Our tangles with the living, who can bend,

Go better than our tangles with the dead,

Whose breaking off endangers hand and head,

Whose barricading makes it hard to wend

Our way toward any place a man might spend

His day in contemplation. O for a bed

Of moss and ferns, where falling water, fed

From a single source, dances to the end

With infinite delight!  Give us the tall

And spacious trees that on these rocks can thrive—

The sheltering pines, the maples of the fall,

The birch whose bark can keep a man alive,

The quaking aspen—faithful to the call

To venture toward the light and to survive.