The Old Pine Tree

A poem by William Henry Drummond

"Listen my child," said the old pine tree, to the little one nestling near,
"For the storm clouds troop together to-night, and the wind of the north I hear
And perchance there may come some echo of the music of long ago,
The music that rang when the White Host sang, marching across the snow."

"Up and away Saint George! up thro' the mountain gorge,
Over the plain where the tempest blows, and the great white flakes are flying
Down the long narrow glen! faster my merry men,
Follow the trail, tho' shy moon hides, and deeply the drifts are lying."

"Ah! mother." the little pine tree replied, "you are dreaming again to-night
Of ghostly visions and phantom forms that for-ever mock your sight
'Tis true moan of the winter wind comes to my list'ning ear
But the White Host marching, I cannot see, and their music I cannot hear."

"When the northern skies were all aflame where the trembling banners swung,
When up in the vaulted heavens the moon of the Snow Shoe hung,
When the hurricane swept the hillside, and the crested drifts ran high
Those were the nights," said the old pine tree, "the great White Host marched by."

And the storm grew fiercer, fiercer, and the snow went hissing past,
But the little pine tree still listened, till she heard above the blast
The music her mother loved to hear in the nights of the long ago
And saw in the forest the white-clad Host marching across the snow.

And loud they sang as they tramped along of the glorious bygone days
Whan valley and hill re-echeoed the snow-shoer's hymn of praise
Till the shy moon gazed down smiling, and the north wind pause to hear
And the old pine tree felt young again as the little one nestling near.

"Up and away Saint George! up thro' the mountain gorge.
Over the plain where the tempest blows, and the great white flakes are flying.
Down the long narrow glen! faster my merry men.
Follow the trail, tho' the shy moon hides, and deeply the drifts are lying."

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