Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ODE TO THE OLIVE TREE, by CHARLOTTE SMITH



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ODE TO THE OLIVE TREE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Altho' thy flowers minute, disclose
Last Line: Of liberty!
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Charlotte Turner
Subject(s): Olive Trees And Olives


Altho' thy flowers minute, disclose
No colours rivalling the rose,
And lend no odours to the gale;
While dimly thro' the pallid green
Of thy long slender leaves, are seen
Thy berries pale;

Yet for thy virtues art thou known,
And not the Anana's burnish'd cone,
Or golden fruits that bless the earth
Of Indian climes, however fair,
Can with thy modest boughs compare,
For genuine worth.

Man, from his early Eden driven,
Receiv'd thee from relenting Heaven,
And thou the whelming surge above,
Symbol of pardon, deign'd to rear
Alone thy willowy head, to cheer
The wandering dove.

Tho' no green whispering shade is thine,
Where peasant girls at noon recline,
Or, while the village tabor plays,
Gay vine-dressers, and goatherds, meet
To dance with light unwearied feet
On holidays;

Yet doth the fruit thy sprays produce,
Supply what ardent Suns refuse,
Nor want of grassy lawn or mead,
To pasture milky herds, is found
While fertile Olive groves surround
The lone Bastide.

Thou stillest the wild and troubled waves,
And as the human tempest raves
When Wisdom bids the tumult cease;
Thee, round her calm majestic brows
She binds; and waves thy sacred boughs,
Emblems of Peace!

Ah! then, tho' thy wan blossoms bear
No odours for the vagrant air,
Yet genuine worth belongs to thee;
And Peace and Wisdom, powers divine,
Shall plant thee round the holy shrine
Of Liberty!





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