Poetry of Kansas

My Hickory Tree.

Towering close at my cottage door,
    Tall and royal, and grand to see.
With broad arms reaching the greensward o'er___
    O, a mighty King is my hickory tree!
Changing its guise with the changing scene,
    As the wheels of the year are Onward rolled;
Clad all the summer in deepest green,
    Now resplendent in robes of gold.
Here gather the earliest birds of spring,
    When the earth awakes from its frozen rest-
The tiny bluebird with sapphire wing,
    The robin sweet with its glowing breast,.
When vines are green at the window frame,
    The brown thrush sings and the dove coos low,
And the oriole comes like a flash of dame,
    And hangs its nest from the outmost bow.
On the velvet grass, in the grateful shade,
    The workmen lie as they rest at noon,
Cheered by the bird songs overhead,
    Lulled by the honey bee's drowsy tune.
And here, with friends, on summer eves,
    We sit in the sunset's mellow glow___
Sit till the night winds toss the leaves,
    And moonbeams sift to the sward below.
O happy scenes! But now no more
    We seek the shade; the wind blows cold;
The frost comes creeping about the door;
    The dead flowers rot on the sodden mold.
Splendid yet is my hickory tree,
    As the gorgeous leaves come fluttering down
Like flakes of gold; but soon I shall see
    Only sightless heaps, all sere and brown.
Shook by the winds that go hurrying by,
    Down to the turf the ripe nuts fall;
And the boughs shall soon stretch toward the sky,
    Stripped of their nuts and leaves and all.
When deep drifts lie on the frozen farms,
    The naked giant in scornful glee,
Shall toss in the storm his strong, bare arms___
    O, a mighty King is my hickory tree!

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 89-90

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December 3, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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