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George Gordon Byron (Джордж Гордон Байрон)

To an Oak at Newstead


Young Oak! when I planted thee deep in the ground,
   ⁠I hoped that thy days would be longer than mine;
That thy dark-waving branches would flourish around,
⁠   And ivy thy trunk with its mantle entwine.


Such, such was my hope, when in Infancy's years,
⁠   On the land of my Fathers I rear'd thee with pride;
They are past, and I water thy stem with my tears,—
⁠   Thy decay, not the weeds that surround thee can hide.


I left thee, my Oak, and, since that fatal hour,
   ⁠A stranger has dwelt in the hall of my Sire;
Till Manhood shall crown me, not mine is the power,
⁠   But his, whose neglect may have bade thee expire.


Oh! hardy thou wert—even now little care
⁠   Might revive thy young head, and thy wounds gently heal:
But thou wert not fated affection to share—
⁠   For who could suppose that a Stranger would feel?


Ah, droop not, my Oak! lift thy head for a while;
⁠   Ere twice round yon Glory this planet shall run,
The hand of thy Master will teach thee to smile,
⁠   When Infancy's years of probation are done.


Oh, live then, my Oak! tow'r aloft from the weeds,
⁠   That clog thy young growth, and assist thy decay,
For still in thy bosom are Life's early seeds,
⁠   And still may thy branches their beauty display.


Oh! yet, if Maturity's years may be thine,
⁠   Though I shall lie low in the cavern of Death,
On thy leaves yet the day-beam of ages may shine,
⁠   Uninjured by Time, or the rude Winter's breath.


For centuries still may thy boughs lightly wave
   ⁠O'er the corse of thy Lord in thy canopy laid;
While the branches thus gratefully shelter his grave,
   ⁠The Chief who survives may recline in thy shade.


And as he, with his boys, shall revisit this spot,
⁠   He will tell them in whispers more softly to tread.
Oh! surely, by these I shall ne'er be forgot;
   ⁠Remembrance still hallows the dust of the dead.


And here, will they say, when in Life's glowing prime,
⁠   Perhaps he has pour'd forth his young simple lay,
And here must he sleep, till the moments of Time
   ⁠Are lost in the hours of Eternity's day. 


George Gordon Byron's other poems:
  1. Churchill’s Grave
  2. On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School
  3. Lines Addressed to a Young Lady
  4. To the Earl of Clare
  5. To a Lady (This Band, which bound thy yellow hair)

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