This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
COME, let us plant the apple-tree! Cleave the tough greensward with the spade; Wide let its hollow bed be made; There gently lay the roots, and there Sift the dark mold with kindly care,
And press it o'er them tenderly, As round the sleeping infant's feet, We softly fold the cradle sheet; So plant we the apple-tree.
What plant we in this apple-tree?
Buds, which the breath of summer days
Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;
Boughs, where the thrush, with crimson breast,
Shall haunt, and sing, and hide her nest;
We plant, upon the sunny lea, A shadow for the noontide hour, A shelter from the summer shower,
When we plant the apple-tree.
What plant we in this apple-tree? Sweets for a hundred flowery springs, To load the May-wind's restless wings, When, from the orchard-row, he pours Its fragrance through our open doors;
A world of blossoms for the bee, Flowers for the sick girl's silent room. For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple-tree.
While children, wild with noisy glee, Shall scent their fragrance as they pass, And search for them the tufted grass
At the foot of the apple-tree.
And when, above this apple-tree, The winter stars are quivering bright,
And winds go howling through the night, Girls, whose eyes o'erflow with mirth,
Shall peel its fruit by cottage hearth,
And guests in prouder homes shall see, Heaped with the orange and the grape, As fair as they in tint and shape, The fruit of the apple-tree.
The fruitage of this apple-tree Winds, and our flag of stripe and star, Shall bear to coasts that lie afar, Where men shall wonder at the view, And ask in what fair groves they grew;
And they who roam beyond the sea Shall think of childhood's careless day, And long hours passed in summer play,
In the shade of the apple-tree.
Each year shall give the apple-tree
A broader flush of roseate bloom,
And loosen, when the frost-clouds lower,
The crisp brown leaves in thicker shower;
The years shall come and pass, but we Shall hear no longer, where we lie, The summer's song, the autumn's sigh,
In the boughs of the apple-tree.
What shall the tasks of mercy be. Amid the toils, the strifes, the tears, Of those who live when length of years
Is wasting this apple-tree?
"Who planted this old apple-tree?" The children of that distant day Thus to some aged man shall say; And, gazing on its mossy stem, The grey-haired man shall answer them:
"A poet of the land was he, Born in the rude, but good old times; Tis said he made some quaint old rhymes,
On planting the apple-tree. "
"the old oaken bucket, The iron-bound bucket." 541