The Party Tree

Tall and strong out in the field,
Sheltering from rain,
Providing summer shade;
Chosen as the centerpiece for the party of a century.
Under a bright tent, hung with lamps,
You were the oldest witness there
To a hobbit folktale in the making.
Mad Baggins disappeared under your branches
With a flash and a bang.
But did not reappear with gold and jewels-
No, he never stood under you again...
What a grand party it was indeed, that gave you a name:
The Party Tree.
You became a symbol of all happiness,
Living proof of an outstanding day in history,
To those who were there and saw that glory.

The thought of you peacefully spreading your branches,
Carefully plowed around,
Your top filled with leaves and children climbing,
Solidly and deeply rooted in good Shire soil:
A memory and a thought to cling to for those far from home.
What a comfort you provided to the wanderers!
Thus the agony and heartbreak when you were found
Lopped and dead,
In the ruin of the Shire.
"They've cut down the Party Tree!"
A cry wrung out of the heart and voice
Of one who was sung of in tales for his courage,
Eyes that had faced down great evil unflinching now
Burst into tears,
At the death of the Party Tree.

With a new Age dawning, a new King on the throne -
It was fitting that the Tree should live again also,
That the memories of peace should be restored.
A gift of new life was given into humble hands,
Planted and tended with greatest care.
Feeling that love, it sought to grow to match it.
The Mallorn sprang up tall and stately in its place,
In grace and beauty incomparable.
Hobbit-children again found shade in the summer field,
Picnics of strawberries and plums.
The new Party Tree -
Somehow both fresh and aged -
With the blessing of the Lady upon it.
Sometimes it rustled when there was no wind -
As those who remember older times,
Will smile, or sigh,
When there's no one there to see it.

- Primula