The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Pioneer Apple Trees

By Lora Fleming © 1990

Issue: April, 1990

Marking the spot where a house once stood,
Which hallowed, seems to be,
You can tell the old home-place,
By the old apple tree.

A lonely vigil do they keep,
Guarding remnants of the past;
The aged sentinels stand,
And lonely shadows cast.

Oft there's the remnant of a cellar,
Covered o'er with weeds and briars,
Near where once there stood a dwelling,
Torn down or destroyed by fire.

Then I see modern houses,
With many improvements grand,
With old apple trees still standing -
These pioneers of this land.

Where are the ones who set these trees,
Or those who played in their shade?
Some have wandered far away,
Some in their graves, have been laid.

Please don't replace them with new varieties,
As long as they'll live, let them be,
So passers-by will recognize old homesteads,
by the grace of the old apple tree.