Thursday, 23 April 2009

Salute the Trees

Many a tree is found in the wood,
and every tree for its use is good;
some for the strength of the gnarled foot,
some for the sweetness of flowers or fruit;
some for shelter against the storm,
and some to keep the hearth-stone warm;
some for the roof and some for the beam,
and some for a boat to breast the stream; -
In the wealth of the wood since the world begun
the trees have offered their gifts to man,

But the glory of trees is more than their gifts:
"Tis a beautiful wonder of life that lifts,
fom a wrinkled seed in an earth-bound clod,
a column, an arch in the temple of God,
a pillar of power, a dome of delight,
a shrine of song, and a joy of sight !
Their roots are nurses of rivers in birth;
their leaves are alive with the breath of the earth;
they shelter the dwelling of man; and they bend
o'er his grave with the look of a loving friend.

I have camped in the whispering forest of pines,
I have slept in the shadow of olives and vines;
In the knees of an oak, at the foot of a palm
I have found good rest and slumber's balm.
And now, when the morning gilds the boughs
of the vaulted elm at the door of my house,
I open the window and make salute:
"God bless thy branches and feed thy root !
Thou hast lived before, live after me,
Thou ancient, friendly, faithfull tree."

Henry van Dyee

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