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'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger When Uricon the city stood: 'Tis the old wind in the old anger, But then it threshed another wood.

Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

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There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

Alfred Edward Housman (1859–


What do we plant when we plant the tree?
We plant the ship, which will cross the sea.
We plant the mast to carry the sails;
We plant the planks to withstand the gales-
The keel, the keelson, the beam, the knee;
We plant the ship when we plant the tree.

What do we plant when we plant the tree?
We plant the houses for you and me.
We plant the rafters, the shingles, the floors,
We plant the studding, the lath, the doors,
The beams and siding, all parts that be;
We plant the house when we plant the tree.

What do we plant when we plant the tree? A thousand things that we daily see;

The Brave Old Oak


We plant the spire that out-towers the crag,
We plant the staff for our country's flag,
We plant the shade, from the hot sun free;
We plant all these when we plant the tree.

Henry Abbey (1842–


I LOVE thee when thy swelling buds appear,
And one by one their tender leaves unfold,
As if they knew that warmer suns were near,
Nor longer sought to hide from winter's cold;
And when with darker growth thy leaves are seen
To veil from view the early robin's nest,
I love to lie beneath thy waving screen,
With limbs by summer's heat and toil oppressed;
And when the autumn winds have stripped thee bare,
And round thee lies the smooth, untrodden snow,
When naught is thine that made thee once so fair,
I love to watch thy shadowy form below,
And through thy leafless arms to look above
On stars that brighter beam when most we need their love.

Jones Very (1813–1880)


A SONG to the oak, the brave old oak,

Who hath ruled in the greenwood long;
Here's health and renown to his broad green crown,

And his fifty arms so strong.
There's fear in his frown when the sun goes down,

And the fire in the west fades out;
And he showeth his might on a wild midnight,

When the storms through his branches shout.

Then here's to the oak, the brave old oak,

Who stands in his pride alone;
And still flourish he, a hale green tree,

When a hundred years are gone!

In the days of old, when the spring with cold

Had brightened his branches gray,
Through the grass at his feet crept maidens sweet,

To gather the dew of May.
And on that day to the rebeck gay

They frolicked with lovesome swains;
They are gone, they are dead, in the churchyard laid,

But the tree it still remains.

He saw the rare times when the Christmas chimes

Were a merry sound to hear, When the squire's wide hall and the cottage small

Were filled with good English cheer.
Now gold hath sway we all obey,

And a ruthless king is he;
But he never shall send our ancient friend
To be tossed on the stormy sea.

Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808–1872]



THE girt woak tree that's in the dell!
There's noo tree I do love so well;
Vor times an’ times when I wer young,
I there've a-climbed, an' there've a-zwung,
An' picked the eäcorns green, a-shed
In wrestlèn storms vrom his broad head.
An' down below's the cloty brook
Where I did vish with line an’ hook,
An' beät, in playsome dips and zwims,
The foamy stream, wi' white-skinned lim's.
An' there my mother nimbly shot
Her knittèn-needles, as she zot
At evenen down below the wide
Woak's head, wi' father at her zide.
An' I've a-played wi' many a bwoy,
That's now a man an' gone awoy;

Zoo I do like noo tree so well
'S the girt woak tree that's in the dell.

"The Girt Woak Tree in the Dell ” 1361

An' there, in leäter years, I roved
Wi’ thik poor maïd I fondly loved, -
The maïd too feäir to die so soon,-
When evenèn twilight, or the moon,
Cast light enough 'ithin the pleäce
To show the smiles upon her feäce,
Wi' eyes so clear's the glassy pool,
An' lips an' cheäks so soft as wool.
There han’ in han', wi’ bosoms warm,
Wi' love that burned but thought noo harm,
Below the wide-boughed tree we passed
The happy hours that went too vast;
An' though she'll never be my wife,
She's still my leaden stär o' life.

an’ she've a-left to me
Her mem'ry in the girt woak tree;

Zoo I do love noo tree so well
'S the girt woak tree that's in the dell.

An' oh! mid never ax nor hook
Be brought to spweil his steätely look;
Nor ever roun' his ribby zides
Mid cattle rub ther heäiry hides;
Nor pigs rout up his turf, but keep
His lwonesome sheäde vor harmless sheep;
An' let en grow, an' let en spread,
An' let en live when I be dead.
But oh! if men should come an' vell
The girt woak tree that's in the dell,
An' build his planks 'ithin the zide
O'zome girt ship to plough the tide,
Then, life or death! I'd goo to sea,
A sailèn wi' the girt woak tree:
An’I upon his planks would stand,
An' die a-fightèn vor the land, -
The land so dear,—the land so free, -
The land that bore the girt woak tree;

Vor I do love noo tree so well
'S the girt woak tree that's in the dell.

William Barnes (1801-1886)


Thou art to all lost love the best,

The only true plant found,
Wherewith young men and maids distressed,

And left of love, are crowned.

When once the lover's rose is dead,

Or laid aside forlorn:
Then willow-garlands 'bout the head

Bedewed with tears are worn.

When with neglect, the lovers' bane,

Poor maids rewarded be
For their love lost, their only gain

Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,

When weary of the light,
The love-spent youth and love-sick maid
Come to weep out the night.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)


O WILLOW, why forever weep,

As one who mourns an endless wrong? What hidden woe can lie so deep?

What utter grief can last so long?

The Spring makes haste with step elate

Your life and beauty to renew; She even bids the roses wait,

And gives her first sweet care to you.

The welcome redbreast folds his wing,

To pour for you his freshest strain; To you the earliest bluebirds sing,

Till all your light stems thrill again.

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