THE BROTHERHOOD OF TREES.
Dear brotherhood of trees! With you
Robust and hearty friendship, free from all
The laws of petty gods men travail for.
No wrangle here o’er things of small avail—
No knavery, nor charity betrayed—
But comrade beings—’Stalwart, steadfast, good.
You help the world in the noblest way of all—
By living nobly—showing in your lives
The utmost beauty, the full power and love
That through your wisdom and your long desire
Thrill in your vibrant veins from heart of earth.
Open your arms, O Trees, for us who come
With woodland longings in our pilgrim souls!
The scene was a ravine that had been cloven into the flank of a mighty mountain as if by the stroke of a giant’s axe. For about half a mile this gash ran sharp and narrow; but at the upper end, the resting place of the travelers, it widened into a spacious amphitheatre, dotted with palm trees that rose with clean cylindrical boles sixty to eighty feet before spreading their crowns of drooping leafage against the azure of a cloudless sky—a wonderful touch of Egypt and the East to surroundings typical of the American Far West.
in In Desert Keeping.
The noblest life—the life of
The noblest love—the love of neighbor.
in Wisdom for the Wise.
THE LIVE OAKS AT MENLO PARK.
The road wound for some half mile through a stretch of uncultivated land, dotted with the forms of huge live-oaks. The grass beneath them was burnt gray and was brittle and slippery. The massive trees, some round and compact and so densely leaved that they were impervious to rain as an umbrella, others throwing out long, gnarled arms as if spellbound in some giant throe of pain, cast vast slanting shadows upon the parched ground. Some seemed, like trees in Dore’s drawings, to be endowed with a grotesque, weird humanness of aspect, as though an imprisoned dryad or gnome were struggling to escape, causing the mighty trunk to bow and writhe, and sending tremors of life along each convulsed limb. A mellow hoariness marked them all, due to their own richly subdued coloring and the long garlands of silvery moss that hung from their boughs like an old, rich growth of hair.
in Tomorrow’s Tangle.
No other of our trees, to those who know it in its regions of finest development, makes so strong an appeal to man’s imagination—to his love of color, of joyful bearing, of sense of magic, of surprise and change. He walks the woods in June or July and rustles the mass of gold-brown leaves fresh fallen under foot, or rides for unending weeks across the Mendocino ranges—and always with a sense of fresh interest and stimulation at the varying presence of this tree.