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The tree that never had to fight,
For sun and sky, and air and light,
But 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 one who never had to toil
To rise above the common soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never was strong,
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow in ease:
The stronger wind, the tougher trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength;
But sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In tree or me, good timber grows!
by Douglas Malloch
adapted by Mary Ellen Haupert