Poetry from Mary Burford

THE GREAT GREEN TREES

Long lay the shadows
Beneath the greatest trees
Until a woodsman laid them low.
And oh, the years they had felt the sleet,
The bitter cold and the summers’ heat,
Had sheltered fowl, and man, and beast
Until the woodsman’s fatal blow!

Then, the earth reached out
and seemed to cry,
“Cover here, and hide the wounds
of the once great trees
That were sadly doomed.”
The rains fell, and the river flowed.
But oh, the years that it took to grow
The great green trees the axe laid low.

The birds, the wind, then did sow
Tiny seeds of other trees.
The rains fell, and the river flowed.
The sun shone, and the moon glowed.
But oh, the years that it takes to grow
More great trees for an axeman’s blow!

—MARY BURFORD