Mary Louise Ritter

Wave after wave of greenness rolling down
From mountain top to base, a whispering sea
Of affluent leaves through which the viewless breeze
Murmurs mysteriously.

And towering up amid the lesser throng,
A giant oak, so desolately grand,
Stretches its gray imploring arms to heaven
In agonized demand.

Smitten by lightning from a summer sky,
Or bearing in its heart a slow decay,
What matter, since inexorable fate
Is pitiless to slay.

Ah, wayward soul, hedged in and clothed about,
Doth not thy life's lost hope lift up its head,
And, dwarfing present joys, proclaim aloud, --
"Look on me, I am dead!"

Catskill Mountain House

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