in Memory of my ol' buddy, Wayne Gladney!
THE WHITE MAGNOLIA TREE
Solo 1: The year when I was twenty-one
(John that year was twenty-tree)
That was the year, that was the spring,
We planted the white magnolia tree.
Solo 2: “The tree,”
All: said John,
Solo 2: “shall grow with us,
And every year it will bloom anew.
This is our life. This is our love.”
Solo 1: And the white magnolia grew and grew.
All: Oh, Youth’s a thing of fire and ice
And currents that run
Hot and white
And its world is as bright
As the sun….
Solo 1: I was twenty-one…..
And I wore a plume in my hat
And we went to the movies and wept
Over Stella Dallas, and John sang
“Moonlight and Roses” (a little off key
but very nicely, really)
And we hurried through our crowded days with
beautiful plans, boundless ambitions,
and golden decisions.
There is so much the young heart clamors for;
This it must have and that it cannot live without,
All: And it must be all or nothing, for aren’t we
The masters of Creation?
Solo 1: Oh, valiant and untamed were we,
When we planted the white magnolia tree.
All: And the white magnolia grew and grew
Holding their love within its core,
And every year it bloomed anew
Solo 1: And we were twenty-one no more.
No more untamed, no more so free,
Nor so young, nor so wild and aflame were we.
Solo 1: Dearer to us then grew other things:
All: easy sleep, books, a day’s quiet
holiday, good talk beside a fire,
The beauty of old faces…..
Solo 1: We have known many things since then:
The death of a child and the bitter lesson
That a heart which breaks must mend itself again
All: (that it can and must be done)
Solo 1: And what loyalty can mean, and how real a word like
courage can become, and that solitude can be rich
and gratifying and quite different from loneliness
There is so little the serious heart requires;
All: Friends, faith, a window open to the world,
Pride in work well done, and strength to live in a
world at war, and still maintain the heart’s
own private peace….
Solo 1: Dear heaven, I give thanks to thee
For the things I did not know before,
All: For the wisdom of maturity, for bread, and a roof
and for one thing more…..
Solo 1: Thanks because I still can see
The bloom on the white magnolia tree!