The Christmas Pine

Julia Donaldson

Once upon a time I stood
With brothers and sisters in a wood.
The old trees told me I had grown
From a tiny seed inside a cone.
The whispering wind was a friend of mine.
She said that I would grow and shine.

I grew up tall. I grew up high.
I grew until I saw the sky.
Then came the day they cut me down
And carried me off to a distant town.
I travelled far across the sea,
And now I am a Christmas tree.

Here I stand, in a city square.
I stand and shine in the winter air.
The lions keep me company
And Nelson keeps an eye on me,
And people pass and stop awhile.
I love to see them gaze and smile.

But more, yes, more than anything
I love to hear the children sing.
Songs of reindeer, songs of snow,
Reminding me of long ago,
Songs of kings who travelled far,
And songs of light from a distant star.

I cannot stay forever here.
Another tree will come next year,
But think of me when I am gone;
Remember how I grew and shone,
And may the children grow and shine,
Grow and shine like the Christmas pine.

See the poem premiered by three children from St Mary of the Angels Primary School, first broadcast at the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting up ceremony on 3 December 2020, below: