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Salute to the Trees
by [?]


Many a tree is found in the wood
And every tree for its use is good:
Some for the strength of the gnarled root,
Some for the sweetness of flower 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 began
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,
From 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 the nurses of rivers in birth;
Their leaves are alive with the breath of the earth;
They shelter the dwellings 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, faithful tree.”

February, 1920.