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The Forest

From the Omaha Daily Bee, April 25, 1915. By David.

God’s Temple is the forest, silent, true;
It’s done the arching heavens, gray or blue;
Each rock and tree an altar in the air;
Each leaf a sermon and each flower a prayer.
Here feathered choristers their praises sing,
And sun and rain their benedictions bring;
And here the human soul is often stirred
By unseen forces of an unseen world.
It comes to all of us, the low and high,
Still none can tell from whence it comes, or why.
A little newsboy once, to aught unknown
Excepting city streets of brick and stone,
Was taken from the city man had laid,
And carried to the country God had made.
And in his simple, childlike way expressed
What our minds, more mature, had only guessed.
He stood with hat in hand, and gazed around,
From the cloud-flecked sky to the mossy ground;
The look of cunning faded from his face,
And left a look of wonder in its place.
“Say, boys, it’s a queer feelin’ I have got,
I just want to stand in this one spot,
And look and think and think and look again,”
He whispered low, as though afraid, and then
The trees, the leaves, the grass, with reverent hand
He touched, but still he did not understand.
“It is not here,” he said, “It’s in the air;
It seems to come to me from everywhere,
And touch me here,” and with a sudden start,
He laid his hand upon his beating heart.
With swift glance in the branches overhead,
“Say, it’s like a church,” was all he said.

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