Where its shade was, the oak itself now sprawls,
lifeless, no longer vying with the wind.
The people say: I see now—it was tall!
The little nests of springtime now depend
from limbs that used to rise to a safer height.
People say: I see now—it was a friend!
Everyone praises, everyone cuts. Twilight
comes and they haul their heavy loads away.
Then, on the air, a cry—a blackcap in flight,
seeking a nest it will not find today.