Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant

THE TREE.

I LOVE thee when thy swelling buds appear,
And one by one their tender leaves unfold,
As if they knew that warmer suns were near,
Nor longer sought to hide from winter's cold;
And when with darker growth thy leaves are seen
To veil from view the early robin's nest,
I love to lie beneath thy waving screen
With limbs by summer's heat and toil oppress'd;
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And when the autumn winds have stripp'd thee bare,
And round thee lies the smooth untrodden snow,
When naught is thine that made thee once so fair,
I love to watch thy shadowy form below,
And through thy leafless arms to look above
On stars that brighter beam when most we need their love.