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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Julia C. R. Dorr (1825–1913)

The Apple-Tree

From ‘Poems’

GRACEFUL and lithe and tall,

It stands by the garden wall,

In the flush of its pink-white bloom

Elate with its own perfume,

Tossing its young bright head

In the first glad joy of May,

While its singing leaves sing back

To the bird on the dancing spray.

“I’m alive! I’m abloom!” it cries

To the winds and the laughing skies.

Ho! for the gay young apple-tree

That stands by the garden wall!

Sturdy and broad and tall,

Over the garden wall

It spreads its branches wide—

A bower on either side.

For the bending boughs hang low;

And with shouts and gay turmoil

The children gather like bees

To garner the golden spoil;

While the smiling mother sings,

“Rejoice for the gift it brings!

Ho! for the laden apple-tree

That stands by our garden wall!”

The strong swift years fly past,

Each swifter than the last;

And the tree by the garden wall

Sees joy and grief befall.

Still from the spreading boughs

Some golden apples swing;

But the children come no more

For the autumn harvesting.

The tangled grass lies deep

Where the long path used to creep;

Yet ho! for the brave old apple-tree

That leans over the crumbling wall!

New generations pass,

Like shadows on the grass.

What is there that remains

For all their toil and pains?

A little hollow place

Where once a hearthstone lay;

An empty, silent space

Whence life hath gone away;

Tall brambles where the lilacs grew,

Some fennel, and a clump of rue,

And this one gnarled old apple-tree

Where once was the garden wall!