Foolish Walter & The Loving Oak

Cold was the evening, 

Chill was the wind,

Dull the foreboding

The forest stumbling in!

Old was the tree

Rotten were the branches

Foul-mossy was the trunk

To Walter the assassin!

Oh, useless, tree!

The farmer muttered bitter

No use for thee!

No expedient curse a-fitter!

Down bowed the oak

The forest dank with smoke

O, man of hate, so wee,

How has brother elder oak,

How have I offended thee?

The rebel sprang up and slashed his sword

The wounded oak, he groaned!

Begone, foul rotten carcass!

Walter roared, as the old tree moaned.

The sagely elder wept 

To witness Walter’s ire

Thee I shall slay, for sure,

Corrupt old dotard,

By iron, blood and fire!

Alas, ah me!

The old oak wept,

How have I grieved thee, brother?

Are we not one and all the child 

Of one tender, loving mother!

I know thee not!

Th’ assassin spat.

O doddering, senile fool!

What boots a tree we cannot climb, 

Or cut, and use for wood?

But I'm alike to thee!

He wept,

Born alike of God’s green earth?

Thy hatred and thy fear, I grieve

I'm ever brought to birth!

Walter cast down his bloody sword,

Eyes blazing to the heavens

If I should ever wound thee more,

Then wound me, aye again,

To seventy times seven!

The mighty shoulders of the tree

They heaved and drew great tears

At length, poor Walter 

Grabbed the trunk, and bled out all his fears

Brother, we are wounded one

By one infernal sword

Many a time I’ve derided thee

With cruel, mocking words…

Nature I fear, O brother dear,

For alike we are brought down

By the cold and vengeful savagery 

Of the cassock and the crown!

The oak then smiled, 

And e’en his wounds, 

Commenced to glisten green

O what a singular miracle

In the forest glade was seen!

Walter’s bleeding arms and thighs 

They finally gushed their last

O magnificent the miracle 

As presently came to pass!

Screaming like a dying swan, 

Walter’s passionate roar did fall

And the wounded branches of the oak 

Embraced him, as though all

The past harsh words and thoughtless deeds

Have never come to be

O marvel! Walter’s ashen limbs

In turn embraced the tree

The gloomy forest brimmed with life

And birdsong trilled anon

Walter and the aged oak

Had now joined hands as one

He seemed to die, it was not so!

Like the Maccabees so bold

Walter and the blessed tree

They've fast become a song of old

And every child who had the boon 

Of a tender, loving mother

Would often ask to hear this story

And but rarely any other

Tell me, mama, why all those bad men

They never found dear Walter?

The mother sighs, and pensive gazes

On her hearth, O blessed altar!

O son, O daughter dear!

She'll murmur

Lovingly discreet

Many a time those naughty princes 

This sacred oak did meet

Many a time a wicked monk,

A publican and a thief

Has searched this sacred forest

But they’ve never found him yet!

But mama, why?

The child pipes up.

Mother doth reply,

The magic Walter tree abides

His blessed brother,

Side by side.

The mother lays her finger 

On her precious, tender lips

She softly sings and the little child

In innocent slumber slips

Brother Walter, and brother Oak

Are everywhere, I deem.

But the only words they ever speak

Are for we blessed ones…

Who alone have eyes to see.

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Images from Pixabay.

https://pixabay.com/en/lone-tree-tree-oak-clouds-1934897/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/oak-tree-tree-huge-old-charleston-2018822/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/sword-blood-background-medieval-1078968/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/bark-tree-oak-old-oak-bast-207252/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/tree-australia-outback-natural-2739804/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/log-tribe-tree-wood-morsch-2656016/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/dry-batch-nature-wood-rotten-tree-3295680/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/mushroom-tree-fungus-rotten-moss-2341765/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/log-tribe-tree-wood-morsch-2778103/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/lightning-bolt-lightning-power-768801/

https://pixabay.com/en/thunderstorm-flashes-night-weather-3441687/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/crown-kings-bavaria-germany-europe-759296/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/green-park-season-nature-outdoor-1072828/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/sky-clouds-sunlight-dark-690293/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/swan-males-water-bird-nature-wing-341327/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/dog-wolf-yelp-moon-tree-night-647528/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/road-forest-season-autumn-fall-1072823/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/bridge-golden-light-mystical-19513/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/forest-sunbeams-trees-sunlight-56930/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/sunlight-forest-way-path-evening-166733/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/autumn-landscape-nature-golden-219972/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/rays-sun-light-fog-forest-sky-3902368/