Orion, and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE MAPLE


 

OH, tenderly deepen the woodland glooms,
    And merrily sway the beeches;
Breathe delicately the willow blooms,
    And the pines rehearse new speeches;
The elms toss high till they brush the sky, 
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    Pale catkins the yellow birch launches,
But the tree I love all the greenwood above
    Is the maple of sunny branches.

Let who will sing of the hawthorn in spring,
    Or the late-leaved linden in summer; 
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There’s a word may be for the locust-tree,
    That delicate, strange new-comer;
But the maple it glows with the tint of the rose
    When pale are the spring-time regions,
And its towers of flame from afar proclaim                                     
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    The advance of Winter’s legions.

And a greener shade there never was made
    Than its summer canopy sifted,
And many a day as beneath it I lay
    Has my memory backward drifted
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To a pleasant lane I may walk not again,
    Leading over a fresh, green hill,
Where a maple stood just clear of the wood—
    And oh, to be near it still!