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[91]

The wood giant.

from Alton Bay to Sandwich Dome,
     From Mad to Saco river,
For patriarchs of the primal wood
     We sought with vain endeavor.

And then we said: “The giants old
     Are lost beyond retrieval;
This pygmy growth the axe has spared
     Is not the wood primeval.

Look where we will o'er vale and hill,
     How idle are our searches
For broad-girthed maples, wide-limbed oaks,
     Centennial pines and birches!

Their tortured limbs the axe and saw
     Have changed to beams and trestles;
They rest in walls, they float on seas,
     They rot in sunken vessels.

This shorn and wasted mountain land
     Of underbrush and boulder,—
Who thinks to see its full-grown tree
     Must live a century older. “

At last to us a woodland path,
     To open sunset leading,
Revealed the Anakim of pines
     Our wildest wish exceeding.

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