Deep in the shade of the wild woods free,
There standeth alone an old oak tree;
And ever at night, ‘mong its branches dead,
The cold wind mourneth its glories fled,
And the nightingale singeth her saddest tune,
To think that its strength should have died so soon;
And the old oak droopeth its branches hoar,
And maketh a moan for the days of yore.
Alas! alas! for that old oak tree,
And alas! O maiden, alas for thee!
Thy loved one sleeps in his quiet bed,
And thy grief, though pure, cannot wake the dead.
Vainly, alas, shall the spring time bloom
For the withered branch or the narrow tomb;
Weep then, O maid, like the oak tree hoar,
The love and the hope of the days of yore.
O! nothing endureth here below,
The smile of joy, or the tear of woe;
And love cannot bloom in this world for aye–
Like the autumn leaf it must fade away.
O oak tree sear! O maiden pale!
Remembrance borrows the night bird’s wail,
I hear her voice in the wild wood hoar,
Making a moan for the days of yore.