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A poem by Ambrose Bierce


Title:     Arboriculture
Author: Ambrose Bierce [More Titles by Bierce]

[Californians are asking themselves how Joaquin Miller will make the trees grow which he proposes to plant in the form of a Maltese cross on Goat Island, in San Francisco Bay.--_New York Graphic_.]

You may say they won't grow, and say they'll decay--
Say it again till you're sick of the say,
Get up on your ear, blow your blaring bazoo
And hire a hall to proclaim it; and you
May stand on a stump with a lifted hand
As a pine may stand or a redwood stand,
And stick to your story and cheek it through.
But I point with pride to the far divide
Where the Snake from its groves is seen to glide--
To Mariposa's arboreal suit,
And the shaggy shoulders of Shasta Butte,
And the feathered firs of Siskiyou;
And I swear as I sit on my marvelous hair--
I roll my marvelous eyes and swear,
And sneer, and ask where would your forests be
To-day if it hadn't been for me!
Then I rise tip-toe, with a brow of brass,
Like a bully boy with an eye of glass;
I look at my gum sprouts, red and blue,
And I say it loud and I say it low:
"They know their man and you bet they'll grow!"

[The end]
Ambrose Bierce's poem: Arboriculture