Who shall sing a simple ditty about the Willow,
Dainty-fine and delicate as any bending spray
That dandles high the dainty bird that flutters there to trill a
Tremulously tender song of greeting to the May.

Bravest, too, of all the trees! — none to match your daring,–
First of greens to greet the Spring and lead in leafy sheen;–
Aye, and you’re the last — almost into winter wearing
Still the leaf of loyalty — still the badge of green.

Ah, my lovely willow! –let the waters lilt your graces,–
They alone with limped kisses lave your leaves above,
Flashing back your silvan beauty, and in shady places
Peering up with glimmering pebbles, like the eyes of love.

Analysis, meaning and summary of James Whitcomb Riley's poem The Willow

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