Side by side near the road they stand
Like grave old men grown wise with years,
Veterans twain in this forest land,
Marching together, hand to hand,
Sober as ancient seers.
Gnarled and bitten and scarred and bent,
Sap run sluggish and youth all spent,
They lift spare limbs to the heartening sky,
World-worn and weary, yet loth to die.

They had known the bite of the blunt stone axe
(Wounds like warrior's long healed scars)
When they hid the quarry of hunting blacks,
Ranging the forest with eyes on the tracks
That led to these lusty spare
Spars grown old ere the spoilers came
To give this forest to blade and flame;
Too old to profit that ruthless greed
Which their likelier kinsmen went to feed.

For eight score summers the winds that blow
Down thro' the forest have worked their will;
For eight score winters storm and snow,
Frost and fury have bowed them low;
Yet stand the veterans still,
By the side of the road where the cars run down
With their transient freights to the mushroom town;
And they lift spare limbs to the deathless sky,
World-worn and weary, yet loth to die.

More verses by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis