The Felled Elm and She

When you put on that inmost ring
She, like you, was a little thing:
When your circles reached their fourth,
Scarce she knew life's south from north:
When your year-zones counted twenty
She had fond admirers plenty:
When you'd grown your twenty-second
She and I were lovers reckoned:
When you numbered twenty-three
She went everywhere with me:
When you, at your fortieth line,
Showed decay, she seemed to pine:
When you were quite hollow within
She was felled—mere bone and skin:
You too, lacking strength to grow
Further trunk-rings, were laid low,
Matching her both unaware
That your lives formed such a pair.
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