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I. Exercises In the School-Room




1. READING. (BY THE TEACHER, OR BY CLASSES.)

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself after his kind."

"And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

"I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."

"He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch."

"Wisdom is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is everyone that retaineth her."

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

2. INVOCATION SONG.

TRIBUTE TO NATURE.

[Tune—"AMERICA."]

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Of nature broad and free,
Of grass and flower and tree,
Sing we to-day.
God hath pronounced it good
So we, His creatures would
Offer to field and wood,
Our heartfelt lay.
To all that meets the eye,
In earth, or air, or sky,
Tribute we bring.
Barren this world would be,
Bereft of shrub and tree:
Now, gracious Lord, to Thee,
Praises we sing.
May we Thy hand behold,
As bud and leaf unfold,
See but Thy thought;
Nor heedlessly destroy,
Nor pass unnoticed by;
But be our constant joy:
All Thou hast wrought.
As each small bud and flower
Speaks of the Maker's power,
Tells of His love;
So we, Thy children dear,
Would live from year to year,
Show forth Thy goodness here,
And then above.

Mary A. Heermans

3. READING ARBOR DAY LAW, OR PROCLAMATION OF GOVERNOR.

[As the laws regarding Arbor Day vary in different States, it will be necessary for each teacher or superintendent to procure and read the one applicable to his State.]

 

4. READING LETTERS IN REFERENCE TO ARBOR DAY.

[These may consist of circular letters from superintendents, etc., and other incidental letters. It is suggested that notes of invitation to the exercises be sent to the parents of the children and to influential people. These will in many cases elicit replies bearing on the subject.]

 

5. RECITATION.

ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,—
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.
The purple-headed mountain,
The river, running by,
The morning, and the sunset
That lighteth up the sky.
The tall trees in the greenwood,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,—
He made them, every one.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who hath made all things well.

C.F. Alexander.

7. RECITATIONS. (By Different Pupils.)

THE PURPOSE OF ARBOR DAY.

First pupil.

To avert treelessness; to improve the climatic conditions; for the sanitation and embellishment of home environments; for the love of the beautiful and useful combined in the music and majesty of a tree, as fancy and truth unite in an epic poem, Arbor Day was created. It has grown with the vigor and beneficence of a grand truth or a great tree.

J. Sterling Morton.

BE NOBLE.

Second pupil.

Be noble! and the nobleness that lies
In other men sleeping, but never dead,
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own;
Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes,
Then will pure light around thy path be shed,
And thou wilt nevermore be sad and lone.

Lowell.

LEAVES.

Third pupil.

The leaves of the herbage at our feet take all kinds of strange shapes as if to invite us to examine them. Star-shaped, heart-shaped, spear-shaped, arrow-shaped, fretted, fringed, cleft, furrowed, serrated, sinuated, in whorls, in tufts, in spires, in wreaths, endlessly expressive, deceptive, fantastic, never the same from footstalk to blossom, they seem perpetually to tempt our watchfulness and take delight in outstripping our wonder.

Ruskin.

INFLUENCE OF NATURE.

Fourth pupil.

Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods
And mountains, and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In nature, and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul,
Of all my moral being.

Wordsworth

Fifth pupil.

I regard the forest as an heritage, given to us by nature, not for spoil or to devastate, but to be wisely used, reverently honored, and carefully maintained. I regard the forest as a gift entrusted to us only for transient care during a short space of time, to be surrendered to posterity again as unimpaired property, with increased riches and augmented blessings, to pass as a sacred patrimony from generation to generation.

Baron Ferdinand von Mueller

NATURE'S COMFORT.

Sixth pupil.

If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows that thou wouldst forget,
If thou wouldst read a lesson that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the woods and hills! No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.

Longfellow

Seventh pupil.

It may be said that the measure of attention given to trees indicates the condition of agriculture and civilization of a country.

Mahé

Eighth pupil.

I said I will not walk with men to-day,
But I will go among the blessed trees,—
Among the forest trees I'll take my way,
And they shall say to me what words they please.
And when I came among the trees of God,
With all their million voices sweet and blest,
They gave me welcome. So I slowly trod
Their arched and lofty aisles, with heart at rest.

Ninth pupil.

Forests can flourish independent of agriculture; but agriculture cannot prosper without forests.

Tenth pupil.

The man who builds does a work which begins to decay as soon as he has done, but the work of the man who plants trees grows better and better, year after year, for generations.

Eleventh pupil.

Of all man's works of art a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that.

H.W. Beecher

Twelfth pupil.

In an agricultural country the preservation or destruction of forests must determine the decision of Hamlet's alternative: "to be or not to be." An animal flayed or a tree stripped of its bark does not perish more surely than a land deprived of the trees.

Felix L. Oswald

Thirteenth pupil.

By their fruit ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

8. DECLAMATION.

A FOREST SONG.

A song for the beautiful trees!
A song for the forest grand,
The garden of God's Own land,
The pride of His centuries.
Hurrah! for the kingly oak,
For the maple, the sylvan queen,
For the lords of the emerald cloak,
For the ladies in living green.
So long as the rivers flow,
So long as the mountains rise,
May the forest sing to the skies,
And shelter the earth below.
Hurrah! for the beautiful trees,
Hurrah! for the forest grand,
The pride of His centuries,
The garden of God's own land.

W.H. Venable

9. ADDRESS. (BY TEACHER OR SOME ONE INVITED FOR THE OCCASION.)

 

10. DECLAMATION.

A JUNE DAY.

Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a rippling cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For other couriers we should not lack;
We would guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,—
And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!
Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how:
Everything is happy now,
Everything is upward striving;
'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,—
'Tis the natural way of living.

Lowell: Sir Launfal.

11. VOTING FOR THE TREE OR FLOWER WHICH SHALL BE THE EMBLEM OF THE SCHOOL FOR THE YEAR.

Suggestions.—If this programme should prove too long, parts of it may readily be omitted. If the day be a fine one, it might be well to transfer the address and, perhaps, the readings to the third part of the programme at the tree.

In order to facilitate the voting of the tree or flower and have it occupy but little time, it would be well to have a blackboard facing the pupils during the exercises with a few drawings of trees and flowers, each with a characteristic attribute printed beneath it. The voting may then be expeditiously performed by pointing to the drawings.

In some States there is a provision for the children to vote on Arbor Day for a favorite flower, which shall be considered the State flower. In others a State tree may be selected by vote of the children. In such cases this is the time for the selection.

 

12. RECITATION.

THE AMERICAN FLAG.

When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night
And set the stars of glory there;
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies,
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light;
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land.

J.R. Drake.

[To be recited and followed immediately by the song "Star Spangled Banner."]

 

13. SONG.

STAR SPANGLED BANNER.

Francis Key.

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