A tree must burn to be.
When summer's fellow ardor
Comes, they sway up, the trees,
The way that flame and flame
Combine in a making game
When what they are is brought too near,
And are pulled apart by wind
Playfully alone again.
A large sweet-smelling cedar
Held itself all summer
As constant-shaped as flame,
With a slow, slow burning sound
Of leaves, and the settling tick
Of branch that knocks on branch.
Where the woods blaze thickest
There comes a woodsey whoosh
That undoes my breath;
All the leaves alloyed sun-molten.
The fall will show them golden.
What have trees but trees
To prove that inside fire might be?
Trees have no effigy to burn.