The Future of Forestry
by C. S. Lewis
How will the legend of the age of trees
feel when the last tree falls in England?
When the concrete spreads and the town conquers
the country's heart: when contraceptive
tarmac's laid where farm has faded,
tramline flows where slept a hamlet,
and shop-fronts, blazing without a stop from
Dover to Wrath, have glazed us over?
Simplest tales will then bewilder
the questioning children, "What was a chestnut?
Say what it means to climb a Beanstalk.
Tell me, grandfather, what an elm is.
What was Autumn? They never taught us."
Then, told by teachers how once from mould
came growing creatures of lower nature
able to live and die, though neither
beast nor man, and around them wreathing
excellent clothing, breathing sunlight-
half understanding, their ill-acquainted
fancy will tint their wonder-paintings,
trees as men walking, wood-romances
of goblins staalking in silky green,
of milk-sheen froth upon the face of hawthorn's
collar, pallor in the face of a birchgirl.
So shall a homeless time, though dimly,
catch from afar (for soul is watchful)
a sight of tree-delighted Eden.
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