Here, sown by the Creator's hand,
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand;
No other clime is honored so.
No other lands their glory know.
The greatest of Earth's living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.
The nations that with them were young,
Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now--their splendor gone;
But these proud monarchs still live on.
So shall they live, when ends our day,
When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years alloted man,
But infinite perennials span.
This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awe-struck soul,
For here we sense life's proper goal:
To be like these, straight, true and fine,
To make our world, like theirs, a shrine,
Sink down, Oh, traveller, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.
- Joseph B. Strauss
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