Once I walked a gilded glade that, perhaps, a god had made
And saw amongst the greening lay an olive, tall, with leaves that sway
Above the rambling roses’ nettles, above the rabbits’ furrowed dens
So long unworked by plowing metals; here darted enigmatic wrens
In search of mid-day feast and fare, but briefly did they linger there
Then raised their hunt above the glen; little kings within their ken.
I rested ‘neath that olive tree, and looked about as though to see
What antique tales could yet be seen, what story lingering gaze could glean-
How many years did this tree own? Was man at war when it set bud?
Perhaps a dove from it had flown, to signal end of ancient Flood?
I knew of scholars who once thought that such trees rarely fell to rot,
And if truth lay in such a claim, perhaps this tree saw man’s first flame.
Dotted on the olive’s bark were many a jagged, gruesome mark;
Grimy spots (so thick and dark!) where life was claimed by errant spark
And all along the mottled trunk, still laid the blain of many ax
That split the wood apart in chunks with every of their hewing hacks –
Looking on the tree’s past grief, from that idyll glade I gave relief
And if it stayed from mankind’s hands, perhaps that glade this day still stands.