The Man: How do you live so long, Tree, so much longer than man? The Tree: I've geared my days with the Creator's ways since ever the world began. There is no death when life keeps faith with nature's wonderful plan. Whatever that may be, I'd like my friends to think of me As one who loved a tree. I may not have a statesman's poise Nor thrill a throng with speech But I may benefit mankind If I set out a beech.
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If I transport a sapling oak To rear its mighty head Twill make for them a childhood shrine, That will not soon decay. Of if I plant a tree with fruit, On which the birds may feed, Then I have fostered feathered friends And that's a worthy deed. For winter when the days grow short And spirits may run low I'd plant a pine upon the scape T'would lend a cheery glow. I'd like a tree to mark the spot Where I am laid to rest For that would be the epitaph That I would like the best. Tho it's not carved upon a stone For those who come to see But friends would know that resting there Is he, who loved a tree -- Samuel N.
Baxter My heart is glad, my heart is high With sudden ecstacy! I have given back, before I die, Some thanks for every lovely tree That dead men grew for me. A scion full of potency, He plants his faith, a prophecy Of bloom, and fruitfulness to be; He plans a shade where robins sing, Where orioles their nestlings swing; A burning bush - a miracle! Who plants a tree, - he doeth well! What does he plant who plants a tree?
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A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; - Joyce Kilmer, Trees TREES I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day And lifts her leafy arms to pray, A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair Upon whose blossom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems were made by fools like me But only God can make a tree. Deep in the earth today, Safely the roots we lay, Tree of our love; Grow thou and flourish long!
Every our grateful song Shall its glad notes prolong To God above.
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Let music swell the breeze And ring from all the trees On this glad day, Bless thou each student band O'er all our happy land; Teach them Thy love's command Great God, we pray. Our green leaves catch the raindrops That fall with soothing sound. Then drop them slowly, slowly down, Tis better for the ground. When, rushing down the hillside, A mighty fresher foams, Our giants trunks and spreading roots Defend your happy homes. From burning heat in summer We offer cool retreat, Protect the land in winter storm From cold, and wind and sleet. Our falling leaves in autumn By breezes turned and tossed, Will rake a deep sponge-carpet warm, Which saves the ground from frost.
We give you pulp for paper, Our fuel gives you heat; We furnish lumber for your homes, And nuts and fruit to eat. With strong and graceful outline, With branches green and bare, We fill the land through all the year, With beauty everywhere. So Listen! From the forest Each one a message sends To children this Arbor Day; "We trees are your best friends! He plants the friend of sun and sky; He plants the flag of breezes free; The shaft of beauty, towering high; He plants a home to heaven anigh For song and mother-croon of bird In hushed and happy twilight heard - The treble of heaven's harmony These things he plants who plants a tree.
The mystery of their growth, the movement of their leaves and branches, the way they seemed to die and come again to life in spring, the sudden growth of the plant from the seed - all these appeared to be miracles as indeed they still are, miracles of nature! But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay. Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain.
They click upon themselves As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust- Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed So low for long, they never right themselves: You may see their trunks arching in the woods Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
But I was going to say when Truth broke in With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm Now am I free to be poetical? I should prefer to have some boy bend them As he went out and in to fetch the cows- Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found himself, Summer or winter, and could play alone. One by one he subdued his father's trees By riding them down over and over again Until he took the stiffness out of them, And not one but hung limp, not one was left For him to conquer.
He learned all there was To learn about not launching out too soon And so not carrying the tree away Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise To the top branches, climbing carefully With the same pains you use to fill a cup Up to the brim, and even above the brim. Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish, Kicking his way down through the air to the ground. So was I once myself a swinger of birches. And so I dream of going back to be. It's when I'm weary of considerations, And life is too much like a pathless wood Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs Broken across it, and one eye is weeping From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return.
Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it's likely to go better. I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
In Search of the Northern Flying Squirrel
Through the years, the darting, chattering, pandering squirrels have been a happy diversion for students, staff and faculty. The U-M squirrel has been romanticized, serenaded, protected and parodied. It has its own campus club, which is more than any dog or cat can claim. One would think there was little teaching or research taking place, but only plenty of weighty pondering of the ubiquitous rodent.
Witness Frank E. Robbins, editor of the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review , writing in The sorority girls of Delta Delta Delta loved the squirrels of , or rather knew that the squirrels loved them. They eat our cigarettes. They chew our curtains. They bum our crackers. Before the Diag, the block M and the maize and blue, Michigan had its squirrels.
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They are simply part of the U-M experience. In the early days, as the University worked to establish its hold in science and research, squirrels were for study and exhibition. But first they had to be caught. Small mammals may be preserved by throwing them as caught into alcohol. In , Winchell reported that J. Coleman, a taxidermist in the natural history museum, presented the University with the gifts of a fox squirrel and a gray squirrel. They were built into an exhibit that also featured a mounted black bear and a lynx; the squirrels, stuffed and silent, tottered overhead in tree branches.
Skin him, etc. Parboil in a little water in a kettle, add salt, pepper, and enough butter to fry it brown. Then eat. If the animal is tough parboil a little more till he is tender. Delivering a campus health lecture in , speaker Anna Scryver painted an ominous scenario.
Ground squirrels were running amok in California and carrying fleas, which in turn carried disease. The editors at the Detroit Free Press could only roll their eyes — and sharpen their pencils. Scryver seems to be a good deal in the position of the bachelor lady who wept for fear that if she married and had a son he might be drowned. There is no evidence of bubonic plaque in Michigan, and fretting about fleas on California squirrels bringing disease halfway across the country was currying unnecessary alarm and absurdity.
The poet Robert Frost had barely settled in as a visiting faculty member in when a conversation about campus squirrels turned into a local kerfuffle about nature, death and God.
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Then comes a scourge and they die off. He then suggested that famine, disease and war have a similar impact when the human population grows too large. A local paper was indignant. But there will still be those who believe it is the ignorance of man rather than the goodness of God that brings these scourges upon us. The campus squirrel has received no more noble treatment than in a Michigan Union Opera staged in When I am up against it hard And dictionaries fail I seek the squirrels in the trees —And thereby hangs a tale. Chirp, chirp-chirp, chirp Hear the song the squirrels sing Chirp, chirp-chirp, chirp Can that song mean anything?
Come now, Mr. The profs who teach the sciences Are bearded like the pard From whiskers measured with a lens To whiskers by the yard. Why should a meek psychologist Appear as Captain Kidd?