“Trees” by John Neal

by Ann Neilson

Trees
John Neal
From The Poets and Poetry of America, ed. Rufus W. Griswold, pg. 156

The heave, the wave and bend
Of everlasting trees, whose busy leaves
Rustle their songs of praise, while Ruin weaves
A robe of verdure for their yielding bark—
While mossy garlands, full and rich and dark,
Creep slowly round them! Monarchs of the wood,
Whose mighty sceptres away the mountain brood—
Whose aged bosoms, in their last decay,
Shelter the wing’d idolaters of Day—
Who, mid the desert wild, sublimely stand,
And grapple with the storm-god, hand to hand,
Then drop like weary pyraminds away,
Stupendous monuments of calm decay!