Poetry of Fables, Fairies, and Fauna Fables, Fairies, and Fauna    

Lesson 64: Woodman, Spare That Tree!

by George Pope Morris

Performer: Librivox - Kara Shallenberg


Woodman, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!

In youth it sheltered me,

And I'll protect it now.

'Twas my forefather's hand

That placed it near his cot;

There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy ax shall harm it not.



That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown

Are spread o'er land and sea-

And wouldst thou hew it down?

Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties;

Oh, spare that ag├Ęd oak

Now towering to the skies!



When but an idle boy,

I sought its grateful shade;

In all their gushing joy

Here, too, my sisters played.

My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my hand-

Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand.



My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!

Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.

Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot;

While I've a hand to save,

Thy ax shall harm it not.

    Poetry of Fables, Fairies, and Fauna Fables, Fairies, and Fauna    

Lesson 64: Woodman, Spare That Tree!

by George Pope Morris

Performer: Librivox - Kara Shallenberg

Directions

Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read or listen to the poem.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.

Synopsis

The narrator begs a woodman to save a cherished tree.

Vocabulary

Woodman: A person working in woodland, especially a forester or woodcutter.
Spare: Refrain from killing, injuring, or distressing.
Bough: A main branch of a tree.
Shelter: A place giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger.
Ax: A tool typically used for chopping wood, usually a steel blade attached at a right angle to a wooden handle.
Hew: Chop or cut (something, especially wood) with an ax, pick, or other tool.
Forbear: Refrain from doing or using something.
Oak: A tree that bears acorns as fruit, and typically has lobed deciduous leaves.
Towering: Extremely tall, especially in comparison with the surroundings.

Enrichment

Activity 1: Recite the Title, the Poet's Name, and the Poem

  • Each day this week, recite aloud the title of the poem, the name of the poet, and the poem. Instructors may need to prompt children line-by-line.

Activity 2: Study the Poem's Companion Painting

  • Study the painting below, and describe it in your own words.

Find the following in the companion painting:

  • Older Man
  • Woman
  • Campfire
  • Ax
  • House
  • Baby
  • Cut Tree
  • Young Man
  • City
  • Grave

Activity 3: Narrate the Poem

  • After reading or listening to each verse of the poem, narrate the verse events aloud using your own words.

Activity 4: Color the Poem   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 67 of 'Poetry Coloring Pages for First Grade.'

Review

Question 1

What is the title of the poem?
1 / 4

Answer 1

The title of the poem is 'Woodman, Spare That Tree!.'
1 / 4

Question 2

What happens in the poem?
2 / 4

Answer 2

The narrator implores a woodman to save a cherished tree.
2 / 4

Question 3

Where does the poem take place?
3 / 4

Answer 3

The poem takes place outdoors, probably in a forest.
3 / 4

Question 4

Who are the characters in the poem?
4 / 4

Answer 4

The narrator, the narrator's family, the woodman, and the tree.
4 / 4

  1. What is the title of the poem? The title of the poem is 'Woodman, Spare That Tree!.'
  2. What happens in the poem? The narrator implores a woodman to save a cherished tree.
  3. Where does the poem take place? The poem takes place outdoors, probably in a forest.
  4. Who are the characters in the poem? The narrator, the narrator's family, the woodman, and the tree.