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Poem by Helen Gray Cone


The Gifts of the Oak


'There needs no crown to mark the forest's king.'
Thus, long ago thou sang'st the sound-heart tree
Sacred to sovereign Jove, and dear to thee
Since first, a venturous youth with eyes of spring,-
Whose pilgrim-staff each side put forth a wing,-
Beneath the oak thou lingeredst lovingly
To crave, as largess of his majesty,
Firm-rooted strength, and grace of leaves that sing.

He gave; we thank him! Graciousness as grave,
And power as easeful as his own he gave;
Long broodings rich with sun, and laughters kind;
And singing leaves, whose later bronze is dear
As the first amber of the budding year,-
Whose voices answer the autumnnal wind. 



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