Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
V. Trees: Flowers: Plants
The Brave Old Oak
Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808–1872)
 
A SONG to the oak, the brave old oak,
  Who hath ruled in the greenwood long;
Here ’s health and renown to his broad green crown,
  And his fifty arms so strong.
There ’s fear in his frown when the sun goes down,        5
  And the fire in the west fades out;
And he showeth his might on a wild midnight,
  When the storm through his branches shout.
 
    Then here ’s to the oak, the brave old oak,
      Who stands in his pride alone;        10
    And still flourish he, a hale green tree,
      When a hundred years are gone!
 
In the days of old, when the spring with cold
  Had brightened his branches gray,
Through the grass at his feet crept maidens sweet,        15
  To gather the dew of May.
And on that day to the rebeck gay
  They frolicked with lovesome swains;
They are gone, they are dead, in the churchyard laid,
  But the tree it still remains.

    Then here ’s, etc.
        20
 
He saw the rare times when the Christmas chimes
  Were a merry sound to hear,
When the squire’s wide hall and the cottage small
  Were filled with good English cheer.
Now gold hath the sway we all obey,        25
  And a ruthless king is he;
But he never shall send our ancient friend
  To be tossed on the stormy sea.
 
    Then here ’s to the oak, the brave old oak,
      Who stands in his pride alone;        30
    And still flourish he, a hale green tree,
      When a hundred years are gone!
 
 
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