From My Arm-Chair. by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
'To the children of Cambridge. who presented to me, on my Seventy Second Birthday, February 27th 1879, this chair from the wood of the village Chestnut Tree'.
The tree was cut down due to safety concerns. The children of Cambridge Massachusetts US. raised money to have a chair constructed from it's wood and presented it to Longfellow on his birthday.
From My Arm-Chair.
Am I as a king, that I should call my own this splendid ebon throne?
Or by what reason, or what right divine,
can I proclaim it mine
Only perhaps, by right divine of song
It may to me belong ,
Only because the spreading chestnut tree
Of old was sung by me.
The affluent foliage of its branches made
A cavern of cool shade.
There by the blacksmith's forge beside
It's blossoms white and sweet
Enticed the bees, until it seemed alive,
And murmured like a hive.
And when the winds of Autumn, with a shout
Tossed its great arms about.
The shining chestnuts, bursting from the sheath.
Dropped to the ground beneath.
And now some fragments of its branches bare, Shaped as a stately chair,
Have by my hearthstone found a home at last.
And whisper of the past.
Repel the ocean tide,
But seated in this chair, I can in rhyme
Roll back the tides of Time.
I see again in one vision sees,
The blossom and the bees,
And hear the children's voices shout and call,
And the brown chestnuts fall.
I hear the bellows blow.
And the shrill hammers on the anvil beat The iron white with heat!
And thus dear children have ye made for me
This day a jubilee,
And to my more than three score years and ten
Brought back my youth again.
The hearth has its early memory like the mind,
And in it are enshrined The precious keepsakes, into which are wrought
The giver's loving thought.
Only your love and your remembrance could
Give life to this dead wood, And make these branches, leafless now so long, Blossom again in song.
My sincere thanks to the Fabulous Denise for devising ABCW and also to the Fair-minded Roger for his never Failing efforts in the administration of ABCW.
Thanks also go out to the team of helpers too!
Best wishes to all Di. x