Treasure Island

Edna St. Vincent Millay

(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950 / Rockland / Maine / United States)

The Leaf And The Tree


When will you learn, myself, to be
a dying leaf on a living tree?
Budding, swelling, growing strong,
Wearing green, but not for long,
Drawing sustenance from air,
That other leaves, and you not there,
May bud, and at the autumn's call
Wearing russet, ready to fall?
Has not this trunk a deed to do
Unguessed by small and tremulous you?
Shall not these branches in the end
To wisdom and the truth ascend?
And the great lightning plunging by
Look sidewise with a golden eye
To glimpse a tree so tall and proud
It sheds its leaves upon a cloud?

Here, I think, is the heart's grief:
The tree, no mightier than the leaf,
Makes firm its root and spreads it crown
And stands; but in the end comes down.
That airy top no boy could climb

Is trodden in a little time
By cattle on their way to drink.
The fluttering thoughts a leaf can think,
That hears the wind and waits its turn,
Have taught it all a tree can learn.
Time can make soft that iron wood.
The tallest trunk that ever stood,
In time, without a dream to keep,
Crawls in beside the root to sleep.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: tree, autumn, grief, truth, green, sleep, dream, time, wind

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Leaf And The Tree by Edna St. Vincent Millay )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Sir Walter Raleigh

EVEN such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
   Who in the dark and silent grave,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. Hunger, Jayanta Mahapatra
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. The Conclusion, Sir Walter Raleigh
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]