[From Mona's Isle, 1844]


NEAR the old bridge’s arching span,
Where I in innocence began
My life’s mysterious dream,
There stands an aged aspen-tree,
With branches moving gracefully
O’er Corna’s gliding stream;
And may it still by the old mill
For many a season stand,
For it was planted when a twig
By my grandfather’s hand.

My countrymen and brother Manx,
Of all societies and ranks,
From Spanish-head to Air,
I would implore your clemency
Towards my grandsire’s favourite tree,
And for his sake it spare;
That it may still the flaxen mill
Both shelter and adorn,
As it was wont to do of yore,
Long, long ere I was born.

Whoever now beneath its shade
May carry on the old mill’s trade,
I pray him to relax
His pond’rous arm from the old tree,
Which was in youth so dear to me,
And spare it from the axe:
O, let it still o’er the old mill
Its quivering foliage shake,
And if the bard a boon may crave,
O spare it for his sake!


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