Letitia Elizabeth Landon

 

The Oak

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

It is the last survivor of a race
Strong in their forest pride when I was young.
I can remember when, for miles around,
In place of those smooth meadows and corn-fields,
There stood ten thousand stately trees,
Such as had braved the winds of March, the bolt
Sent by the summer lightning, and the snow
Heaping for weeks their boughs. Even in the depth
Of hot July the glades were cool; the grass,
Yellow and parched elsewhere, grew long and fresh,
Shading wild strawberries and violets,
Or the lark's nest; and overhead the dove
Had her lone dwelling, paying for her home
With melancholy songs; and scarce a beech
Was there without a honeysuckle linked
Around, with its red tendrils and pink flowers;
Or girdled by a brier-rose, whose buds
Yield fragrant harvest for the honey bee
There dwelt the last red deer, those antlered kings.
But this is a dream, -- the plough has passed
Where the stag bounded, and the day has looked
On the green twilight of the forest trees.
This oak has no companion!

Source:

The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Copyright 1853
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street
Boston
 
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