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The Song of the Oak
a poem by G.K.Chesterton

The Song of the Oak
G.K. Chesterton

The Druids waved their golden knives 
And danced around the Oak 
WHen they had sacrificed a man; 
But though the learned search and scan 
No single modern person can 
Entirely see the joke. 
But though they cut the throats of men 
They cut not down the tree, 
And from the blood the saplings spring 
Of oak-woods yet to be. 
But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood, 
He rots the tree as ivy would, 
He clings and crawls as ivy would 
About the sacred tree. 

King Charles he fled from Worcester fight 
And hid him in the Oak; 
In convent schools no man of tact 
Would trace and praise his every act, 
Or argue that he was in fact 
A strict and sainted bloke. 
But not by him the sacred woods 
Have lost their fancies free, 
And though he was extremely big 
He did not break the tree. 
But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood, 
He breaks the tree as ivy would, 
And eats the woods as ivy would 
Between us and the sea. 

Great Collingwood walked down the glade 
And flung the acorns free, 
That oaks might still be in the grove 
As oaken as the beams above, 
When the great Lover sailors love 
Was kissed by Death at aea. 
But though for him the oak-trees fell 
To build the oaken ships, 
The woodman worshipped what he smote 
And honoured even the chips. 
But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood, 
He hates the tree as ivy would, 
As the dragon of the ivy would 
That has us in his grips. 

G. K. Chesterton

The Song of the Oak
a poem by G.K.Chesterton

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