Goodbye To The Cottonwood
On the cottonwood tree rests the shadow of doom,
The useless old tree with its feathery bloom
Blowing widely adrift like the scattering snow.
Falling mutely in heaps, wind-swept to and fro,
The hardy old tree,
The pioneer tree,
Through years that are gone
It waited a hand
To conquer the land,
And its people in triumph lead on, ever on.
When the tender young elm and the maple tree gay,
When the poplar and oak withered down in dismay
At the hot brazen heavens of sweltering June,
And the breath of July like the desert simoon,
Then alkali soil,
Then dry barren soil,
It felt the firm grasp
Of roots that were strong
Seeking waters among
The low hidden deeps that the cool fountains clasp.
On the young settler's "homestead" first planted with grain
From the hard skies it courted the life-giving rain.
O'erthe first little dugout its soft shadows crept,
To its murmuring music the wee babies slept,
And there to its shade,
Its sheltering shade,
Fond lovers would come,
In strange prairie lands
It reached out warm hands
To the hearts that were aching and longing for home.
'Gainst the drouth, and the cyclone, the plague and
The old cottonwood tree planted firmly its feet.
But at last it must bow. Are my eyes getting dim?
'Tis but sentiment surely, a woman's soft whim
That would keep to the last
This old tree of the past,
As the memories we keep
Of the men who stood firm
In the early day storm,
The strong "builders of empire" whose labors we reap.
__Margaret Hill McCarter