THE WOODS. 21
feel the mystic charm and moving beauty that inspire his muse :
" Far eastward and westward the sun-colored lands
Smile warm as the light on them smiles ;
And statelier than temples upbuilded by hands,
Tall column by column the sanctuary stands,
Of the pine forest's infinite aisles.
" A temple whose transepts are measured by miles, Whose chancel has morning for priest.
Whose floor-work the foot of no spoiler defiles, Whose musical silence no music beguiles, No festival limits its feast."
In a true sense the forests are sacred. They may well have been " God's first temples." They are not to be wantonly injured nor lightly destroyed. They have come down to us from other generations, and with a reasonable use of their products we are bound in duty to deliver them to our successors. Our oldest oaks and hemlocks were no mere saplings when Columbus discovered America. It takes many centuries to produce the great trees in our own forests, to anchor them fast by the gnarled and tangled clutch of sturdy rootage, to drape them in bearded lichens till they stand "like Druids of eld," to garnish the bark with mosses and decorate the dead with the finery of elfin fungus and wreaths of living ferns. Long centuries it