Oh! statue of a tree, once dear to me,
My praise, my love for you, still lingers on.
Oh! may I rise in strength…and someday be
Looked up to, just as you…when life has gone.
You struggled upward from the Hoosier sod
Until, at last, you towered over all.
I too…would try to rise…and look to God,
Yet knowing by His will…I too must fall.
You will not heed the fervent kiss of Spring,
Or know the searing pain of lightning thrust;
Nor feel the close embrace of vines that cling,
That yet to you would place their lasting trust.
No more your leaves will turn, and tumble down,
No more to be refreshed by summer rain.
You will not weep, tho’ angry skies may frown,
Nor know the temper of the the storms again.
For time has left you lonely, and forlorn,
No leafy boughs to hide your ugly scars;
No more to hear the birds in early morn,
No more to know the sun, and moon, and stars.
But maybe Nature has a Hall of Fame
That God has built in some far-distant realm;
Where He, on gleaming old, inscribed a name
To honor you, my friend, the stately Elm.