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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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