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BRYANT, THE POET OF TREES
"It is pleasant," as Mr. George W. Curtis has said, "to remember, on Arbor Day, that Bryant, our oldest American poet and the father of our American literature, is especially the poet of trees. He grew up among the solitary hills of western Massachusetts, where the woods were his nursery and the trees his earliest comrades. The solemnity of the forest breathes through all his verse, and he had always, even in the city, a grave, rustic air, as of a man who heard the babbling brooks and to whom the trees told their secrets."
His "Forest Hymn" is familiar to many, but it cannot be too familiar. It would be well if teachers would encourage their pupils to commit the whole, or portions of it, at least, to memory. Let it be made a reading lesson, but, in making it such, let pains be taken to point out its felicities of expression, its beautiful moral tone and lofty sentiment, and its wise counsels for life and conduct. Nothing could be more appropriate, especially for the indoor portion of the Arbor Day exercises, than to have this poem, or portions of it, read by some pupil in full sympathy with its spirit, or by some class in concert.