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Alfred Noyes

The Song-Tree

Grow, my song, like a tree,

As thou hast ever grown,

Since first, a wondering child,

Long since, I cherished thee.

It was at break of day,

Well I remember it,—

The first note that I heard,

A magical undertone,

Sweeter than any bird

—Or so it seemed to me—

And my tears ran wild.

This tale, this tale is true.

The light was growing gray;

And the rhymes ran so sweet

(For I was only a child)

That I knelt down to pray.

Grow, my song, like a tree.

Since then I have forgot

A thousand dreams, but not

The song that set me free,

So that to thee I gave

My hopes and my despairs,

My boyhood's ecstasy,

My manhood's prayers.

In dreams I have watched thee grow,

A ladder of sweet boughs,

Where angels come and go,

And birds keep house.

In dreams, I have seen thee wave

Over a distant land,

And watched thy roots expand,

And given my life to thee,

As I would give my grave.

Grow, my song, like a tree,

And when I am grown old,

Let me die under thee,

Die to enrich thy mould;

Die at thy roots, and so

Help thee to grow.

Make of this body and blood

Thy sempiternal food.

Then let some little child,

Some friend I shall not see,

When the great dawn is gray,

Some lover I have not known,

In summers far away,

Sit listening under thee.

And in thy rustling hear

That mystical undertone,

Which made my tears run wild,

And made thee, O, how dear.

In the great years to be?

I am proud then? Ah, not so.

I have lived and died for thee.

Be patient. Grow.

Grow, my song, like a tree.