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The Lumberjack

by Douglas Malloch

An untamed creature of the forest wilds,
He lives to that wild place a soul akin—
A man whose days are often steeped in sin,
And yet whose heart is tender as a child's.

His strength is like the strength of mighty pines,
His outward form a bark of many scars;
His head he carries proudly in the stars,
The while his feet are meshed in tangled vines.

Calamities throw viselike tendrils out
To seize him in their hindering embrace;
The thorns of wrong whip sharply in his face
And poisoned things encompass him about.

He braves disease, the storm, the falling tree,
The mad, quick water that would hold and drown;
But all earth's terrors cannot bear him down
Or make this man of dangers bend the knee.

He breathes the air the sturdy maple breathes,
He walks the soil the selfsame maple feeds;
To forest sources looks he for his needs—
Oh, where are trees and men like unto these?

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