Woodman, Spare that Tree

Original Text: 
George P. Morris, The Deserted Bride and Other Poems (New York: D. Appleton, 1843): 39-40. Internet Archive
1Woodman, spare that tree!
2    Touch not a single bough!
3In youth it shelter'd me,
4    And I'll protect it now.
5'Twas my forefather's hand
6    That placed it near his cot;
7There, woodman, let it stand,
8    Thy axe shall harm it not!
9That old familiar tree,
10    Whose glory and renown
11Are spread o'er land and sea,
12    And wouldst thou hack it down?
13Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
14    Cut not its earth-bound ties;
15Oh, spare that aged oak,
16    Now towering to the skies!
17When but an idle boy
18    I sought its grateful shade;
19In all their gushing joy
20    Here too my sisters play'd.
21My mother kiss'd me here;
22    My father press'd my hand --
23Forgive this foolish tear,
24    But let that old oak stand!
25My heart-strings round thee cling,
26    Close as thy bark, old friend!
27Here shall the wild-bird sing,
28    And still thy branches bend.
29Old tree! the storm still brave!
30    And, woodman, leave the spot;
31While I've a hand to save,
32    Thy axe shall harm it not.
Publication Notes: 
"The Oak," January 17, 1837, issue of the New York Mirror
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
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