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To an Oak Tree

by Ellwood Roberts

I pause within thy shade,
A brief hour here rest and refreshment find,
Beneath thy ample boughs, and call to mind
How often thus I've stayed.

How, in the first Spring days,
I watched thy swelling buds and listened long,
While some sweet bird poured forth a merry song,
A gladsome note of praise.

Thus at the rosy dawn
Of each bright morn I lingered—thus I knew,
Though the cold earth still wore her sombre hue,
That Winter must be gone.

And, later, when the heat
Of Summer hastened on, across my way
Thy shadow stretched, inviting me to stay,
And rest my weary feet.

Then would I musing lie,
And, gazing upward through thy canopy,
Sweet beauty in the passing cloudlets see,
That swept across the sky.

At morning and at noon,
Thy freshness and perfection make me feel
What wondrous charms kind Nature doth reveal
To hearts with her in tune!

And when long shadows fall
Across my pathway, and the night comes on;
When day with all its sights and sounds is gone,
Thy rustling leaves still call.

Thy strength and beauty blend
Most wondrously; for ornament and use
In thee so happily combined, produce
Creation's perfect end.

May we fulfill it, too!
For each is meant some noble destiny.
May we be strong and dignified like thee,
And to ourselves be true!

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