Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
The City Elms
By Eliza Lanesford Cushing (17947–1886)
 
    OLD trees, I love your shade,
Though not on banks with wild flowers all bedight
Falls through your trembling boughs the chequered light,
    As in some forest glade
    Where woos the murmuring bee.        5
 
    Yet, ye to me do bring
Thoughts of the breezy hill, the free green wood,
The gushing stream that over fragments rude
    Its silvery foam doth fling,
    In wild fantastic play.        10
 
    There ’s music in the sound,
    O verdant elms! of your green whispering leaves.
Music my spirit loves, and yet it grieves
    That ye should here be found,
    Soiled with the city’s dust.        15
 
    Here, amid pent-up streets,
Where never the glad tones of Nature’s voice
Steal in to soothe the harsh discordant noise,
    The wearied ear that greets
    With ceaseless jar and din.        20
 
    Here, rude hands have marred
Your stately forms and uncouth objects piled
Around your trunks, where should have gaily smiled
    Banks with the primrose starred,
    Or bright anemone.        25
 
    Yet, yet to me ye are
A joy and a delight for ever new,
Lovely to sense and thought is your soft hue,
    Or e’en your branches bare
    When Winter rules the year.        30
 
 
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