Only stand high a long enough time your lightning will come; that is what blunts the peaks of redwoods; But this old tower of life on the hilltop has taken it more than twice a century, this knows in every Cell the salty and the burning taste, the shudder and the voice.
The fire from heaven; it has felt the earth's too Roaring up hill in autumn, thorned oak-leaves tossing their bright ruin to the bitter laurel-leaves, and all Its under-forest has died and died, and lives to be burnt; the redwood has lived. Though the fire entered, It cored the trunk while the sapwood increased. The trunk is a tower, the bole of the trunk is a black cavern, The mast of the trunk with its green boughs the mountain stars are strained through Is like the helmet-spike on the highest head of an army; black on lit blue or hidden in cloud It is like the hill's finger in heaven. And when the cloud hides it, though in barren summer, the boughs Make their own rain.
Old Escobar had a cunning trick when he stole beef. He and his grandsons Would drive the cow up here to a starlight death and hoist the carcass into the tree's hollow, Then let them search his cabin he could smile for pleasure, to think of his meat hanging secure Exalted over the earth and the ocean, a theft like a star, secret against the supreme sky.