‘To an Old Tree’ by Annette Wynne

Annette Wynne was an early 20th century American writer of children’s poems. Her debut collection ‘For Days and Days: A Year-Round Treasury of Child Verse’ came out in 1919, followed by ‘Treasure Things’ in 1922. 

The short poem featured in this post is called ‘To an Old Tree’. It’s a lovely ode to the stoic nature of trees who patiently bear everything. I’ve chosen it on the occasion of the International Day of Forests, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, marked annually on 21st March.

Below the poem you’ll find a simple vocabulary exercise for English language learners, along with a few links for additional reading.

The tree must stand, it cannot run;
Whatever comes of snow or sun
It has to bear; it has no fears;
Knowing not regret nor tears
It stands and stretches to the sky
Without a murmur, plaint or sigh—
And this has stood a thousand years,
And seen ten thousand storms go by!


Find the words in the poem with the following meaning:

  • a lament or complaint
  • a quiet, blurred sound
  • to endure
  • a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something that has happened
  • to draw out, extend
  • a slow and long breath out, indicating tiredness, boredom etc.

To check your answers, click here.


For Days and Days: A Year-Round Treasury of Child Verse (the complete book accessible and downloadable in different formats)

International Day of Forests (U.N. resource page)

P. S. The cover image is ‘Old Tree’ painted by the American landscape painter George Inness (1825–1894).

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