The Noble Old Elm

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

O big old tree, so tall an' fine,
Where all us childern swings an' plays,
Though neighbers says you're on the line
Between Pa's house an' Mr. Gray's, -
Us childern used to almost fuss,
Old Tree, about you when we 'd play. -
We'd argy you belonged to us,
An' them Gray-kids the other way!

Till Elsie, one time she wuz here
An' playin' wiv us - Don't you mind,
Old Mister Tree? - an' purty near
She scolded us the hardest kind
Fer quar'llin' 'bout you thataway,
An' say she'll find - ef we'll keep still -
Whose tree you air fer shore, she say,
An' settle it fer good, she will!


So all keep still: An' nen she gone
An' pat the Old Tree, an' says she, -
"Whose air you, Tree?" an' nen let on
Like she's a-list'nin' to the Tree, -
An' nen she say, "It's settled, - 'cause
The Old Tree says he's all our tree -
His trunk belongs to bofe your Pas,
But shade belongs to you an' me."

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