When once the New Year came to earth,
To claim his realm by right of birth,
A forest knight, the gallant oak,
Upon the pathway threw his cloak.
The garment green, now turned to brown,
Upon the bare earth fluttered down
And o'er the velvet to his throne
The New Year walked unto his own.
Then gave the New Year a decree
To every bush and forest tree
That every growing, blooming thing
Should hail the mighty oak as king.
Yea, more, he made the king of trees
A ruler of the running seas,
In ships to bear from shore to shore
The earth's discovered treasures o'er.
Then called he Springtime to his side,
Old Winter's pink-limbed, blushing bride,
And bade her weave a regal cloak
To cover new the gallant oak.
And so she wove a gown of green
The richest earth had ever seen,
And garbed anew the mighty tree
With emblem of his majesty.