The Tree On The Hill By The Sea

The Tree On The Hill By The Sea ballad

Uploaded by Bill Peeler


He hiked up the path etched in the grass
To the hilltop that looked over the sea
Pinched the earth to test its girth
Then stretched out under the tree
Standing fast where it grew
Firmly rooted and true
Far longer than anyone knew
He was soon fast asleep
And dreamt as he slept
Of the lighthouse that stood on the hill
Where the light keeper kept
And dreamt as he slept
Of the tall-masted ship on the swell
And the sailor who dreamt
On the ship as he slept
Riding the winds that flew
Over the main and the white-capped waves
The wide sky above clear and blue
And he dreamt of the hill
Where the lighthouse stood vigil
Of the waves that came rushing in
Breaking and foaming
And washing ashore
And of seabirds sped by the wind
And still the tree stood
Firmly rooted and good
By the sea sculpted edge where it grew
In the sun and the wind
And the surf’s frothy din
Far longer than anyone knew
For once long ago
A sea bird once hovered
Over the crest of that hill
And dropped from its mouth
A seed from the south
And there it took root and grew
Gripping the earth for all it was worth
While its branches reached into the blue
Till it stood strong and sturdy
And proved itself worthy
Far longer than anyone knew
And the dreams of the three
Were safe with the tree
The hiker, the keeper, the sailor at sea
As they dreamt of the world
That spun like a pearl
Amongst the bright stars widely strewn
For the old tree stood sentry
At reality’s entry
Far longer than anyone knew

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Bill Peeler

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My wife, Noy and I are Protestant missionaries in Cambodia. We met in a border refugee camp in Thailand back in 1979 while I was a refugee relief worker. She was a refugee. I lived and worked in Mairut Refugee Camp for three years. We have three grown kids. I was drafted into the Army in 1969, served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and honorably discharged at the end of my military obligation. Writing prose and poetry is how I document the life I'm living and how I map out the mental landscape inside my head.
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