The Last Robin
Lyrics and Sonnets

by Ethelwyn Wetherald



THE old man and his apple-tree
Are verging close on eighty-three;
’Twas planted there when he was two,
And almost side by side they grew.
How strong and straight they were at eight,


One leafy, one with curly pate!
How fine at twenty, how alive
And prosperous at twenty-five!
What health and grace in every limb,
Was said of it—was said of him!


Then when he blushed, a marriage groom,
The tree outvied the bride in bloom;
And in the after years there played
Within its ample sweep of shade
A little child with cheeks as red


As had the apples overhead.
Her father called the tree his twin,
And surely it was next of kin. [Page 143]

The best of life came to the twain:
The beauty of the stars, the rain,
Soft-stepping, and the liquid notes


That overflow from feathered throats.
Unto the soul that selfish strives
Was borne the fragrance of their lives,
And anxious folk with brow down bent
Bathed in their dewy cool content.


They held their heads up in the storm,
And gloried when the winds were warm;
Their shadows lay but at their feet,
And all of life above was sweet.

And now that they are eighty-three


They’re almost as they used to be.
The blossoms are as pink and white,
The old man’s heart as pure and light.
The apples—fragrant balls of flame—
Are looking, tasting, just the same.


And just the same his uttered thought
Of mirth and wisdom quaintly wrought.
Through all their years they kept their truth,
Their strength and that sweet look of youth. [Page 144[