Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TREE, by KATHARINE TYNAN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE TREE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Think of her when she shall be dead
Last Line: Who lost a resting-place.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hinkson, Katharine Tynan
Subject(s): Death; Mourning; Seasons; Trees; Dead, The; Bereavement

THINK of her when she shall be dead
As of a kindly tree
Within whose boughs some nests were made
For downy babes to be.

Through sun and shade on the greensward
Her songs went up in praise
Who mused upon the forest's Lord
Through all her length of days.

No king of woodland she, but just
A small tree, low and wide,
By which some faint from heat and dust
Sat down well satisfied.

Say that she had a well to keep
Where all might drink their fill,
Say that she comforted with sleep
The sorefoot traveller still.

Say that the creatures came to graze,
And lay in pastures cool
Beside the pleasant waterways,
And her content was full.

Say that her pleasant maze of shade
Soothèd the aching eyes
Like dew upon the heavy head
Under the throbbing skies.

Say that her birds were never far
But they came home again
And in her branches singing were
Despite the snow and rain.

Say that in Spring her boughs were green,
The joy ran in her blood,
That Summer clad her like a Queen
Under a velvet hood.

But say that when her Autumn came
Her best was yet to be:
She clad herself in gold and flame
Like to a Burning Tree.

Say that she feared no Winter white
In whose thin boughs did swing
The moon, the stars, for a lantern bright
To light the feet of Spring.

Say that her head was never bowed
Though trouble might befall;
The bird in her heart sang low and loud
And made amends for all.

Say that in fine, her spring beside,
She was merry and gave grace,
And some were sorry when she died
Who lost a resting-place.

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