From squalid soil a shriveled sapling sprang,
Which grew into a convoluted tree,
Whose listless leaves from blackened branches hang,
Its twisted shape compelled the birds to flee.
It gave no shade or succor to the tired,
And bore no fruits or flowers on its limbs.
Abhorrence and disquiet it inspires,
Except in those who offer it a hymn.
For though the tree fell many seasons past,
In falling, it revealed its fortitude,
For fire, disease, and drought did it outlast,
And by its loss, the forest was renewed.
And in the spring, when sunshine melts the snows,
Within its limbs, a silver lily grows.
Happy 54th birthday, Severus Snape!