Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE STAFF AND THE TREE, by SAMUEL VALENTINE COLE



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THE STAFF AND THE TREE, by            
First Line: This grew a sapling on the mountain side
Last Line: Will come and sit beside you in its shade!
Subject(s): Friendship


THIS grew a sapling on the mountain side,
With aspirations to become a tree;
I cut it down, and in that moment's pride
I slew the glorious thing it was to be.

It might have risen to an imperial height
And gladdened with its beauty all the hill—
With bowers of green and spaces sweet with light,
Where birds might build, and dwell, and sing at will.

'T is now a staff. Yet, when the years grow brief,
And you would share with it your weight of cares,—
When life is putting on the yellow leaf,—
A miracle will happen unawares:

For you will hear the birds that never sang
Within its unborn branches; you will see
The leaves that never rustled lightly hang
Their banners forth—your staff will tower a tree!

And it will be the sun and wind and dew
Of other days by which that tree is made;
Then, it may chance, a friendly ghost or two
Will come and sit beside you in its shade!





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