Monday, January 13, 2014


Giants Slain

Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830-1886), "The Axe and Pine," Poems (Boston: D. Lothrop and Company, 1882), p. 264:
All day, on bole and limb the axes ring,
And every stroke upon my startled brain
Falls with the power of sympathetic pain;
I shrink to view each glorious forest-king
Descend to earth, a wan, discrownèd thing.
Ah, Heaven! beside these foliaged giants slain,
How small the human dwarfs, whose lust for gain
Hath edged their brutal steel to smite and sting!
Hark! to those long-drawn murmurings, strange and drear!
The wail of Dryads in their last distress;
O'er ruined haunts and ravished loveliness
Still tower those brawny arms; tones coarsely loud
Rise still beyond the greenery's waning cloud,
While falls the insatiate steel, sharp, cold and sheer!


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