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BALLAD OF AN OLD PINE.

Oh for the old days, when along
  My boughs a lively color sped,
While spring-time birds returned with song—
                Blue birds and red.

Bright are the blossom-tinted hills
  In violet and cerulean lights;
Into the vale a luster spills
                From fervent heights.

Marvels of crystal from the sky
  Have plashed on greening fields and broke
To daisies, and from out them fly
                A fairy folk—

Pale butterflies of gold that seem
  At revel on the lilting wing
To music fancied in the dream
                Of waking spring.

Ho, stripling, tasseled out in green
  And bending in your gallant pride
To budding beauties all in sheen
                On yonder side,

You yet shall stand gray and alone,
  Hushed all your rapturous vernal lays.
0 nature, nature, heart of stone,
                Give back my days—

Give back my glory and life’s charms;
  Give back the majesty of form;
Give back the strength of lusty arms
                To play with storm.

Vain, vain my cry. Then be it so.
  I yield—(but oh, the sweet spring’s breath!)
Come quickly—strike and lay me low,
                Triumphant Death.
John Henry Boner [1845-1903]