I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing, 
All alone stood it, and the moss hung down 
          from the branches, 
Without any companion it grew there, 
          glistening out with joyous leaves of 
          dark green, 
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made 
          me think of myself; 
But I wondered how it could utter joyous 
          leaves, standing alone there without its 
          friend, its lover- -For I knew I could 
And I plucked a twig with a certain number 
          of leaves upon it, and twined around it 
          a little moss, and brought it  away — 
          And I have placed it in sight in my 

It is not needed to remind me as of my 
          friends, (for I believe lately I think of
          little else than of them,) 
Yet it remains to me a curious token - it
             makes me think of manly love,
I write          these  
          pieces and name them after it
For all that, and though the treelive oak 
          glistens there in Louisiana, solitary in a 
          wide flat space, uttering joyous leaves 
          all its life, without a friend, a lover, 
          near - I know very well I could not. 

Return to Revisions