A Dumb Friend

I planted a young tree when I was young;
But now the tree is grown and I am old:
There wintry robin shelters from the cold
And tunes his silver tongue.

A green and living tree I planted it,
A glossy-foliaged tree of evergreen:
All thro' the noontide heat it spread a screen
Whereunder I might sit.

But now I only watch it where it towers:
I, sitting at my window, watch it tossed
By rattling gale, or silvered by the frost;
Or, when sweet summer flowers,

Wagging its round green head with stately grace
In tender winds that kiss it and go by:
It shows a green full age; and what show I?
A faded wrinkled face.

So often have I watched it, till mine eyes
Have filled with tears and I have ceased to see;
That now it seems a very friend to me
In all my secrets wise.

A faithful pleasant friend, who year by year
Grew with my growth and strengthened with my strength,
But whose green lifetime shows a longer length:
When I shall not sit here

It still will bud in spring, and shed rare leaves
In autumn, and in summer heat give shade,
And warmth in winter; when my bed is made
In shade the cypress weaves.
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