Last Line: "but shade belongs to you an' me."
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Neighbors; Trees; Childhood
O BIG Old Tree, so tall an' fine,
Where all us childern swings an' plays,
Though neighbers says you're on the line
Between Pa's house an' Mr. Gray's, --
Us childern used to almost fuss,
Old Tree, about you when we'd play.
We'd argy you belonged to us,
An' them Gray-kids the other way!
Till Elsie, one time she wuz here
An' playin' wiv us -- Don't you mind,
Old Mister Tree? -- an' purty near
She scolded us the hardest kind
Fer quar'llin' 'bout you thataway,
An' say she'll find -- ef we'll keep still --
Whose tree you air fer shore, she say,
An' settle it fer good, she will!
So all keep still: An' nen she gone
An' pat the Old Tree, an' says she, --
"Whose air you, Tree?" an' nen let on
Like she's a-list'nin' to the Tree, --
An' nen she say, "It's settled, -- 'cause
The Old Tree says he's all our tree --
His trunk belongs to bofe your Pas,
But shade belongs to you an' me."
Other Poems of Interest...