Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Woodman, Spare That Tree

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Middle States: Bloomingdale, N. Y.

Woodman, Spare That Tree

By George Pope Morris (1802–1864)

WOODMAN, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!

In youth it sheltered me,

And I ’ll protect it now.

’T was my forefather’s hand

That placed it near his cot;

There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not!

That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown

Are spread o’er land and sea,

And wouldst thou hew it down?

Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties;

Oh, spare that aged oak,

Now towering to the skies!

When but an idle boy

I sought its grateful shade;

In all their gushing joy

Here too my sisters played.

My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my hand—

Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand!

My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!

Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend,

Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot;

While I ’ve a hand to save,

Thy axe shall hurt it not.