Sunday, 24 August 2008


And after...

I feel like a man with blood on my hands. Armed with a Bushman saw and a telescopic loppers I at last faced my sprawling Buddleia tree with murderous intent . I am not a card-carrying member of the Green party but I do love trees and most things that nature throws up from her munificent bounty. This Buddleia however tree was different …each year it spread its cascading arms over a wider circle of my modest suburban garden taking with it a large swathe of light. The more I pruned and trimmed it the bigger and more menacing it became, which brought me to this dark hour in my otherwise tolerant and pacifistic history. After blood ,sweat but no tears ,the leafy edifice at last yielded to my onslaught, my exertions providing much merriment I’m sure for my on looking neighbours! Over three hours I did mortal combat with my garden nemesis cutting down the once majestic tree to a scaled down version resembling a modern sculpture at an art exhibition. By way of recompense I want to include this Victorian poem ,even though I know this will be the most hypocritical blog I’ve included to date. This then is my gesture of appeasement (pathetic,I know) for my act of outrage on a freely living thing. ~GOSh.~




Woodman, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!

In youth it sheltered me,

And I'll protect it now.'

Twas my forefather's hand

That placed it near his cot:

There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not!


That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown

Are spread o'er land and sea,

And wouldst thou hew it down?

Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties;

Oh, spare that aged oak,

Now towering to the skies!


When but an idle boy

I sought its grateful shade;

In all their gushing joy

Here too my sisters played.

My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my hand -

- Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand!


My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!

Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.

Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot:

While I've a hand to save,

Thy axe shall harm it not.

Lesley Nelson-Burns

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