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 reach the sky,
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;
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
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
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!