Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Vaunting Oak

John Crowe Ransom 1888 (Pulaski) – 1974 (Gambier)

He is a tower unleaning. But how he’ll break
If Heaven assault him with full wind and sleet,
And what uproar tall trees concumbent make!

More than a hundred years and a hundred feet
Naked he rears against cold skies eruptive,
Only his temporal twigs unsure of seat,

And the frail leaves of a season, who are susceptive
To the mad humors of wind, and turn and flee
In panic round the stem on which they are captive.

Now a certain heart, too young and mortally
Yoked with an unbeliever of bantering brood,
Observed, as an eminent witness of life, the tree;

She exulted, wrapped in a phantasy of good:
“Be the great oak for his long winterings
Our symbol of love, better than summer’s brood!”

Then the patient oak, delivered of his pangs,
Put forth profuse his green banners of peace
And testified to her with innumerable tongues.

And what but she fetch me up to the steep place
Where the oak vaunted? A flat where birdsong flew
Had to be traversed, and a quick populace

Of daisies and yellow kinds, and here she knew,
Instructed well by much mortality,
Better than brag in this distraught purlieu.

Above their pied and dusty clumps was he
Standing, sheer on his hill, not much soiled over
By the knobs and broken boughs of an old tree.

She looked and murmured, “Established there, forever!”
But, that her pitiful error be undone,
I knocked upon his house, a sorrowing lover,

And like a funeral came the hollow tone.
“The grand old fellow,” I grieved, “holds gallantly,
But before our joy has lapsed, even, will be gone.”

I beat more sternly, and the dolorous cry
Boomed till its loud reverberance outsounded
The singing of bees; or the coward birds that fly

Otherwhere with their songs when summer is sped,
And if they stayed would perish miserably;
Or the weeping girl remembering her dread.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:37 min read
79 Views

John Crowe Ransom

John Crowe Ransom was an educator, scholar, literary critic, poet, essayist and editor. more…

All John Crowe Ransom poems | John Crowe Ransom Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this John Crowe Ransom poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Vaunting Oak" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/22423/vaunting-oak>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Which author is considered to be Scotland’s national poet?
    • A. Robert Louis Stevenson
    • B. Danny Boyle
    • C. Edwin Morgan
    • D. Robert Burns

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »