The Old Ash Tree.

A poem by Susanna Moodie

Thou beautiful Ash! thou art lowly laid,
And my eyes shall hail no more
From afar thy cool and refreshing shade,
When the toilsome journey's o'er.
The winged and the wandering tribes of air
A home 'mid thy foliage found,
But thy graceful boughs, all broken and bare,
The wild winds are scattering round.

The storm-demon sent up his loudest shout
When he levelled his bolt at thee,
When thy massy trunk and thy branches stout
Were riven by the blast, old tree!
It has bowed to the dust thy stately form,
Which for many an age defied
The rush and the roar of the midnight storm,
When it swept through thy branches wide.

I have gazed on thee with a fond delight
In childhood's happier day,
And watched the moonbeams of a summer night
Through thy quivering branches play.
I have gathered the ivy wreaths that bound
Thy old fantastic roots,
And wove the wild flowers that blossomed round
With spring's first tender shoots.

And when youth with its glowing visions came,
Thou wert still my favourite seat;
And the ardent dreams of future fame
Were formed at thy hoary feet.
Farewell--farewell--the wintry wind
Has waged unsparing war on thee,
And only pictured on my mind
Remains thy form, time-honoured tree!

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