The Lyre Tree [Poem]

Storms of a hundred years have bent your branches,
     Snows of a century have crowned your head,
Over the hills you've watched Spring's soft advances,
     Summer and winter under your boughs have spread
Needles of green and needles of gold that shower
     Over the students passing beneath your shade.
You have been waiting this Centennial hour
     Facing your life of struggle unafraid.
Teach us your steadfastness, your quiet growing,
     Sending your roots deep into the living earth.
Tell us the sacred peace you gain in knowing
     Sunshine and sorrow, solitude and mirth;
Sing us your music, playing with breezy fingers
     Over the strings that winds have torn and swept,
Symbol of song, a century's music lingers
     After the tears our foolish hearts have wept.
Tell us your secret, Lyre Tree above us,
     Watching the children climb the steps to school,
Is it that in your heart you really love us-
     Sinner or saint, scholar or sage or fool?
Symbol of strength, many have come, returning
     Back to the hills our youthful feet have trod,
Thankful in heart for beauty, and friends and learning,
     Grateful to share your hundred years with God.

-- Mary Esther Badley Burgoyne --
Lyre Tree sketch

"Sweet is the music of yonder pine that sings."
Idylls I, Theocritus 310-250 B.C.

"Oh how cruelly sweet are the echoes that start
when memory plays an old tune on the harp."

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Webber Philip McEldowney
Last update: Saturday, 26 February 2011.
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