The tree that never had to fight For sun and sky and air and light, That stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain, Never became a forest king But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil By hand or mind mid life’s turmoil, Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air, Never became a manly man But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow in ease; The stronger the wind, the tougher the trees The farther the sky,
the greater length; The rougher the storms, the greater strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snows,
In tree or man good timber grows.
Where the thickest stands the forest growth We find the patriarchs of both, And they hold converse
with the stars Whose broken branches show the scars Of many winds and much of strife-
This is the common law of life.