The oak that grows on the mountain
Has many a twist and crook,—
Stunted, and gnarled, and knotty,
With never a pleasant look;
For by every storm it is beaten,
And beset by every blast;
And the soil is cold and sterile
Wherein its roots are cast.
But the oak that grows in the valley
Is a fair and shapely tree;
Straight, and tall, and majestic
As ever an oak should be!
For 'tis fed by the land's best fatness
And sheltered from every storm,
With never a blast of the mountain wind
To mar its graceful form.
Yet the stunted oak of the mountain
With as fair a form was blest,
When, a young and tender sapling,
It clung to its mother's breast;
And had it grown in the valley,
And been fanned by the tempered breeze,
High and wide it had towered in pride,
A giant among the trees!