The Sage

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Sequoia, growing grandly
Out of the long ago,
Beloved of Time, whose sons
March by to measures slow,
How tenderly you cherish
All little lives below!

Your mighty column pillars
The blue dome of the sky.
Your foliage plumes with greenness
The clouds that pass on high.
Yet here below slim lilies grow,
And here at peace am I.

How have you won Time over—
That lord of dark renown?
His hand, that withers all things,
Has given your brow a crown.
From your crest forty centuries
Now upon me look down.

Yes, all the lordly ages
Your youth immortal knows,
Yet softly here you fashion
A carpet for the rose,
And smoothly spread a mossy bed
Under my deep repose.

You have defied the lightnings—
They rent and scarred in vain.
Fierce fires have stripped you naked-
You made your peace with pain,
And bloomed again in beauty
To baffle death's disdain.

Where do you win your secret
Of life untroubled, free,
And wise with all the wisdom
Of time's democracy?
What do you hear this many a year?—
Whisper the song to me !

© Harriet Monroe