The Noble Old Elm by James Whitcomb Riley

O big old tree, so tall an’ fine,
Where all us childern swings an’ plays,
Though neighbers says you’re on the line
Between Pa’s house an’ Mr. Gray’s,–
Us childern used to almost fuss,
Old Tree, about you when we ‘d play.–
We’d argy you belonged to us,
An’ them Gray-kids the other way!

Till Elsie, one time she wuz here
An’ playin’ wiv us–Don’t you mind,
Old Mister Tree?–an’ purty near
She scolded us the hardest kind
Fer quar’llin’ ’bout you thataway,
An’ say she’ll find–ef we’ll keep still–
Whose tree you air fer shore, she say,
An’ settle it fer good, she will!

So all keep still: An’ nen she gone
An’ pat the Old Tree, an’ says she,–
“Whose air you, Tree?” an’ nen let on
Like she’s a-list’nin’ to the Tree,–
An’ nen she say, “It’s settled,–’cause
The Old Tree says he’s all our tree–
His trunk belongs to bofe your Pas,
But shade belongs to you an’ me.”

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