Our Family Tree by Mary Bishop Bullard

The following poem was penned in 1937 by long-time GFA Secretary-Treasurer Mary Bishop Bullard and printed in the June 1946 GFA Bulletin:

Steadfast and strong it stands, its deepening roots,

Struck firmly in the soil, are centuries old—

Nourished by the loyalty of those whose names we bear,

By sacrifice and toil unsung, untold.

Proudly it rears its head toward the sun;

Defies the tempest, scorns the deadly blast

Of discontent, of doubts and heresies,

Its foundation firm within an honored past.

Beneath its branches little children play,

Or age, aweary, lies down to restful sleep,

Secure because its branches spread aloft,

Secure because its roots are strong and deep.

The tree is yours and mine— its roots, our fathers;

In trunk and every separate branch, we see

Our kinsmen, those of our own race and blood;

The leaves that tip the branches are you and me.

It can not fall, can never break nor bend,

This tree that’s generations old, this tree

That must live on, must never fade nor die,

That by our lives must grown and nourished be.

For as the forest tree is nourished by

The fall of its own leaves in autumn time,

Thus to its roots returning that which it gave,

Enriched by rains that come and suns that shine;

So shall we, too, fulfill our family’s destiny,

And by our growth in character, talents, powers,

One day, returning to our source, enrich

By much or little, this family tree of ours.

—Mary Bishop Bullard