The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Lonely Garden

I WONDER what the trees will say,

The trees that used to share his play,

An' knew him as the little lad

Who used to wander with his dad.

They've watched him grow from year to year

Since first the good Lord sent him here;

This shag-bark hick'ry, many a time,

The little fellow tried t' climb;

An' never a spring has come but lie

Has called upon his favorite tree.

I wonder what they all will say

When they are told he's marched away.

I wonder what the birds will say,

I'lie swallow an' the chatterin' jay,

The robin an' the kildeer, too.

For every one o' them he knew,

An' every one o' them knew him,

Waited each spring t' tell him all

They'd done and seen since 'way last fall.

He was the first to greet 'em here

An' hoppin' there from limb t' limb,

As they returned from year t' year;

An' now I wonder what they'll say

When they are told he's marched away.

I wonder how the roses there

Will get along without his care,

An' how the one o' them will face

The loneliness about th' place,

For ev'ry spring an' summer he

Has been the chum o' plant an' tree,

An' every livin' thing has known

A comradeship that's finer grown

By havin' him from year t' year.

Now very soon they'll all be here,

An' I'm wonderin' what they'll say

When they find out he's marched away.