Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FELLED TREE, by ALICE CARY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FELLED TREE, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: They set me up, and bade me stand
Last Line: Is the same that made me grow.
Subject(s): Trees

THEY set me up, and bade me stand
Beside a dark, dark sea,
In the befogged, low-lying land
Of this mortality.

I slipped my roots round the stony soil
Like rings on the hand of a bride,
And my boughs took hold of the summer's smile
And grew out green and wide.

Crooked, and shaggy on all sides,
I was homeliest of trees,
But the cattle rubbed their speckled hides
Against my knotty knees;

And lambs, in white rows on the grass,
Lay down within my shade;
So I knew, all homely as I was,
For a good use I was made.

And my contentment served me well;
My heart grew strong and sweet,
And my shaggy bark cracked off and fell
In layers at my feet.

I felt when the darkest storm was rife
The day of its wrath was brief,
And that I drew from the centre of life
The life of my smallest leaf.

At last a woodman came one day
With axe to a sharp edge ground,
And hewed at my heart till I stood a-sway,
But I never felt the wound.

I knew immortal seed was sown
Within me at my birth,
And I fell without a single groan,
With my green face to the earth.

Now all men pity me, and must,
Who see me lie so low,
But the Power that changes me to dust
Is the same that made me grow.

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