Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: I. About Children
“Woodman, spare that tree”
George Pope Morris (1802–1864)
 
WOODMAN, spare that tree!
  Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
  And I ’ll protect it now.
’T was my forefather’s hand        5
  That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
  Thy axe shall harm it not!
 
That old familiar tree,
  Whose glory and renown        10
Are spread o’er land and sea,
  And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
  Cut not its earth-bound ties;
O, spare that aged oak,        15
  Now towering to the skies!
 
When but an idle boy
  I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy
  Here too my sisters played.        20
My mother kissed me here;
  My father pressed my hand—
Forgive this foolish tear,
  But let that old oak stand!
 
My heart-strings round thee cling,        25
  Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing,
  And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!
  And, woodman, leave the spot;        30
While I ’ve a hand to save,
  Thy axe shall hurt it not.
 
 
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