To the Hawthorn-Tree

Hawthorn fair, whose burgeoning
Blossoms spring
Where these banks wind beauteously,
Down along thine arms there clings,
Waves, and swings,
Trailing wild-vine drapery.

Rival camps of scurrying ants
Have their haunts
Fortified, at thy roots' head.
In thy hollow-eaten bole's
Countless holes
Tiny bees find board and bed.

Nightingale the chorister
Dwelleth here
Where in flush of youth he made
Love, and still each year again
Shall obtain
Solace in thy leafy shade.

In thy top he hath his nest
Built, and dressed—
Woven of wool, with silks made gay;
Whence his young so soon as hatched,
Must be snatched,
For my hands a gentle prey.

Live, then, dainty hawthorn fair,
Live fore'er,
Live secure from every foe!
May nor axe nor lightning harm;
Wind, nor storm,
E'er avail to lay thee low.
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