Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Beech Tree’s Petition
By Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
 
O LEAVE this barren spot to me!
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!
Though bush or floweret never grow
My dark unwarming shade below;
Nor summer bud perfume the dew        5
Of rosy blush, or yellow hue;
Nor fruits of autumn, blossom born,
My green and glossy leaves adorn;
Nor murmuring tribes from me derive
Th’ ambrosial amber of the hive;        10
Yet leave this barren spot to me:
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!
 
Thrice twenty summers I have seen
The sky grow bright, the forest green;
And many a wintry wind have stood        15
In bloomless, fruitless solitude,
Since childhood in my pleasant bower
First spent its sweet and sportive hour;
Since youthful lovers in my shade
Their vows of truth and rapture made,        20
And on my trunk’s surviving frame
Carved many a long forgotten name.
Oh! by the sighs of gentle sound,
First breathed upon this sacred ground;
By all that Love has whispered here,        25
Or Beauty heard with ravished ear;
As Love’s own altar honour me:
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!
 
 
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