Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OLD BEECH TREE, by EDWARD R. CAMPBELL



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THE OLD BEECH TREE, by            
First Line: Old father time sad change hath made
Last Line: Thy length'ning shadows, brave old tree!
Subject(s): Beech Trees; Trees


Old Father Time sad change hath made
With mildew from his raven wing
Since we were friends, old Summer-shade,
And heard the Nymphs their carols sing;
But thou, majestic on the lea,
Art still the same, old Beechen Tree.

Had thy broad sheltering boughs a tongue
And voice to tell of other days,
As when in buoyant youth we sung
To "nymphs and graces" roundelays;
Then were thine eloquence to me
An angel-song, old Beechen Tree.

And yet, methinks thou hast a strain
That to my very soul replies,
As when the gentle summer rain
On every bough breathes melodies:
Like music wafted on the sea,
Thy sad lone song, old Beechen Tree.

But heart's-ease joys are pass'd away
As fades the leaf in chilly frost;
I ask for childhood's holiday,
And Silence answers, "It is lost";
Gone with the loves and mirthful glee
By pale moonlight, old Beechen Tree.

The names carv'd on thy trunk are there;
The garland dance and May-queen gone
Like vapors wafted on the air,
Like shadows passing o'er the lawn;
And only live in memory
Those pictured scenes, old Beechen Tree.

Old tree! thy spreading arms today,
In green old age, are beauteous still;
But the sweet "Wood Nymphs," where are they,
The measure of our joy to fill?
No answer comes; I only see
Thy length'ning shadows, brave old tree!





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