Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1308. Yosemite
From “The Washington Sequoia”
By Milicent Washburn Shinn
SOUL of a tree ungrown, new life out of God’s life proceeding,
Folded close in the seed, waking—O wonder of wonders—
Waking with power as a spirit to clothe thee in leaves and in branches,
    What, in thine age-long future, is the word thou art set here to say?
Far in the great Sierra dwell the mighty groups of thy kindred;        5
Aisles of the sounding pines; and colonnades dusky and fragrant,
Pillared with ridgy shafts of tall and wonderful cedar,
    Lead to their presence; and round them forever the mountains stand.
Deep in that inner temple listens the fortunate pilgrim,
Low where the red lilies tremble he lies while the still hours pass by him,        10
Baring his brows to the silence, the dear and intimate greatness,
    The touch of the friendly air, like a quiet and infinite hand.
Far, far up from the earth, in the lower spaces of heaven,
Shadowy green on the blue, rests the moving lace of the branches,
Holding the faint winds captive, dropping but lightest of murmurs,        15
    Spirits of far-away sound, to the windless reaches below.
Deep in that inner temple listens the fortunate pilgrim;
Infinite things they say to him, the mighty groups of thy kindred,—
Life beyond life, and soul within soul, and God around all as an ocean,—
    Whispers his heart dimly guesses, secrets he never may know.        20


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