TREES OF THE FRAGRANT FOREST
Trees of the fragrant forest,
With leaves of green unfurled,
Through summer's heat, through winter's cold,
What do you do for our world?
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!"
What does he plant who plants a tree?
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.
- Henry Cuyler Bunner, The Heart of the Tree