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The Pine

Let others have the maple trees,
With all their garnered sweets.
Let others choose the mysteries
Of leafy oak retreats,
I'll give to other men the fruit
Of cherry and the vine.
Their claims to all I'll not dispute
If I can have the pine.
I love it for its tapering grace,
Its uplift strong and true.
I love it for its fairy lace
It throws against the blue.
I love it for its quiet strength,
Its hints of dreamy rest
As, stretching forth my weary length,
I lie here as its guest.
No Persian rug for priceless fee
Was e'er so richly made
As that the pine has spread for me
To woo me to its shade.
No kindly friend hath ever kept
More faithful vigil by
A tired comrade as he slept
Beneath his watchful eye.
But best of all I love it for
Its soft eternal green;
Through all the winter winds that roar
It ever blooms serene.
And strengthens souls oppressed by fears,
By troubles multiform,
To turn, amid the stress of tears,
A smiling face to storm.
John Kendrick Bangs


Source: Maine My State, The Maine Writers Research Club, The Journal Print Shop, Lewiston, Maine, 1919

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