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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > Oh Cedar Tree

Oh Cedar Tree

By Rob Morris

Droops thy bough, Oh Cedar tree,
Like yon dear, yon aged form,
Droops thy bough in sympathy,
For the wreck of life's sad storm?
Sad, indeed, his weary age,
Lonely, now, his princely home,
And the thoughts his soul engage,
Are of winter and the tomb!
'Twas for this, Oh Cedar tree,
Verdant midst the wintry strife,
'Twas for this he planted thee,
Type of an immortal life,
That when round his grave in tears
Brothers in their Art combine,
From the store thy foliage bears
Each may cast a portion in!
Lo! he comes, Oh Cedar tree,
Slowly o'er the frosted plain
Pauses here the signs to see,
Graven with a mystic pen
How does each some hope express!
Lighter gleams the wintry sky,
Lighter on his furrowed face
Smiling at the mystery!
Soon to rest, Oh Cedar tree,
Soon the veteran shall be borne,
There to sleep, and patiently
Wait the resurrection morn.
Thou shalt perish from the earth
He in sacred youth revive,
Glorious in a better birth,
Truths like these the emblems give.

Commentary

In the lawn that graces an aged Mason's residence stands a Cedar tree, planted in 1836, for Masonic purposes. Still (in 1853) the withered hand that placed it there to furnish sprigs of ever-green for burial use was strong enough to do the Master's Work at each Lodge meeting. and still at an age passing the Psalmist's utmost computation, he who planted it waited patiently for the day when its limbs should be bared of their foliage to bestrew his coffin.
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