Poetry and Fine Art Friday: Underneath an Apple Tree

Apple Tree by Z-baby

Apple Blossoms by Will Carleton

Underneath an apple-tree
Sat a maiden and her lover;
And the thoughts within her he
Yearned, in silence, to discover.
Round them danced the sunbeams bright,
Green the grass-lawn stretched before them
While the apple blossoms white
Hung in rich profusion o’er them.

Naught within her eyes he read.
That would tell her mind unto him;
Though their light, he after said,
Quivered swiftly through and through him;
Till at last his heart burst free
From the prayer with which ’twas laden,
And he said, “When wilt thou be,
Mine forevermore, fair maiden?”

“When,” said she, “the breeze of May
With white flakes our heads shall cover,
I will be thy brideling gay—
Thou shalt be my husband-lover.”
“How,” said he, in sorrow bowed,
“Can I hope such hopeful weather?
Breeze of May and Winter’s cloud
Do not often fly together.”

Quickly as the words he said
From the west a wind came sighing,
And on each uncovered head
Sent the apple-blossoms flying;
“Flakes of white! Thou’rt mine,” said he,
“Sooner than thy wish or knowing.”
“Nay, I heard the breeze,” quoth she,
“When in yonder forest blowing.”

Will Carleton was a popular poet in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He was known as the first poet laureate of Michigan, and in 1919, according to WIkipedia, the Michigan legislature passed a law that said that Michigan teachers had to teach at least one of Mr. Carleton’s poems in school. (Do they still teach the poetry of Will Carleton in Michigan?)

The artwork, which doesn’t exactly mirror the poem, is nevertheless a product of that fine artist, Z-Baby, whose painting should be, and probably will be, world renowned. She’s the Artist Laureate of the Semicolon Household.

5 thoughts on “Poetry and Fine Art Friday: Underneath an Apple Tree

  1. What a sweet picture. Thank you for introducing me to a new poet.

  2. I was educated in Michigan and I don’t recall ever seeing or reading a Will Carleton poem.

    However, I was sick for a while in sixth grade. Maybe it was covered then. Probably, right?


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