ANTHEM

‘Anthem’ to Coastal Redwoods

The engineer in charge of the construction of the Golden Gate bridge at San Francisco, J. B. Strauss, was so inspired by the nearby coastal redwoods that he wrote the following tribute to them around 1935.

The Redwoods

Here, sown by the Creator’s hand.
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand:
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.


The greatest of Earth’s living forms,
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.


The nations that with them were young,
Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now-their splendor gone:
But these proud monarchs still live on.


So shall they live, when ends our days,
When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years allotted man,
But infinite perennials’ span.


This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life’s proper goal:


To be like these, straight, true and fine,
to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, oh, traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.